Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 20, Episode 20 - Hard Labor - full transcript

Dillon is sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor by Judge Flood (Colicos), who uses an illegally constituted court to staff his private silver mine.

( dramatic theme playing)



Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

( upbeat theme playing)


(shouting indistinctly)


Hello, Kitty.

Good morning, Matt.

You're bright and early.

Expecting a friend on the stage?

Oh, what I'm expecting

can sometimes do more
for a woman than, uh,

even a friend.


New hat with Paris
label from Saint Louis.


Yeah, there was a big
trailer that got in yesterday.

Guess you do need something
to pick up your spirits, huh?

There wasn't one of those Texans

that could've ever
known a mother.

They all acted like they'd
been raised in caves.

Wait a minute.

( mellow theme playing)

Come on, I want you
to meet somebody.

Who is it?

An old friend from Arizona.

I never knew what
a lawman's badge

stood for until I met him.

DILLON: Carver.


Keep a-coming, mister.

I'm watching your hand.

Put that gun away.

Keep coming, I said.

MAN: You're crazy,
Troy, it's Matt Dillon!

Well, it sure is.


You've changed.
You look different.

I must have changed.
You were all set to gun me.

Oh, you know better
than to come up

behind a man and
call him like that.


I want you to meet
an old friend of mine.

This is Troy Carver.

Troy, this is Miss Russell.

A privilege, ma'am.

You almost didn't give Matt
a chance to introduce us.

Why, you didn't
think I was serious?

Well, I didn't
know what to think.

Just joking him.

I took one look at
that marshal's badge

and thought I'd just
see how easy he scares.

Well, Matt, what do you say

you and the young lady join me

at the Long Branch, and I'll...

Sorry, ma'am, I wouldn't
want you to think I...

But you're right,
that's where I belong,

at the Long Branch.



like I was saying,
I'll stand the drinks.

Well, you go ahead, gentlemen,

I'm hoping there's a
package waiting for me.

All right, Troy, let's
go get that drink.

( mellow theme playing)

Yeah, Troy, I thought you
were still back in Chicago

with Colonel McCready's
Wild West Show.

Mmm, not for me, Matt.

Shooting silver
dollars out of the air

for a lot of Easterners
isn't my idea of a living.

Let's sit down.

Going back to being a lawman?

No, I'm too old for that.

Bought me a ranch
on the north plat.

Well, that's nice country.

Only reason I'm here
is to pick up my horse

at Moss Grimmick's
livery stable.

That roan's just about
my nearest of kin.

Too old to take
back East with me.

I couldn't bring
myself to selling.

Now we'll be out
to pasture together.

Never mind about me.

What made you
decide to turn marshal?

You mighta had something
to do with that, Troy.


The way you handled yourself.

Things people said about you.

People on both sides of the law.

That's a mighty nice compliment.



If somebody was out to kill you,

you'd let me know, wouldn't you?

What makes you say that?

The way you turned
on me out there.

I told you, I just... I know.

But I don't believe you.

Then let it drop.

You're not the kind of
man to go for your gun

unless you're ready to use it.

Now, what is it?

Who is it?

I'm gonna have to ask you

to mind your own business.

( tense theme playing)

What's wrong, Matt?


That's something I'm
gonna have to find out.

Well, Mr. Dillon, when, heh,

you've been a peace officer

as long as Mr. Carver was, uh,

you're liable to have
a hundred hard cases

looking to tack your hide
to the wall, you know?

So ain't it just natural
for him to wind up

being a little edgy
and quick with his gun?

Well, you only get that way

when you know there's one man

prodding after you, Chester.

One man who won't
rest until he gets you.

Or you get him.

Hello, Moss. Chester.

Hello, Moss.

I had a feeling I shoulda come

to see you sooner, marshal.

What's bothering you?

But I had no way of knowing

this fella meant trouble.

What fella?

Don't even know his name.

He's a tight mouth glued.

Been keeping his
horse in my stable

and renting sleeping
rooms in the loft

the last couple of nights.

Go on.

But I should have suspicioned
that something was wrong.

Way he hardly left the stable.

Just kept a-cleaning his gun

and hanging around
Troy Carver's roan.

I didn't think nothing of that

because Carver's in the East.

But I hear now
that he's signed in

at the Dodge House.

So I thought I'd come over...

Thanks for telling me, Moss.

( suspenseful theme playing)

Thought you'd be along, marshal?

When Grimmick found
out Carver was in town,

he couldn't hardly
wait to skin out of here.

Who are you?

Name's Lee Polen.


What's between you and Carver?

Oh, this horse sure must
have been a beauty once.

Seeing as how you're the law,

I'd like you to
get it all straight.

I'm listening. (chuckles)

I ain't no gunfighter.

Just a plain old dirt-farmer.

I never shot a man in my life.


But I'm planning
on killing Carver.


'Cause he killed my brother.

Well, if that's so, your brother

must have edged him into it.

I never knew Carver
to shoot a man

if he had any other choice.

Oh, Clay was just a frisky kid.

Half drunk.

