Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 3, Episode 2 - Gun for Chester - full transcript

Chester claims the new stranger in town is really there to kill him and Matt investigates, but remains skeptical even after Chester is shot in the arm by an unseen person.

...starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

If a friend spends
most of his time telling you

how he once bought
the ugliest horse in Texas,



or how he nearly got trapped
into marrying a city gal,

or how his pa was meaner
than an acre of snakes,

well, you usually don't pay
much attention.

But if he tells you
a man's out to murder him

and he starts wearing a gun
and even calls the man out,

well, then you listen
pretty hard.

I know.
Matt Dillon, US Marshal.

Well, you got back
all right, Chester.

Oh, yeah, well, I didn't go
on a very dangerous mission.

Just went out
to Mrs. Peabody's

for dinner.

Mrs. Peabody's?



Yeah. Why, Chester, she's 80 years old.

Well, I didn't go out there
to do no courting

or nothing like that.

She's a fine old lady.

She's an awful good cook, too.

Oh, I tell you, she can make
the best doggone speckledy gravy

that I ever ate.

Maybe you're smarter
than I thought you was, Chester.

Yeah.

Take care of my horse?

Yes, that'll cost you
50 cents a day,

that includes grain.

That's a fair enough price.

You can put him right in here.

Looks like you've been
riding a long way.

Does it?

Oh, I didn't mean
to be prying.

That's all right.

I'll take it you was
interested in the horse.

Sure.

You got a good hotel here?

Dodge House is the best.
Good.

I'll need a drink.

I heard the Long Branch.

Most everybody has.

Well, I'll pay you
when I leave, all right?

Sure.

Hello.

You going hunting?

Uh... no. Uh...

I saw a lot of wild turkey

down by the Arkansas
yesterday.

Oh, yeah, that...
that's fine.

What's the matter,
some kind of trouble?

No.

Well, what's wrong?

Mr. Dillon, you've-you've...

you've heard me
talk about Stone County.

Missouri?
Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah, according to you,
that's a hideout for bandits.

Yes, sir, that's right.
That's exactly what it is.

You know,
they got a saying down there

that if the law ever did
catch any of them,

there wouldn't be enough good
men there to act as a jury

to try the bad ones.

Yeah, I remember,

but you're a long way from
Stone County now, Chester.

Well, part of it
moved up here.

Asa Ledbetter,
he's in Dodge.

Who's Asa Ledbetter?

Is he a bandit?

Well, uh, uh... no.

Well?

Well, he's here for
one reason, Mr. Dillon,

and one reason only.

What's that?
That's to kill me.

Yes, sir, that's right.
He's here to kill me.

All right, Chester,
now, look,

before you go out
gunning for him,

suppose you tell me why
he's here to kill you.

Uh... uh...

well, uh...

Well, I don't see
that it matters why.

All right,
where is he?

He went to get him a room
at the Dodge House

and he was going over
to Long Branch to get a drink.

Well, I guess I'll have
to go talk to him.

Maybe he'll tell me
what this is all about.

Well, no,
Mr. Dillon,

I-I-I just as soon
that you wouldn't.

Well, Chester, look,
I don't like to interfere,

but my job is to keep people
from getting killed.

Yeah.
And that includes you.

Now maybe you better
stay here till I get back.

Well...

Hello, stranger.

Hello.

Your name Asa Ledbetter?

What you want with
Asa Ledbetter?

I'm just wondering if
that's your name, that's all.

You seem to know already.

You're the marshal
here, huh?

Yeah.

All right,
I'm Asa Ledbetter.

Who told you my name?
Chester.

Chester?

Chester Goode.

Well, okay, Marshal,
he got my name right,

whoever he is.

Mm, you're saying
you don't know him, huh?

I never heard of
no Chester Goode.

I'm glad to meet you,
though. Buy you a drink?

No, thanks.

Tell me, where are you
from, Ledbetter?

East of here.

Missouri?
Up in there. Why?

I'm just curious.

You sure are, ain't ya?

Now, Marshal, what's
this all about anyway?

I'll tell you, Ledbetter,

this Chester thinks
you came here to kill him.

What?

Well, did you?

No, how could I?

I never even heard of him.

Besides, I don't go around
murdering people.

Well, I hope not.

Now, Marshal, let me
tell you something.

I don't know as I like this
Chester or nobody else

dragging down my good name.

Don't worry, Ledbetter,
nobody is.

Not just yet anyway.

Well, did you
talk to him?

Yep.

So?

Chester...

you sure you don't have this man
mixed up with somebody else?

