Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 3, Episode 1 - Crack-Up - full transcript

Gunman Nate Springer arrives in Dodge with the obvious intention of committing murder, but his nervousness and unpredictability make Matt determined to find out who hired him and why he seems so different from his steel-nerved reputation.

...starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

Go on, get yourself
a glass, you want a drink.

No, thanks.
Something wrong?

Now, Nate, don't you
go getting sore at me.

I always been your
friend, ain't I?


You never drank
before, Nate.


Well, you know,
before two years ago.

You sure look in
bad shape, Nate.

I ain't going to touch
another drop after tonight.

Anyway, I'm going to
be okay when I get back.

Now, you can't go
to Dodge alone.

You need me there.
I'll back you up.

Dodge is something
I got to do by myself,

and I'm going to do it.

And I'm going
to be okay after.

And I'll be ready
for anybody... anything.

Sure. You always
was the best gunman

in the whole
darn country.

Was? You still are. You know that.

Nate, you're going
to be all right.

Sure. Sure, I am.

I'll see you
in the morning.

No, you won't.

I'm leaving
for Dodge tonight.

Okay. Sooner you get it
over with, the better.

I'll wait right here
in Tuscosa for you.

About a week, huh?

I'll be here.

Good luck, Nate.

Oh. Hello, Marshal.

You busy, Mr. Teeters?

Oh, come in, come in.

I hope you've got time
to give me a haircut.

Oh, sure.

I was just sitting there
resting for a minute.


How's business?

Oh, business... Well,
tell you the truth,

you're the first customer
I've had all morning.


Say, that's a new chair
you got, isn't it?

Yessiree, Bob.

That's the finest barber
chair west of St. Louis.


It's pretty
fancy all right.

Just go ahead and try it.


Here. Comfortable now?

I'll tell you
after I find out

if you've raised your
prices to pay for it.

Nope. Price
for haircut's

still the same, Marshal.

And how 'bout the
price of your bat...?

That too tight for you
around the neck?

No. No, that's
just fine, thanks.

Good. I don't like
to strangle a man

just to cut his hair.

'Tain't at all necessary, I always say.

Yeah. Yeah. You
still didn't tell me

whether you raised the
price of your bath or not.

Price for a bath
is going up, Marshal.


Yeah, I thought so.

You mean you're
charging a dime more

just to splash around in
that same old tin tub

you've got out there?

Now, just hold
your horses.

Don't forget there's
a tonic and a soap

and wood to heat
the water with.

And besides, Marshal,

you wouldn't stand in
the way of progress

for a little, measley
old dime, would you?

Depends on
whose progress

you're talking
about, Mr. Teeters.


I don't reckon you want a
bath today anyhow, do you?

It's a good
thing I don't.

Oh, howdy,

I'll be with you
in a minute.

Just have a seat there.

Last Wednesday
night, Mabel, she...

In a minute.

Yeah, sure.

You're next.
Nobody ahead of you.

Well, anyhow, last
Wednesday night, Mabel,

she was out there...

I ain't next.

Yes, you are. Sure. There's
nobody ahead of you.

You go on and
sit down there.

I said I ain't next.

Oh. You mean you
won't stay?

That's right. I won't wait.

Well. I'll be here through
here in five minutes.

Why, just sit down
and I'll be with you.

I want my hair cut
and I want it cut right now.

You can cut
his hair later.


You heard me.

Well, now, look,
stranger, you don't...

It's all right,
Mr. Teeters.

Get outta that
chair, mister.


I want to sit down.

You're in my way.

I don't think
you understand.

I didn't get out of that
chair so you could sit down.


You're gonna be
real troublesome, hmm?


and you're not gonna
do anything about it.


I don't think you
see too good, mister.


I'm not wearing a gun.

And you're not about to shoot
an unarmed man, now, are you?

Especially not with
a witness here.

You try anything else, mister,
I'll squash you like a bug.

Get your gun and put it on.


Do it.

You're licked, mister.

You can't get me
to put on a gun.

What kinda coward
are you anyway?

