Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 3, Episode 12 - How to Kill a Woman - full transcript

Matt investigates why a gunman is harassing station master Jesse Daggett by killing his passengers in cold blood, when things reach a climax after a female passenger is shot dead.

...starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.


Ho! Ho!

Ho! Hold!

Throw down the rifle.

Now the box.

Step outside.


I said get out.

Let's have them.


You just gonna leave him there?

He'll keep till you get back
from Dodge tomorrow.

Then you can have that fella,
Daggett, come out and bury him.

He's real good
with a shovel.

Now, get.

Come on!

All right,
let's go, haw!

Come on, let's go,
boy, let's go!


Forever more,
I thought I was doing good

just to hit it when it
was sitting still there.

Well, you are doing
good, Chester.

Try it again.
Well, all right.

This time, I'm gonna do it
like the gun fanners do it.

I'm just gonna
pulverize that log.

You know, a lot of them
gunmen swore by it, fanning.

All right, give it a try. All right.

Kind of tore it
on the hammer.

Looks like it's safer
in front of that gun

than it is
behind it, huh?

Yeah, looks like it.


Marshal... Marshal Dillon?


Hello, Jim.

Got trouble, Marshal.

Stage was held up.

One of my passengers
shot down in cold blood.

Meanest thing
I ever seen.

Where'd this happen,

Other side of
Wagon Bed Springs,

between there and Jesse
Daggett's. Daggett's?

He runs the stage station
out near the Colorado line.

I think Daggett's
in on this, Marshal.

What makes you
think that, Jim?

He knew I was carrying gold.

When we was having breakfast
out there at the station,

I seen Daggett talking
to as cursed a looking gunman

as you'd want.

The fella rode off,
left before we did.

Now I figure as how he...
he went somewhere

and changed his horse and outfit

and waited
on down the road for us.

Was he alone?

With his face covered.

I didn't have nobody
riding shotgun.

Figured he'd give it away,

you know,
that I was carrying gold.


Well, look, maybe you'd better
take the body to Long Neck,

'cause he'll handle
the burial for you.

Well, he made me leave
the body out there, Marshal.

Said when I got back,
I was to tell Jesse Daggett

to go out and
bury him.


Well, all right, Jim.

We'll ride out there
with you tomorrow.

You, uh,
bring a shovel along.

I'll bury him then.

All right, Marshal.

Haw! Let's go.


Well, I must say,
miss, uh,

that having such a
pretty fellow traveler

makes riding a stagecoach
just pure pleasure

for me.

Might I ask
where you're going, miss?

My wife and I
are going to Santa Fe

for our honeymoon.

Does that answer
your question?

Well, um, yes.

I didn't mean...

Sure brings to mind another one.

Ho! Hold!

Well, looks like we won't need
that shovel after all, Jim.

Let's get going.

Ho! Hold!

Well, you got 20 minutes.

The food's bad,

but it's clean.

Supper's on the table.

Like to freshen up, ma'am,
it's out in back.

Well, I'm hungry enough,
let's try it.

I'm for that.


Howdy... Marshal.

Gonna be, uh, cold this winter.

I, uh... feel a chill
in the air already.

Yep, I'll have to lay in
some more whiskey pretty soon.

Oh, I just kind
of figured you

to make your own
whiskey, Daggett.

I do, Marshal.

Got five barrels of corn

buried on the road
out there.

Stage and horses keep them
shook up proper that way.

You had the station long,

Three years,
come spring.

Put the place up myself.

Pawnee try to burn it down
every now and then,

but my luck's been good,
and I'm still here.

Ah, you plan to stay,
I guess, then, huh?

A man's plans
are his own, Marshal.

Just an idle
question, Daggett.

It's all right.

I think I'd kind of
like it around here.

You have no neighbors,
but you got a lot

of company
passing through.

Ain't all good company.

A lot of people travel,
Daggett, good and bad.

That's right.

Somebody did
us a favor.

We thought we'd have
a grave to dig today.

I did that, Marshal.

Fella come by yesterday,

said there was
a dead man out there,

so I went out
and buried him.

This is all
that was on him.

Looked like he
had been robbed.

He was.

He was robbed and murdered.

Like you say, Marshal,

all sorts of people
come through here, good and bad.

Well, folks,
we're pulling out.

Jim, I think we'll
be staying on a while.

I figured you would be, Marshal.

Well... Mr. Dillon, I
think I'll go to bed.

Figured you fellas
might like to join me.

Always have a little touch
before I turn in.

Mr. Dillon?

Well, that, uh,
sounds pretty good.

Yeah, I might not
mind a taste.

That's... that
will do her.

Here's to you.


Ah... well, good corn whiskey
is hard to find.

Has the right taste.