Well, no, not quite. Hardly.

Now, he claims
he never heard of you.

Oh, he's heard of me.

He's been looking for me

for years.

Look, Chester...

why don't you take a little
vacation for a few days.

Go on out fishing or hunting
or something.

I think it'd
do you good.

Mr. Dillon, you don't
believe me, do you?

Well, no,
I didn't say that.

No, well, you didn't
have to say it

in so many words.

I can't carry
this thing around.

Good. You don't
need it anyway.

A crazy idea
in the first place.

Good evening, Chester.

Oh, Miss Kitty.

Well, I didn't mean
to scare you.

No, no, you didn't.
Not really.

Won't you sit down?

Sure you don't mind?

No, of course not.

I've got to leave
in a minute, though.

I, uh, got to get over to
the store before it closes.

Still carrying
that gun around, huh?

Well, yes, I am.

It's been two days now,
nothing's happened yet.

Well, I ain't
run into him yet.

Oh.

I know him, Miss Kitty,
I know him.

He's just liable to be
waiting somewheres

to shoot me in the back.

Look, Miss Kitty,
I mean, it's all right.

I know that you don't
believe me, I don't mind.

I didn't say
I didn't believe you.

Well, I'll tell you
that Moss just told me

that he's been asking about
where do I live

and where do I eat and sleep

and all like that.

He's probably worried about you.

After all, he says
he doesn't even know you.

Oh, now he knows me.

Oh, Chester,

I didn't mean
to get this started.

Now let's just
forget it.

Well, I can't afford
to forget it, Miss Kitty.

I just... I can't
afford to forget it.

Oh, well, I...

I guess I better get over to
the store before it closes.

I've already paid.

Thank you.

Say, if you feel like it,

why don't you come on by
the Long Branch later.

I'll buy you a drink.

Well... all right, maybe
not tonight, but I will.

Good-bye, Miss Kitty.

Good-bye, Chester.

Whoo-hoo!
Whoo-hoo!

Hey, you now,
that's my horse.

You'll get it back, mister.
I just want those cowboys.

Well, you don't have to
take mine. Mr. Dillon!

Mr. Dillon!

Here.

He shot me. He shot me.

Who did?
Asa Ledbetter.

Where is he? Back there
in the alley somewheres.

All right,
get around the corner.

There's nobody back there.

Well, he was there.

He shot me.

I'd-a shot him back only
I didn't see him too good.

How bad is it? Oh, I don't
think it... nothing's broke.

It sure tore it up
good, though.

You see, I seen them
cowboys a-come

out of there a-hooping
and a-hollering and a-shooting

and I ducked
into the alley there.

You know, I think that
Asa Ledbetter just hired them

to set up a commotion so's
he could a shot at me.

Well, now just a minute.
If you ducked into that alley,

you were probably facing
the street, weren't you?

Well, yeah.

Yeah, well then, Ledbetter
would've been behind you.

This bullet entered
from the front.

Well, it was him,
I know it was.

You said you
didn't see him.

Well... no, I didn't
see him too good.

I was ducking too fast.

Yeah, and you caught
a stray bullet.

Chester, you're
worrying yourself

into seeing things
that aren't even there.

Now where are you going?

I'm going up to Doc's.

Chester.
Huh?

All right, I'll
talk to Ledbetter.

I'll see him.
Yeah.

Sure, you... you do that.

How many times a body
have to get shot

before they believe you anyway?

Asa Ledbetter
got a room here?

Why, yes,
he has, Marshal.

Is he in it?

Now I don't know.

I just this minute
got back from my supper.

Wasn't nobody
on the desk.

Which room is his?

Uh, 12, right over
your head there.

Okay, thanks.

Marshal...

what about them cowboys?

You're just gonna
let them get by with that?

They didn't shoot you,
did they?

Well, Marshal.

Evening, Ledbetter.

What is it this
time, Marshal?

How long you been
in your room, Ledbetter?

Oh, I don't know.
I was taking a nap

till them drunks out there
in the street woke me up.

You sure run a loose
town, Marshal.

Not that I'm complaining,
mind you.

Mm-hmm.

You still haven't said
what you want of me.

Chester claims you tried
to kill him a few minutes ago.

Marshal,

I'm getting sick and tired
of this Chester.

What's he trying to do, anyway?

He was pretty certain about it,
Ledbetter.

Does he claim he saw me?

No.

Well, then,
what's he talking about?

Now, Marshal,
he's bound and determined

to get me into some kind
of trouble, and I'm doggone

if I know why.