Let's just say
I don't like killings.

I can't figure you, mister.


It'll give you something
to think about.

All right.

I'll think about it.

But the next time we meet,

you'll be wearing a gun.

It'll be some
different then.

My goodness, Marshal, you
took an awful chance there.

You know that man,
Mr. Teeters?

No, but... he
coulda killed you.

Well, that woulda been
murder, the way the law reads.

Gunmen like that know that

or he'd have been
hung a long time ago.

Yeah, but why didn't
you tell him who you are?

He'll find out soon enough.

He didn't come to Dodge
just to get a haircut.

Well, come on. Quit shaking and
let's get this over with, huh?

Yeah. Sure, Marshal.


You, where's my key?

Why, it's hanging
right there.

Uh, number ten,
ain't it?

Are you gonna fetch me my key,

or am I gonna
kick your mouth off?

I'll get it, mister.

No need for a fuss-
I didn't mean no harm.

Then do it
- quit talking. Yes, sir.

Here you are,
right here.

Next time

mind your manners.

Yes, sir.

Who is that, Howard?

I don't know.
He just rode in today.

Well, you know his
name, don't you?

Yeah, it's... it's, uh,
Springer, Nate Springer.

Springer, huh?
Kind of mean, ain't he?

Oh, he's more than that
- he's a gunman, if I ever seen one.

Hey, where are you going? You
just figure out your next move.

I'll be gone a couple hours
- you won't miss me.

Did you find anything?

Nothing yet, Chester.

He was the man who come into the
tonsorial parlor, though, you think?

Yeah, the way you
described him, it was.

But he's sure not
wanted anywhere.

Well, how come you
recognized his name?

Well, I've heard
of him, Chester.

He's got quite a reputation
down around Tascosa.

As a gunman, you mean?

He got no nerves,
they say, he's all ice.

Well, I don't know, he
just seemed jumpy and edgy.

More mean than
anything else.

Yeah, he's not really living up
to his reputation, is he?

What do you think
he's doing in Dodge?

Well, he's a killer, Chester,

a paid killer, and he's
probably been hired to do murder.

Well, don't you think you
ought to throw him in jail?

If I do that, why,
whoever hired him

will just hire
somebody else.

I got to find out
who his boss is.

Mr. Dillon, you can't wait
till he kills somebody.

No. No, not if
I can help it.

You know, the worse murderer
is the man behind him.

Well, I'm going
out to dinner with Doc.

I'll see you later.

No, I ain't never been
down to Tascosa, Matt.

What's it like
down there?

Well, it's still a camp
for the Huron, Doc.

Any worse than Dodge?
Well, I wouldn't say that.

Well, it doesn't make any difference
- I'm not going there anyway.

Uh, business
too good here, huh?

I don't know anything about
business, you know that.

I suppose you inherited
all your money, huh?

Well, I didn't make it shooting
people, you can bet on that.

Oh, now, for heaven's sakes,
I didn't mean you, Matt.

I'm talking about
the killers

and everybody like that-

a fella like that Nate
Springer you were tell...

Doc, uh, take
it easy.

He's right behind us there. Where?

You mean him,
right there?


Well, by golly, he does
look like a killer.

He is.

Sitting there
with his hat on,

looks like he's just getting
ready to shoot somebody

and bolt out that door.

You know, fellas like
that are all alike.

They're just lonely looking
and no friends or anything.

Man like that doesn't deserve
any friends, Doc.

All right.

What was you staring at me for?

No reason at all, mister.

No man stares at me
without reason.

I want to know why
you was doing it.

Well, I'm sorry
about it,

but you're gonna get
indigestion if...

You tell me why you
was staring at me,

or I'll put a hole in you.
Now, just hold on, mister.

This man's a doctor-
he doesn't wear a gun.

Wait a minute.

Who are you?

My name's Dillon.


That's right.

Why didn't you say so

the last time?

Would it have
made a difference?

No. None, I guess.

I was bound to run into you
again anyway.

Yeah? Why?


let's just say,
in my line of work,

there's always some lawman
wanting to interfere.

