Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 3, Episode 29 - Laughing Gas - full transcript

When town bully Cloud Marsh experiences public humiliation during a laughing gas show, he and his surly brothers assault proprietor Earle Stafford and attempt to molest his kind-hearted wife.

...starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

Hot corn, mister?

Want to buy
a hot corn?

Has the show started?

It's been going about a
quarter of an hour, mister.

Oh, did Cloud Marsh
go in yet?

Well, I wouldn't
know, mister.

We're new to Dodge.

Cloud's been bragging
it won't do nothing to him.

The whole town's
waiting to see

that bully boy get
hit with laughing gas.

Breathe in... out...

That's right.

In... out...

Now, it hasn't hurt
him a bit, folks.

He'll snap to in a minute,

and then you'll
see a show.

We don't want
to lose our barber.

I sure ain't gonna let
him work on me tomorrow.

He's coming
out of it now.

Feels good, don't it?

Hey, what's going on?

What is this?


Hey, this is crazy.

You're drunk, Teeters.

That's right.

I'm drunk.

Lorne Teeters is drunk!

Wait a minute.

You fellas
know I don't drink.

What'll you tell
your wife, Teeters?

It's just a little
scientific experiment.

Oh, say.

Could I have a bottle
of this stuff

to take home to my wife?

She hasn't
laughed in years!

Well, there's no way you
can take it home, mister,

but I can give you
another whiff.

Oh, no, thanks, no.

I've had one
whiff too many.

Oh, you don't
have to shove me.

All right, gentlemen,
who's next?

Who's next to try the amazing
effects of laughing gas?

You may sing,
you may dance,

you may surprise yourself.

Ah, there you are, mister.

A nickel.

A nickel for
the corn, mister.

You owe me a nickel.

Show's almost
over, mister.

It's true, ain't it?

They give you a dollar to get up
there and take that gas?

Yes, sir.
That's right.

How much?

25 cents.

I thought you said
the show was almost over.

Well, 15 cents then.

You owe me a nickel!

A nickel for the corn!

You may sing,
you may dance,

you may even cry.

One dollar to any
good sport who volunteers.

Who's next, gentlemen?

I thought Cloud Marsh
was gonna volunteer.

Yeah, where's
Cloud Marsh?

Oh, there he is!
There he is!

Come on, come on!

Make good on your brag!

You say it pays a dollar?

That's right, mister.

One dollar for the thrill
of your life.

Guaranteed not to harm?


That's right, mister.

Don't hurt that big bully.

Who said that?

Go on, Cloud.

You claimed it couldn't
have no affect on you.

I'm going!

Don't you be
so mouthy, here?

Yeah, yeah.

What's this gas
supposed make you do?

Laugh, sing, dance-

maybe even fight.

You become your
natural self.

Won't do nothing to me.

Hadn't failed yet, mister.

But don't take it unless
you're a good sport.

He'll be all right.

Go ahead, Cloud.
Go ahead.

I'm going!

Won't do nothing to me!


Where's my pay?

Sit down.

Now, I'm just gonna
put this here

nozzle in your mouth,
and you breathe deep.



Breathe steady,
that's right.


...out- now, now, now,
don't fight it.

Don't fight it,
just breathe in.

Nice and easy,
that's right.



Can't hurt him
a bit, folks.

He'll come to
in just a minute.

Cloud Marsh ain't so bad...
when he's asleep.

Do us a favor,

put that big bully
under forever.


Feel anything, Cloud?

I'm... I'm gonna smash you.

I'm gonna

smash you for this!

Take it easy, mister.

It's all in fun.

Who wants to fight?!

I'll fight anybody in the place!

Poor Cloud.

Who said that?

I'll kill whoever said that!

I know you don't like me
and my brothers.

But we'll fight anybody,

Always, always laughing at us
behind our backs, ain't ya?

Have a good cry, Cloud.

We'll get you for this.

We'll get you for good!

Maybe you better
leave now- come on.

Can't you
take it, Cloud?

Fix you!
Poor Cloud!

Hey! Look, mister...

Wait, wait! Wait!
Hold it! Wait!

There are some more bottles
in the back room.

The show will continue
in just a minute.

Thank you, Red.

Thanks, Red.

Doc, did you ever take
any of that laughing gas?

Well, yes.

I did, a long time ago-
once, in medical school.