Man like Carver
could have taken him in

without shooting him down.

Nothing I can say
to change your mind?

Not a thing.

That's too bad.

When I got back to Nogales

and found out what had happened,

Carver was gone East.


I've been waiting two years now.

Just missed him in Wichita.

I see.

You know, I could stop you.


But you know something else too.

Yeah, you'll just catch up
with him somewhere else.

So if you don't wanna see
your friend bushwhacked,

you'll just let it
happen right here.

You're pretty sure of yourself.

Tsk, oh, willing to give
him an even chance.

That's more than he give Clay.

What makes you
think you can tangle

with a man like Carver
and go on living?

He can drive a nail
in a post at 30 paces.

It ain't nothing for
you to worry about.

Now, look, marshal,

I don't want nobody else
hurt when him and me meet,

so would you just tell
Carver I'm here and then...

clear Front Street for
tomorrow morning at 10?

Well, what do you say?

Move your things
out of this stable.

Go over and get yourself
a room with the Lady Gay.

I'll be over there
to see you later.

You do that, marshal.

( suspenseful theme playing)

Sure didn't take
your friend long

to get to the poker table.

Yeah, I know, I was over

at the Dodge House
looking for him.

Tsk, what is it, Matt?

I just found out
what's troubling him.

There's a man out to kill him.

And he's just plain scared.

And knowing Troy like I do,

that just doesn't make sense.

(chair clatters)

You heard me. Get up.

( tense theme playing)

You've been spoiling
for trouble all along.

What's the matter with you?

I don't like your talk, mister.

You're wearing a gun.

But I ain't using it.

Now use it.

MAN: You ain't egging
me into anything.


Keep out of this.

I never knew you to
force a man to draw before.

That's what he's
trying to do, marshal.

This is my town, Troy.

I stop trouble here
no matter who starts it.

Now, what's this all about?

MAN: I'll tell ya.

He made out like I was cheating.

I had my cards here

right in front of
me on the table.

He told me to shove 'em
over there in front of him,

and I wouldn't do it.

A man has got a right to
ask to see the house cards.

Well, they were showing here

fair enough for everybody else.

I don't deal crooked.

You know that, marshal.

What do you got to say?


Had enough of this game anyway.

I'm leaving.

(crowd murmuring)

He ain't drunk, he's crazy.

What's eating him, marshal?

Oh, nothing much.

He just has trouble seeing
across the table, that's all.

( mellow theme playing)

(knocking on door)

Who is it?

It's Matt.

What do you want?

Why are the shades drawn?

I like sitting in the dark.

You're trying to get
used to the idea, Troy?

What do you mean by that?

This morning, out
there in the street,

I wasn't 20 feet away from you.

You couldn't even recognize me.

I should have suspected
then what was wrong.

I'm not getting
into all that again.

And that dealer's cards.

They weren't three feet away.

You couldn't read 'em.

I've got a right to ask
to see a man's cards.

You're going blind, Troy.

You're crazy.

Now, get out of here.

You'll be a dead man

when you go up
against Lee Polen.

That's right.

He's in town,

you were expecting
that, weren't you?


Got word in Wichita
he was looking for me.

I started running.

Matt, I never ran before.

There's nothing shameful
about a man's eyes going bad.

Even if I could go on running,

that's not the way I
wanna finish out my life.


I was in the right about that.

Clay Polen wouldn't
let me take him in.

He went for his gun.

I-it was him or me.

Well, don't you
think I know that?

I've got to face
Lee Polen, Matt.

You can't.

He thinks I'm as
good as I ever was.

Don't you see that
will be worrying him

every second in the showdown.

That ranch of yours.

You've come a long,
hard way to get it.

You've earned it.

If I didn't handle this myself,

it wouldn't mean a thing.

That's why you've got
to let things be, Matt.

( dramatic theme playing)

I was curious all along
as to what made you think

you could buck
a man like Carver.

And now you know?


Now I know.

When I was Wichita
I did some inquiring.

I found out about
that doctor he saw.

Go on.

Took some convincing
to make him open up.

But he did.

Carver's half blind.

And that's what you call

giving him a fair chance?

Well, let's just say
it evens up the odds.

He's the great
gunfighter, not me.


You're stuck, ain't ya?

Even if you tell
him what I know,

he won't back down.

His pride won't let him.

So you got no way to save him.

( tense theme playing)

I'll be back.

I ain't going nowhere.

(door closes)

What you say, Carver's liable

to throw me right out of there

if I start interfering in this.

You can be pretty persuasive
when you want to, Doc.

Looks like I'm gonna
have to want to.

I've got to find out just
how bad his eyes are.

What kind of a chance he's got.

Well, if they're having
it out tomorrow morning,

you're not gonna have
much time to do anything.

No matter what I find out.

I'll wait right here for you.

( dramatic theme playing)

He give you any trouble?

No, no.

What happened?

Well, I wouldn't say

all the fight's gone
out of Mr. Carver,

most of it sure has.

But what's the story?

Well, pretty sad.

Takes him at least
three or four seconds

to focus on anything,
even up-close.