He must have some reason,
Ledbetter.

I'll be glad when
I find me a job

and get shed
of this town.

Never did hear nothing
good about Dodge, anyway.

We try to keep it
peaceful around here.

Yeah, well, guess
it's like they say:

You probably ain't got
enough good men left

to act as jury to
try the bad ones.

Where do they say
that, Ledbetter?

I don't know.
You've heard it.

Yeah. It's a saying
back in Missouri.

Stone County, I believe.

Oh, folks travel, they
move around, don't they?

Yeah. Yeah, they move
around a lot sometimes.

Now, look, Marshal,

if I come here
to kill a man,

what'd I be
waiting around for,

a change
in the weather?

It don't make sense,
does it?

No, it doesn't make sense.

Not any part of it.

Boy, I...
I tell you, Doc,

that-that hand
is stiffening up on me.

Oh, yeah, it's bound
to get stiff.

It'll be stiff
for a few days.

How's the patient, Doc?

Oh, he's all right.

It's nothing but
a little scratch.

A sc...?

I-I suppose that if I come
in here and I was scalped,

you'd say that somebody just
gave me too tight a haircut.

Well, no, I'd say
you're making

too big a fuss
about this thing.

It's not that bad.
Now put your hand...

Just never mind.
I'll do it.

Well, then, keep it in
there for a week or two,

and then you'll never
know you been hit.

It's just a mercy

that it wasn't my head,
that's all.

Chester, looks like
Asa Ledbetter was in his room

when it happened.

Is that-that's what
he told you, huh?

I said that's what
it looks like.

Yeah, yeah.

Chester, how long
has it been

since you had a real
good night's sleep?

Now, now, Doc,
don't-don't start that.

I'm telling you,
don't start that.

Well, now just a minute.
Just a minute.

You told me yourself
that you weren't sure

it was him out there.
Yeah.

Well, the next time
you will be sure it's him

and whether he's
there or not.

Are you finished?
Are you all through?

Well, now it's not gonna
help you to get mad at me.

It might.
It just might!

Well, now where in the
world you going now?

Who cares where I'm going!

He'll get over it, Doc.

Well, I guess he will.

But what I can't
figure is

has he got this
Ledbetter mixed up

with somebody else,
you suppose?

That's what I tried
to tell him.

Well, wouldn't it help
if he just come right out

and say why Ledbetter's
trying to kill him?

It would sure make his story
sound a lot more real anyway.

Well, certainly.

You know, I can't help
but be concerned

about where's
he's going, though.

He's in a terrible state.

It isn't like Chester
not to talk about things.

You know how
he usually rattles on.

Matt, come here.
Come here quick.

You gotta get down there
right now. Look.

Oh, he'd hate me
to interfere, Doc.

Well, he's gonna get
himself killed.

You got everybody in Dodge
believing you, Ledbetter,

but I know the truth.

I'm getting plumb good
and tired of you, mister.

Well, why don't you
do something about it?

I'm getting tired
of waiting.

Chester...
Now, Mr. Dillon, please,

just-just stay out
of this, will ya?

Look, I don't like gunfighting,
Chester,

no matter who's involved.

Well, Mr. Dillon,
I didn't start it.

He come to Dodge
to shoot me.

He's crazy, Marshal.

He ought to be
locked up.

Yeah, I'm crazy,
all right.

I'm crazy for not calling
you out before this.

Now you gonna fight,
or ain't ya?

I got no quarrel with you.

You're not picking
a very good time for a gunfight.

Huh? Oh. My left hand's
good enough for him.

You're not using
your head, Chester.

Now, look, fella,

why don't you go
get drunk or something?

Stand back, Mr. Dillon,
stand back.

All right, now. Now!

I ain't gonna
draw on ya.

Now, Marshal, you say
you won't have no gunfighting.

Well, get him
out of here.

When he said that,

he was talking
like a lawman.

But he's also my friend,
and he's gotta let me

settle this myself,
don't ya?

I don't like it,
but I'm afraid he's right.

I can't interfere
in Chester's fight.

But he's crazy.
He's a crazy, lying fool!

Now you draw!

Marshal, I can't take
no more of this.

Then draw!

Don't you think
you proved your point, Chester?

Come on.
Let's get out of here.

Ledbetter, you're
a dirty rotten

lying coward!

Come on.

Mr. Dillon, you're
with him, ain't ya?

You and Doc and Kitty
and everybody!

No, of course
we're not, Chester.

But how can you
expect me to help you

when you won't even tell me
what this is all about?