What is it, anyhow?

Oh, well,
it's nitrous oxide.

It's a... it's
an anesthetic's what it is.

It's also an intoxicant.

And pretty dangerous,
if you get too much of it.

Well, in other words,
you don't recommend

that we start using it here,
instead of whiskey, huh?

Listen, the whiskey
you serve here

is dangerous enough.

Oh? Except when it's
on the house.

Well, how was the
show, Chester?


it, it was a good show.

It really was.

That Lorne Teeters,
I'll tell you,

he liked to laughed
hisself silly.

And I'll bet you
got right up there

on the stage, too,
didn't you, Chester?

No, no, I didn't, Doc.

I... I was going to-
no, I really was.

I was gonna get up there,

but that,
that Cloud Marsh,

he got up there and made
a big ruckus out of it all.

Made a ruckus- what?

Oh, he got up there
and they give him

this laughing gas, didn't
make him laugh at all.

He just got mean,
wanted to fight everybody

and just started
to bawl and to cry.

He wound up
trying to break up

the laughing gas thing.

Well... good thing them
two ornery brothers of his

was here instead
of over there, huh, Matt?

Oh, yeah.


you know, I want
to say something to you.

I want to compliment you

on your excellent taste
in entertainment.

Yeah, well, thanks, Doc.

I mean, you know,
a feller's got to have

some kind
of an entertainment.

Hey, Wat, Sage-

come on outside!

Hey, it's Crybaby Cloud.

Want a little
more gas, Cloud?

Now, don't you
start ragging me.

I've had about
all I can take tonight!

Poor Cloud.

When I said I wouldn't take
no more, I meant it.

Hold it, Cloud.

Get your hand off that gun.

Come on!

Here, dear.

Ah... We'll be able
to pull out at daybreak.

Have the team hitched up
and ready first thing.

Well, when you get done
out here, come on inside.

I got the coffee on.

Uh-huh, I will.

Hey, Laughing Gas.

What is this?

Let go of me!

We're going to teach you
a little lesson, mister.

You want to fight, huh?

Good. Good.

Real, real good!


Just rest, that's
the main thing now.

Well, how long
will he be that way?

Unconscious, I mean.

Well, that's a little
hard to say.

It, uh, take a day
or two maybe,

sometimes a week or more.

We'll just have to wait.

Isn't there
something I can do?

Yes. You've got
to let him rest.

Well, Mrs. Stafford,
are you, uh, ready to sign

a complaint against
the Marsh Brothers?

Do I have to?

Well, I can't put them
in jail if you don't.

Well, we don't want
no trouble, Marshal.

Mrs. Stafford, your
husband was almost killed.

I know, but Earl won't want
no trouble, I know him.

He-He'll just
want to get well,

and for us to get
out of Dodge.

Well, now,
Earl wasn't always

the kind to run
from trouble.

He just wants to leave
this town, Marshal.

I don't think you understand me,
Mrs. Stafford.

I know who Earl is.

How do you know?

I checked the records.

They said a lot about
Ernie Stubblefield.

That's all behind us, Marshal.

Earl's forgot all about ever
being Ernie Stubblefield.

And he's not going to stay here
and fight them Marshes.

I'm not going to let him
start all over again.

I'm sorry, Mrs. Stafford,

but there's
nothing I can do

if you don't sign
a complaint.

Do you know what would happen
if Earl stayed here?

He'd have it out with them

and then there'd be others
wanting to face him.

The whole terrible business
would start all over again.

He's a sweet-minded man,

He just wants to be
left alone and to forget.

Now, what about all these
shows you're putting on?

Isn't that kind
of dangerous,

getting men all
riled up on that stuff?

No, we hardly ever
have any trouble.

Most everybody's
a good sport about it.

Well... there are all
kinds of men in Dodge.

I know.

We didn't want to stop here,

but we were
running short of money.

Most of the time,
we stop at little places.

I know it don't
sound like much,

but we camp by
creeks and rivers

and Earl
fishes or hunts.

We're happy.

He can forget all about ever
being Ernie Stubblefield.

When did he change his name?

Well, after he got
out of prison,

he came to me
in Missouri.

He was sick
of himself, Marshal;

just sick of all
the fighting and killing.

He pleaded with me to marry him,
so he could start over.

When I found out
he meant it, we got married.