Who hired you, mister?

A fair fight's
a fair fight, ain't it?

Not when you're paid
to start it, no.

Like I said, I knew
I was gonna run into you.

You know, when I find out
who you're after,

I'm gonna find out
who hired you.

Then I'm gonna make it
real rough on everybody.

You're gonna lose sleep
trying to find out, Marshal.

I can stand it.

I got a feeling you're the one

that needs his sleep.

By golly, that's a man with a
bad case of nerves, you ask me.


Yeah, there's something
bothering him, Doc.

I'd sure like to know
what it is.

Hello, Kitty.

You been out of town?

No, I just been out giving
the horse a little exercise.

Had him a little run.

I'll bet you could use
a little fresh air yourself,

couldn't you?

I could use a lot of it.

Well, why don't you
come on out riding with me?

I got a bay mare
that's kind of gentle.

Imagine having
more than one horse.

Yeah, that's about all

the government does give me,

you know, is a couple
of cheap horses.

Well, this isn't a government
horse, this is yours.

How come you're
riding him, anyway?

Well, I'm just keeping him in
shape, in case I want to quit.

Ha! The day you quit,
that horse will be older

than a man.

Hey, look at that
cute little pup.

Oh, Matt, that
poor little dog!

He didn't do anything.

Well, it was just a dog.

Did you think he was gonna
bite you or something?

Might have.
How do I know?

Anyway, I didn't
know what it was.

Could've been anything.
Yeah, or anybody.

Well, I knew
it wasn't a man.

Thought you just got through
saying that it could've been...

Never mind what
I got through saying!

That dog shouldn't
have been sniffing around!

Not around you, that's for sure.

Don't push me too far, Marshal.

Why don't you go get
yourself a drink, Springer.

I think you need one.

I never drink.

Yeah? Bet you don't have any
weaknesses, then, do you?




Is he crazy or
something, Matt?

Kitty, I don't know
what's the matter with him.

Well, he's the meanest
man I ever saw.

Oh, he didn't shoot
that dog out of meanness.

No? Then why?

Well, he's jumpy.

That makes him
more dangerous than ever.

Come on in- maybe Chester's
got some coffee going, huh?

All right.

He shouldn't even
be carrying a gun

if he's all that jumpy.

Well, I know.

Well, why don't you
take it off him,

or run him out of town?

Well, because it
wouldn't do any good.

The only way I can stop him
is to find out who hired him.

Any coffee ready, Chester?

Eh... yeah, it's on.

It ought to be ready there
in a minute.

Are we disturbing you, Chester?

Oh. Miss Kitty, no.

Uh, uh, no, I was...

just laying there... studying.


Studying what?
Well, it's, uh,

n-nothing that
you'd be interested in.

It's just... a little reading.

It's, uh... I don't
even know why I was...

it's... just
passing the time.

I'll see if the
coffee's ready.

How come you were
lying in here studying

with all that shooting going on?

What do you mean?

Oh, I'm more than ever
interested in that magazine.

Mr. Dillon, what's
she talking about?

What shooting?
Who was it?

It was...

Nate Springer, Chester.

Nate Springer?

Got spooked
by a little dog-

killed him.

He killed a dog?

Aw, for pity sakes.

You know, I... I think you
better follow him, Chester.

Trail him.

And whoever
he talks to

might be the person
that hired him.

Yeah. All right, I'll go
find him right now, Mr. Dillon.

Don't you worry,
I'll watch him like a hawk

throwing down
on a field mouse.


Oh. Thank you.

Hello, Chester.
Oh, Miss Kitty.

Sit down, sit down.

Thank you.

How you doing?
Oh, fine, fine.

He's, uh,
still there.

You've been sitting
here all this time?

Yeah. That's my job.

He doesn't drink, does he?

No, no, he don't.

Mm, too serious
about his work, I suppose.

You know, I agree with Matt.

I think the man that hired him
is worse than he is.

Don't you worry, Miss Kitty,
we're gonna find him.

Sooner or later,
we're gonna find him.

Well, I hope so.