Well, but I think
I will go to bed.

Have another, Marshal?

Well, might have another
little short one, I guess.

You know, I, uh...
just been thinking

about that stagecoach
that was robbed the other day.

Can't figure out a man
shooting somebody down

in cold blood like that.

Might have been
a mistake.

Gun might have gone
off by accident.


Might have.

You think it did?

What I think won't raise
the dead, Marshal.

Might keep a few more
from dying, though.

I figured that's what you
were doing down here,

looking for that fella.

Guess it's no secret.

No, of course it isn't.

You're welcome to stay
as long as you like.


Looks like it might
take some time.

Guess that's what
you're paid for.

Jim Buck thinks
it might be that gunman

that was around here talking
to you the day of the holdup.

That was Nat Pilcher.

I don't care
what Jim Buck thinks.

You know, it's not gonna help
your business

or the stage lines if any
more passengers get killed

around here, Daggett.

It won't, for sure.

Everybody expects a stage
to get held up

once in a while,
but that's not the same

as passengers
being shot down for nothing.

I can't figure
this man out.

Not unless he's just
a born killer.

Might have had a lot of reasons.

Men are all different.

Guess that's why I'm a lawman
and you run a stage station.

All right, Marshal, I'm gonna
tell you something, but it ain't

what you want to hear. You don't
have to tell me anything, Daggett.

I believe in
letting a man

kill his own
snakes, Marshal.

Well... maybe I'll
get lucky and kill mine.

You don't get lucky.

A man's born
with his luck,

and he just goes
on using it up

till it gives
out on him.

Guess I could use
some of your luck, Daggett.

No, sir.

This business is between
you and that killer.

I won't interfere,
and I won't help.

Even though the man
was murdered for nothing?

Let dog eat dog, I say.

Hope you won't regret that.

One more regret
won't break me, Marshal.

I'm not so sure, Daggett.

Ho! Hold!

You want to wash up,

there's a basin
of water out back.

You got 20 minutes.

Hello, Jim.


Well, I wish I had
a job like yours.

Nothing to do
but sit around,

play cards
and drink whiskey.

I wouldn't call that
whiskey myself.

Well, that'd take
the beak off a buzzard.


Well, you done anything
about finding Daggett's friend?

Jim, if I did find him,
I couldn't prove anything.

Well, you might just
shoot him for luck.

Probably just some cowboy
passing through, Jim.


Anyway, I got no gold
aboard this trip.

Oh, well, then there's
no trouble, is there?

Well, here comes
another pilgrim for supper.

No, I guess it ain't either.

Hello, Jesse.

I heard there was
a marshal here.

That's right.
What can I do for you?


You can't do anything
for me, Marshal.

That so?

I just want to see
what a marshal looks like.

A live one.

You're looking
at one, mister.

Hey, you're touchy,
ain't you, Marshal?

Real touchy.

I don't aim to start no trouble,
I just came in to say hello.

Friendly like.

What's your name?


Nat Pilcher.

Is that so?


I'm a friend of Jesse Daggett.

An old friend.

Ain't I, Jesse?

Where you from?
What do you do?

I'm a cowboy, Marshal.

Know anybody needs a good hand?

What do you do besides ride?

Funny you should ask that.

Is it?

You being a lawman, it is.

Ever hear of Charlie Hall,
sheriff over

in New Mexico?

I have.

They say Clay Allison shot him.

That's what they say, Marshal.

But I know for a fact
it wasn't Clay that killed him.

Nice meeting you,

See you later.


There's a thoroughly
mean man,

if I ever seen
one, Mr. Dillon.

Be just as easy
as pie for him

to ride right up and
just plain kill somebody.

He's your man, Marshal.

He's got to be.

Supper's ready.

Haw! Haw!

Come on!

Be in Dodge tonight,
back here tomorrow.

Yeah, if he doesn't
get shot up.

Not carrying any
gold this trip.

What was Nat Pilcher
doing here?

Looking for
you, I guess.

Seems funny.

All he did was to remind me
what a hard case he is.

Didn't seem to have much effect.

You're still here.

Should've gone back

to Dodge,

Why, Daggett?

Things will work out here
all right without you.

That's all, Marshal.

Things will work out here
all right without you.

Daggett, uh...


I know it may seem like I'm
meddling in your affairs here,

but, after all, a stagecoach
was robbed, a man was killed.

Guess that
kind of makes it

my affair, too.

Want to thank you for knowing

I had nothing to do
with all that, Marshal.

I'm pretty sure of that now,

but, uh, I'm still not going
back to Dodge without a man.

You know, Daggett, uh,

you ought to plant
some trees around here.

It'd kind of
improve the place.

Not enough water.