As Mr. and Mrs. Stafford.

We both knew, as long as he
was Ernie Stubblefield,

there'd never be any peace.

Does he still keep his gun?

He keeps it in the top
of the trunk, Marshal.

I see.

No, you don't.

I can see that you don't.

Earl will never use it.

He's changed.

Well, I'm sure he is.

One day, he'll get rid of it.

I know he will.


I take it you're not going
to sign a complaint, then.


I'm not gonna sign nothin'.

Mr. Dillon, you know,
it's just awful hard

to believe that a man
like Mr. Stafford there

was ever in prison.

Yeah, well, he had
quite a reputation

up there on the Red
River- four killings.

Four killings?

He did time for
the last one.

Well, let's get back
to the office, huh?

Are you gonna go
back to the office?

No, I want to look
around town a little bit first.

Mr. Dillon, you think

that Ernie Stubblefield's
gonna go-

I mean, just pick up and
leave without a fight,

after what they
done to him?

Well, I don't know,

What would you do
if you had

a good woman
like that for a wife?

Well, I... I'd do like
she said, I guess.

Are... Are you looking
for somebody?

I'm looking
for Cloud Marsh.

I want to throw him in jail
till Stafford leaves town.

John Brown come down
to the creek,

murdered all five
of them.

Ask young Wat over there;
he ought to know.

That's what he
was named for-

Pottawatomie County.

Come to think of it,
Old Man Marsh

named them other two boys

for the counties
they was born in, too:


and Cloud.

Yes, sir...

Old Man Marsh
moved around so much,

he finally started
naming his children

for the counties
they was born in.

Ain't that
right, boys?

Quiet, Andrews.

You'll get yourself
in trouble

talking like that.


he's just feeling
his liquor.

Ain't you, old man?


I didn't mean nothing
agin you, boys.

Uh, I was just
telling the facts.

Nah, he don't
mean nothing.

He just likes to drink.

Is that right,
old man?

You like
your liquor?

One or two drinks
to get started in the morning.

Oh, just a drink
or two, huh?

Well, I don't think
two drinks are enough

for an old man
in the morning.


I think you better
have a little more,

get started right.

Hold it!

Just his mornin'
drink, Marshal.

You're coming
with me, Cloud.

What for?

Last night,
disturbing the peace,

breaking up that
man's equipment.

I ain't goin'
to no jail.

All right, you two,
get out of here.

Let's go.

Okay, Marshal,

but you ain't gonna
hold me for long.

There it is,

The judge just
signed it.

Cloud Marsh to be
released forthwith.

He was under the
influence of gas

when it happened.

The judge says he
wasn't responsible.

Turn him loose, Chester.

Yes, sir.

Well, you don't care
how you make a living, do you?

Lawyer can't be choosy on
the frontier, Marshal.

Let's get going.

Well, I'll swan
to goodness, Mr. Dillon,

I just don't know
what things is comin' to.

I think I'll go out
and get some fresh air.

Oh, Matt!


How are you?

Say, how's, uh...
how's Earl Stafford feeling?

Well, that's what I
come to tell ya.

He's, uh... he's
still unconscious,

but I think he's resting
a little easier.

But, you know,
Mrs. Stafford's gonna

put on that
show tonight.

She is?

By herself?

What she said.

You mean, with Earl sick
in the back room like that?

Well, I'll tell
you how it is.

You see, she's...
she's worried.

Worried about bills,
everything, even mine.

I... I told her not
to bother about it,

but she's proud,
you know, and...

Well, she says
she knows how

to put the show on by
herself, she said.

Well, yeah, but...

she ought to have
some help with that.

That's what I think.

You know, a woman alone
putting on a show

for a bunch
of roughnecks like that,

that's not good.
I know.

What if I send
Chester over there?


Good golly, you don't
think he'd do it, do you?

You want
to make a bet?

Oh, here... better
lead him out of here.

Just take him out
to the front.

Don't let him
hurt nobody.

Thank you, thank you
very much, Chester Goode.


Uh, that ends our show
for tonight.

Thank you all
for coming.

Uh, uh,
did... did...

Was I a help
to you, ma'am?

I thought you were just
wonderful, Mr. Goode.

Well, sure don't look
like there's gonna

be any trouble tonight.

Think maybe I better go back
and have a look at Earl.

All right, Doc.

I'm going over at
the Long Branch.