Miss Kitty,

if she knew what kind
of man he was,

I don't think she'd be
sidling up to him like that.

What's the matter
with you?

Why was you behind me? Please...

I ought to...

I-I didn't do nothing.

Go on, git!


You deal.

Well, I'd better tell Mr.
Dillon the way he's acting.

I'll see you later.

She was just standing
there watching?

That's right, Mr. Dillon-
she wasn't doing nothing.

You'd think somebody's
out to shoot him,

rather than the
other way around.

Well, he's gonna kill
somebody, that's for sure.

Well, the only thing left to
do is run him out of town.

Yeah, if he'll run.

Well, we'll find out
soon enough.

I want to talk
to you, Springer.

You're interrupting
the game, Marshal.

The game's
over for good.

What are you saying?

You're leaving Dodge.

What? If you've been paid in advance,

you better give it back-
you're not gonna earn it.

You're saying I ain't?

It's 10:30, Springer.

By midnight I want you
to ride down that street

and out of town.

And if you come back,
you're going to jail.

It's been a long time

since a man talked to me
that way, Marshal.

How long has it been since you
were scared into shooting a dog?

Or since you drew on a woman?

You've lost your nerve,

You're not about
to kill anybody.

Shut up!

You shut up!

What's happened to you, anyway?

What scared you?

I'm telling you
to leave me alone.

You got till midnight.

Then you're in trouble.

I've been
in trouble

lots of times, Marshal...

but I'm still around.

Think he'll leave Dodge?
You think he'll go?

Well, he'll go,
one way or another.

You want me to stay
with him and watch him?

Yeah, I think
you'd better-

he might decide
to try something yet.

I'll be around the office.

Hello, Doc.

Evening, Matt.

Golly, I'll tell you
something, I'm tired tonight.

Had you a tough day?

Oh, no, nothing unusual.

What are you doing standing
up out here tonight?

You-you ought to be in there
with your feet up on your desk

like you usually are.

I'm waiting
for somebody, Doc.

Oh. You sound serious.

Yeah, it's Nate Springer.

Oh, gonna be a shooting,
I guess, huh?

I hope not,
but you never know.

Maybe you'd like
to have me stick around.

Yeah, maybe you'd better.


Is that Chester there?

Yeah. He's been
watching Springer for me.

Where is he?

Well, he's still
there, Mr. Dillon,

but I thought I better
come and tell you

before it got to be 12:00. Tell me what?

He's been bellied up to
the bar the whole time.

He has? Yeah, just one
glassful after another.

But he don't
show it much.

I mean, he ain't what
you'd call drunk.

Oh, yeah? He's getting
ready to use his gun.

I'm gonna go stop him.

You stay here with Doc.

Well, Marshal.

I hear you've
been drinking.

Not too much.

Thought you never drank.

Never did before.

Well, you started
too late.

You haven't got time
to find your man now.

You're leaving Dodge.

I've found my man, Marshal.

How do you mean?


I'm gonna kill you, Marshal.

Who hired you?

Let's draw.

I feel like it now.

Come on, let's draw.

Don't be a fool- you're drunk.

I ain't drunk.

I'm stone-cold sober.

I'm gonna kill you...

and then I'll be
all right again.

He's still breathing, Doc.

Yeah, but I don't
know for how long.

Listen, I was the one
he was after, Doc.

You've got to keep him alive
till I find out who hired him.

Well, let's get him up to the office
- I'll do what I can.

I'll go on ahead.

Yeah, give me
a hand, Chester.



I shouldn't have tried it.

Who hired you, Springer?

Who was it?

I had to do it.


Yuma Prison.

Yuma Prison?

Two years.

I come out scared.

I lost my nerve

in that prison.

What'd you take
this job for?

I had to.

Springer, who hired you?

I did.


I hired me.

I had to face
somebody like you...

to get my nerve back.

S... Somebody...

who was the best.

Don't you understand?


Yeah, I understand.


it didn't work out.

It didn't...


at all.

Hired himself, huh?


And it cost him.

Cost him everything he had.