Why don't you
dig for it?

You'll never get
a woman to marry you

unless you got
some trees around.

Thought to have a
woman out here once

when I first planned about
running the stage station.

Was over in
New Mexico.

Seems like a
long time ago.

Well, I guess things
don't always work out.

I was might fond of her,

But I lost her.

Been a little lonely ever since.

You're lucky, Daggett.

Least you came close.

That's more than some men do.


I came close.

It's the first time
that I ever sorted beans

and lost money
at the same time.

Ho! Ha!


Is that the
stage already?

I don't know.

Just think of that.

Jim Buck's been clear
to Dodge and back

while we just been
sitting there.

Well, waiting is the
hardest part, Chester.

Hope it pays off
in something besides beans.

Jim, what happened to you?

They stopped me
again, Marshal.

By heaven, I'm going after
him now if you don't.

Take a look
in the coach.

Is she dead, Jim?

Of course she's dead.

Where's your
other passengers, Jim?

There ain't any.

She was the only one
aboard this trip.

Give you a hand.

Hurt bad?

In the shoulder.

Take a look.

He knocked me
off the box.

I wasn't gonna
stop at all.

Then he just rode up,
ordered her out,

put a bullet in
her and rode off.

You think
it was Pilcher?

Who else
would it be?

You seen him.

You know what
he's like.

Had to be him.

Take a look in the
coach, Daggett.

Take a good look.

And tell me what you
think of killing women.

How do you feel
about it now, Daggett?

You still willing
to let dog eat dog?

Let me tell you

If you know
anything about this,

anything at all,
and you're not talking,

you're as guilty as
the man that killed her.

Look at him,

I told you.

I told you he
was in on this.

Maybe you're right, Jim.

I know I'm right.

After he shot her, he made me
put her back in the coach.

Then he says to me, he says,
"Take her to the stage station.

Tell Daggett here's a
little present for him."


Shh! Shh!

He just rode out.

What time is it?

It's about an hour
before dawn.

Come on, let's go.

You think he's gonna
meet Pilcher, Mr. Dillon?

Well, he's sure
gonna try, Chester.

Well, we've been going
ten miles already.

Yeah, about that,
I wish we hadn't

let him get so far
ahead of us.

Well, we're right on
his trail, though.


So you followed me,
huh, Marshal?

You bad hurt?

Bad enough.


I'd have killed him,
but my gun didn't go off.

No luck.

No luck at all.

Just stood there and shot me.

You get any idea where he went?

Said he was going
back to the station.

Get you.

You know, I would've come
with you this morning, Daggett.

Wasn't your business.

It was between
me and Pilcher.

He come here to devil me.

And finally killing that woman,

he knew I couldn't stand that.

You mean to say he killed that
woman and that other passenger

just to prod you into a fight?


Why didn't he just
kill you outright?

That's what
he was doing, Marshal.

Little bit at a time.

Killing everything
that mattered to me.

He must have
hated you pretty bad.

Oh, he did.

I had a wife out in New Mexico.

I caught her with Nat Pilcher.

I didn't shoot him.

Shot her instead.

You kill her?

I don't think he cared so much
if I killed him,

but... I guess

he didn't like losing her
any more than I did.

Been after me ever since.

You know, I could've stopped
this whole thing, Daggett.

You can have him now.

Chester will stay here
with you, Daggett.

I'm gonna ride back
to the station.


it's all the same to you, I'd...

just as soon die alone.

Your privilege,

About time you got here.

How's your shoulder, Jim?

I got to get to Dodge somehow
and see the Doc.

We'll get you there all
right. Where's Pilcher?

Good morning, Marshal.

Hello, Pilcher.

You've been riding.

So have you.

Man like me
rides a lot, Marshal.

You should've kept
on riding, Pilcher.

I wanted to see you again
before I left, Marshal.

That's what Jesse
Daggett tells me.

I'm gonna kill you, Marshal.

I been looking
forward to it.

Chester, take the horses
around the corner,

will you?

Now, you can still
drop your gun belt

and take your chances in court.

I figure my chances are a sight
better with you, Marshal.

It's your choice.

It's always been
my choice.

Except for the night
Jesse Daggett shot his wife.

It doesn't matter much now,
does it?

To me, it does.

Mr. Dillon!


Tell you, I never heard
so many shots so quick.

He was pretty
fast, Chester.

That just goes
to show you

that fanning isn't
too accurate there.

No, no.

I guess not.

What was it
all about, Marshal?

A woman.

Now, Jim, I'll help
you hitch up your team

and drive
back to town.

I'd be grateful
for that.

We'll have to go a little bit
out of our way first, though.

Why's that, Marshal?

Pick up Jesse



His luck ran all the
way out this morning.

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