Well, that, that...

Oh, just leave me be.
Just leave me be!

I didn't interfere with you,
did I?

W... well, no.

Thanks for that much, anyway.

Where you going?

I'm gonna get me a drink.

Lots of drinks.

Ledbetter, this has
gone on long enough.

I said I can't
take no more of this.

I'm gonna find me a job
someplace else.

Good.

Never did think much
of this town anyhow.

Well, you're up late, Doc.

You been out
on a call?

Well, now what do you
think I've been doing,

out romancing
the ladies?

Well, you're
too old for that.

Oh, I'm too old, huh?

Well, let me tell
you something.

I can show all these
young bucks around here

a thing or two

if I was foolish enough
to take the time.

Yes, I guess you could
at that, huh?

Hello, Doc.
Moss.

Oh, Moss,
how'd you get in there?

I didn't see you go in.

I went in the back way,
Marshal.

Well, that's all right.

I'm just surprised
to see you is all.

Marshal, I brought Chester back.

Oh?

Ran into him up the street.

He was pretty drunk.
Drunk?

He didn't want anybody
to see him, I guess.

He asked me to bring him
in the back way.

Did you put him to bed?

I put him
in his cell.

That's where he said
he belonged.

Well, he was
right about that.

Well, he's pretty upset, Doc.

You know, he thinks
we're all against him.

Oh, nobody's against him,
Matt, you know that.

You probably have
to sit up

and hold his head
the whole night.

Well, I don't
know about that,

but I guess I'll sleep
in the office anyway.

He's gonna feel pretty rocky
in the morning.

Well, that'll
do him good.

He can contemplate
his sins.

Well, I'm kinda tired.
I'm going to bed, Matt.

I'll see you in the
morning. Good night, boys.

I'll go along with you, Doc.
Good night.

Good night, Marshal.

Good night.

? ?

? ?

Don't move.

Marshal,
what are you doing here?

I'm just trying to get
some sleep, Ledbetter.

You don't sleep here
in the office.

No,

no, this is Chester's bed,
all right.

Where is he?

I don't know.

I said where is
he, Marshal?

So you never heard
of Chester before, huh?

Of course I
heard of him.

What do you want with him?

He shot my kid brother.
He killed him.

What?

Back in Stone County.

He never told me that.

I reckon he's trying
to forget it.

What happened?

He shot him in cold blood.

Him and my little brother
was having a fight.

That doesn't sound like
cold blood to me.

Why don't you tell me the truth?

Why shouldn't I?

My poor brother wasn't
doing nothing.

He was just courting a girl,
that's all.

Of course, maybe he was doing it
a little rough like

and maybe he had had too much
to drink,

but that wasn't no reason
for Chester to try to stop it.

It must've been a little rough
like if Chester had to kill him.

I ain't here to argue that.
I want Chester.

I told you,
he's not here.

Where are you going?
Sit down.

Now don't be so
nervous, Ledbetter.

You got the gun.

Stay away from that door.

I'm just gonna close it.

What are you doing?!

Now get back there!

Where is he?

I said he's not here.

If he ain't back there,

there's just one
place he could be.

Why don't you go
find him then?

Sure, if he ain't
sleeping in here,

he's sleeping in one
of them cells.

That's why you banged
the door, ain't it?

Yeah. Yeah,
you walked right past him

when you came in here,
Ledbetter.

Get out of that doorway,
Marshal.

Nope.

I'm gonna shoot you
if you don't.

And you'll shoot Chester
if I do.

Move, I said!

No.

I'm gonna kill ya, Marshal.

I'm gonna do it!

Duck, Mr. Dillon! Duck!

Well, Matt,
he's all through.

Chester, for a man that had
a little too much to drink,

I'd say you did all right.

Oh, no, Doc, I just, you know,
happened to have the gun.

You... you locked me in.

You forgot to take the gun.

Yeah. That was
pretty careless of me.

Mr. Dillon, you know'd I had it

and you was gonna let him shoot
you so that, you know,

it'd wake me up.

So I guess that, uh...

well, I was wrong when I said
that nobody cared about me.

I-I, uh...

I'll get some air.

Well, I guess
it's all over.

Yeah.

Just don't understand

why he never wanted
to talk about it.

Unless it was...

Doc, you know,
some things a man

just doesn't like
to talk about.

I know. I didn't mean
it was anything

he'd be ashamed of.

It wasn't that.

I'm sure it wasn't.

What do you say we go out
and sit with him, huh?

Maybe he'd like to have
a little company.