Three or four seconds?

In a gunfight that might as
well be three or four years.

Yeah, I don't
think his eyesight's

gonna get any worse.

I know darn well it's
not gonna get any better.

I gave him all the routine tests

and the only thing he could
focus on right off was a match.

A what?

A match.

I lit a match for him in the
dark and he could see it.

See it pretty good,

but I'm afraid Mr. Carver's
had his last gunfight.

(pours water)

Did Troy say what he
was doing tonight, Doc?


Answer me.

What'd you say? Oh, Troy.

Who's he? Oh, Troy Carver, yeah.

Yes, he did. Uh, he said, uh...

Said he was going down to the...

Long Branch and have
himself a nice dinner, first class.

And then he was
going to the stable

and see his old horse,

and it seems like that would

just about complete
his unfinished business.

Come on.

Where? Get your bag.

What...? Bag? What
do I want with my bag?

First I got a little
something for Chester to do,

and then I'm gonna see

just how good a liar you can be.

I'm not gonna lie!

Come on, I'll tell you
about it on the way.

Oh, thanks.

Well, it's not a question

of whether I wanna do it or not.

I'd just like to know why.

CHESTER: Mr. Dillon!

Mr. Carver just set out
from the Dodge House.


Is there anything else
that you wanna tell me?

Well, just stay behind
him till he gets to the stable.

After that, you know what to do.

Yes, sir.

Come on, Doc.

(piano playing jaunty music)

(footsteps approaching)

(knocking on door)


Come on in.

Who's he?

Doc Adams, this is Lee Polen.


What is this?

I just told Troy Carver

I didn't want him in
town anymore, Lee.

He's down at Moss
Grimmick's stable

getting his horse ready.

That ain't gonna save him.

Well, I'm not thinking of him.

I'm thinking of you.

You trying to make me laugh?

What would you tell him, doc?

Well, yes, uh, now,
this whole business

seems to hinge on
Mr. Carver's eyesight.

I've examined him, Mr. Polen.

His vision's
practically perfect.


What about that
doctor in Wichita?

Oh, well, Mr. Carver
could have had

a little eye strain,

most of us do once in a while,

but a little rest
always fixes it up.

What are you doing, marshal?

Trying to run a bluff?

Now, I wouldn't say that.

Marshal Dillon's
just trying to keep you

from committing suicide.

Yeah, well, I don't bluff.

And I don't scare.

Well, have it your own way.

But I'm gonna give
you a choice, Polen.

If you wanna get back

to that farm of yours,
forget all about Carver.

He'll be gone by morning.

But if you wanna
wind up on Boot Hill,

you can still catch up with him

down at the corral.

( tense theme playing)

Come on, Doc.

(piano playing jaunty
music inside saloon)

He ought to be out
in another minute.

You ought to be praying
you scared him off.

No, Doc, he's got
a bellyful of hate.

He can't wait to get it out.

He's gonna go on that
way till he gets Carver,

if it isn't stopped here.

You know, I'm almost sorry now

I told you about Mr. Carver

being able to see
that match in the dark.

Tsk, that's not very much
to gamble a man's life on.

Well, it's the best odds
I can get for him, Doc.

Some odds.

Before there's
anything at all for him...

Here you are, boy.

( suspenseful theme playing)

Hold it, mister.

Who are you?

Friend of Marshal
Dillon's, Chester Goode.

You know why I'm here?

Yes, sir, I sure do.

Carver inside?

Yes, sir, I'll get him for you.

Tell him to come out.

I'm waiting.

Yes, sir.

Mr. Carver?

CARVER: Well, yeah, what is it?

Lee Polen says
he's waiting for you,

he's out front.


Well, boy,

Moss Grimmick's gonna
take good care of ya.

You better stay
where you are, mister.

Mr. Carver, he's out front.


I know.

That's why I'm going
out the back door.

( tense theme playing)

I'm over here, Polen.

Keep your hand still.

Didn't mean to make you jump.

Just want to make
sure we started out even.

We ain't here for talk, Carver.

I'm gonna take
three steps and stop.

Then go for your gun.

What about it, Doc?

Well, just a minute, I'll
let you know in a minute.

Ah. I've seen worse.


My hand.

You got off cheap.



How is he?

Well, we'll wait and see.

Don't understand why I did it.


Must be cruel what people
always said about him.

Why if...

If he could shoot a gun
out of my hand, why...

He could have put a hole
right between my eyes.

You still think Carver
killed your brother

without being pushed into it?



No, I... I guess not.

Not after what he just done.


The doc here says I
may be on my back

for the whole of two days.

That doc can be an
awful liar at times.

Hm? With a little help.

You might have to be on
your back for three days.


Now, see, he's got
a hole in his hand.

Doc, you better go over
and stop the bleeding.


You can get up now, Mr. Carver.

Matthew, better
bring him by the office.


Well, nothing to keep you
from that ranch now, Troy.

Shot at the only
thing I could see,

his gun going off.

Lucky it happened at night.


( dramatic theme playing)

( upbeat theme playing)

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