I'll see you there later. All right.

Hello, Ransom.

Hello, Marshal.

How drunk are
you tonight?

No more than usual,


How many saloons you been in?

All of them.

Last one was the Texas Trail.

Did you see
the Marsh brothers anywhere?

Yeah, they was there
when I left.

The Texas Trail, I mean.


Ransom, I want you to
do something for me.

Sure, Marshal.

All right, now, here.

Take this.

Go on back over there
to the Texas Trail

and buy yourself
a drink.

But keep your eye
on those Marsh brothers.

And when they leave there,
I want you

to come right back here
and tell me.

Can you do that?

Sure can, Marshal.

All right.

Oh, excuse me.

Come on, you
better get going.

Hey, Doc.

How are you, Doc?

And how's
Stafford tonight?

Well, he's... he's a
little easier tonight.

He opened his
eyes a while ago-

went right back
to sleep, though.

Matt, uh, Mrs. Stafford
wanted me to tell you

she'd like to leave
Dodge tomorrow.

Well, he's not able
to travel, is he?

Well, I don't
think he ought to,

but she wants to go.

What's she so anxious
to leave for?

Oh, well, she's...
she's pretty sick

of this town,
I'll tell you that.

Well, it's more
than that.

Her husband's
an ex-gunman.

She's afraid
he's gonna go back

to wearing a gun
after the beating he took.

An ex-gunman, huh?

I've never seen
a reformed one yet.

Well, I hope you're
wrong about him.

He's a nice fella.

Yeah, well...

Well, how about a drink?

On the house, of course.

Oh, well,
of course.

Well, certainly.

Well, I thought
you said you

were gonna come
right on over.

Well, I was, Doc,
but Mrs. Stafford

give me a piece of pie and
made me a cup of coffee

for helping her out
tonight, you know.

Oh. She's a real nice woman.

She really is.

It's a good thing you didn't
help her out any more.


She'd have probably been up
all night cooking for you.

Be eating her out
of house and home.


they left the Texas Trail.

Where'd they go?

They said something
about giving a man

some of his own medicine.

Well, who in the world
are you talking about?

Oh, it's the
Marsh brothers.

I think they're planning
to give Stafford

some of that gas.

I put on a show for you.

Now you're gonna put on
a little show for me.

Shove her in there,
boys- go on.

You may sing,

you may dance,

you may make a fool
of yourself, huh?

And all for only
one dollar.

Breathe in...

...out, in, out...

She may sing,
she may dance.

She may surprise

She may even
surprise you.

She'll come out of it
in a minute, folks.

Then, you'll see
some fun.

Come on... come on,
dance for us.

Sing us a little song, huh? It's a show.

Come on, dance.

Come on, you can dance!

Can't you?
Can't you dance?

Please let me go!

Well, now, you ain't
happy at all.

Come on, give us a show!

Please, stop!

Maybe you need a
little more gas.

Yeah, give her
another smell, boys.





Turn around, Cloud.

This way.

Hold it!

Don't shoot!

Oh, no...

He shot her!

Just a minute...

Just a minute.

She hasn't been shot.


You're all right.

Oh! Oh!
You killed him!

No, he didn't,
Mrs. Stafford.

I killed him.

Is that true?

You shot him?

She must've spoiled your aim.

Can we leave now,

Dodge, I mean,

Well, what do
you think, Doc?

Is he, uh... Well, he's made it this far.

I don't know why not.

All right;
I'll go pack right now,

and we'll leave

All right, honey.

We'll leave tonight.

There you are,
Mr. Dillon.

Thank you, Chester.

You know, Mister...

Oh, Chester, I am
gonna have a cup

of that coffee,
on second thought.

Well, all right, Doc.

You know, Mr. Dillon,
did you notice the look

on that Mrs. Stafford's face
when she found out

it wasn't Earl
that killed that Cloud?

Oh, I'd sure like to had
a picture of that.

There you are, Doc. Oh, thanks, Chester.


That was a pretty darn
nice thing you did.

What do you mean?

Well, I examined Cloud
Marsh, too, you know.


Matt shot him
in the hand.

Bullet that killed him came
from the other direction.

On the hand?

Matt, you were aiming
at his hand.

Earl Stafford
killed Cloud Marsh,

and you know it.

By golly, that was a
pretty nice thing you did.

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