Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 3, Episode 34 - The Big Con - full transcript

The Dodge City Bank's acting manager loses $20,000 of the bank's money when he imprudently makes a loan secured by a seemingly "can't lose" poker hand. Matt makes it apparent to the three "players" that he believes they actually worked together to defraud the bank, so they flee Dodge with Doc as a hostage.

...starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

Some of these Boot Hill men
lie here

with nothing but a saddle
blanket for a coffin,

and some of them who are
real poor without even that.

But they all died
the same way-

hard and fast,
and hating something.

You know, it's the hate
a man carries

that destroys him-
it's not the bullets.

Hate can twist and sicken him
till he's not good to anybody

including himself.

And that's a bad thing
to watch in any man.

Matt Dillon, U.S. Marshal.

Oh, good morning,
Marshal, Chester.

Mr. Hogg.

Something I can
help you with?

Well, I'll be with you
in a minute.

As soon as I get these
papers straightened out.


Oh, good morning,
Chester, Marshal.

Mr. Papp.

You taking money out,
Marshal, or putting it in?

Neither one, Mr. Papp.

There are just
government papers here.

Oh, of course.

Is Mr. Botkin around?

No, Mr. Botkin's in St. Louis
for several weeks.

He, uh, he left me in charge.
Can I help you?

Well, yeah, I want you
to take a look at this.

This is ten sections
down by Granby Wells.

The government lost that
case, you remember?

I remember.
So did the bank.

There's no point in saving
this then, is there?


I haven't a minute to lose.

Yes, sir, what
can I do for you?

I want to borrow
some money, immediately.

Well, we'll do
what we can.

But first, how
much do you want?


Wh...? $20,000?

And now, man, hurry.

Mr. Papp.

Yes, Mr. Hobb?

These gentlemen want
to talk to you.

Mr. Papp's in charge
of the bank.

How do you do?

My name's Shaneways,
Mr. Papp.

And I want to borrow $20,000
and I want it immediately.

That's a lot of money.

Now don't tell me this bank
doesn't have that much.

Well, certainly
we have.

Well, then?

Well, you're a stranger
in Dodge, sir.

What do you have
for collateral?


What is it?

Now take a look,
but don't reveal it

to this other

Well, these are playing cards.

Don't name them.

I'm afraid I don't
understand, sir.

Let me explain,
Mr. Papp.

We've been playing poker all
night at the Long Branch.

There's over $40,000
in that pot.

Now everyone has dropped out

except this gentleman
and myself.

I've put every cent I had
on me into it already.

Now, he's agreed to
give me 20 minutes

to come up
with more money.

Isn't that right, sir?

That's right.

I certainly wish you
a lot of luck, sir,

but I'm afraid I can't
do anything for you.

Mr. Papp...

you've seen my hand.

You can lend me
money on this.

Surely, sir, you don't
expect the bank

to enter a gambling game.

Mr. Papp,
it's a sure thing.

Where's his hand?

It's being held by the
bartender at the Long Branch.

The other players are
watching the table.


I'm afraid I don't
quite know what to say.

I'll give you
20% interest.

Why that's $4,000.

Yes. With a hand like this
I can't lose, and you know it.

You got ten minutes, mister.

I know, I know.

Wait here.
I'll be right back.

Did you hear all
that, Mr. Dillon?


You think that Papp's
gonna loan him the money?

He's got more sense
than that, Chester.

Throw these in the safe,
will you, Mr. Hogg?

Certainly, Marshal.

You want a receipt?

No, thanks.

Nobody but the government's got
any interest in those papers.


Oh, uh, Marshal Dillon...

Marshal, I, uh, I want you
to come with me.

Those gentlemen there-
there's a poker game...

Yes, I overheard.

Oh. I have the money
right here.

You mean to say you're
going to lend them that money?

Well, yes.

And I think you'd better
come along just to be sure.

Just to be
sure of what?

Just to watch the money.

Marshal, that man has
four aces in his hand.

Why, it's a sure thing.
Is it?

The bank stands to make
$4,000 on this loan.

Won't take but
a few minutes.

Yes, except this isn't
exactly an ordinary loan.

I can't lose.

There's not a chance
in a million.

Mr. Papp, when you're gambling,
there's always a chance.

You've never even seen
that man before, have you?

No, but I've...
I've seen his hand.

I'd back four aces with
everything I have any time.

But you're gambling
with other people's money.

Now, Marshal... Did you ever stop
to think what happens if you lose?

Now, Marshal,
you're forgetting something.

Mr. Botkin left me in charge
of the bank, not you.

And nobody's going
to tell me how to run it.

Now it doesn't matter
whether you approve or not.

I'm going to lend him
the money.

Now are you or aren't
you going to help me?

All right.

I'll come along, see they don't
take it from you at gunpoint,

if that will help you.

Come on, Chester.


Bartender, my cards.

All right, mister,

I called and raised you $20,000.

It's up to you.



Let me have another look.

There's my money.

I'm calling you.

You must have a
pretty good hand.

All the trouble
you've been to.

You'll see it.

What do you have?

Five little hearts, all blue.

Four aces!

I win! Good, good.

Wait a minute.

Take a look at
my hearts, mister.

Two, three, four,

five, six.

A s-straight flush.

Aces lose.

How could you have
a straight flush?

Got it dealt right
out of the deck.

Right out of the deck.

It's a nice pot.

It can't be.

Mr. Shaneways...

the-the money.

He won the money.

Don't worry, Mr. Papp.

Remember, I only
borrowed the money.

You'll get it back.

Mr. Shaneways, I-I must
have that money back.

It's not mine.

Well, I'll send
for it today.

I'll wire my agents.

It'll be on the next train
from St. Louis.

$20,000 lost,
thrown away.

I-I must have it
back somehow.

You have my word
as a gentleman, sir.

But you must be patient.

Oh, I-I... no, I-I
shouldn't have done it.

I had no right to do it.

Here, Mr. Papp,
sit down.

Better go get Doc,
send him over here.

Yes, sir.

You all right,
Mr. Papp?

Oh, I should have
listened to you, Marshal.

Now the bank's ruined,
I'm ruined.

Now, now, just a minute.

Shaneways may show up
with the money yet.

We'll just have
to wait and see.

In the meantime, you'd
better get ahold of yourself.

Oh, as soon as people
hear about this

there won't be
any more bank.

I've ruined Mr. Botkin,
the bank...

probably a lot of people
here in Dodge.

Now, wait a minute.

Look, you better,
you better wait here.

Doc's coming over.

No, no, no. No, Marshal,
it's... it's all right.

It's all right.

I feel sorry
for the man, Marshal,

but he really has
nothing to worry about.

I'll send
for the money at once.

Yeah, you send
for the money.

In the meantime, don't get any
ideas about leaving Dodge.

What are you gentlemen's names?

Oh, my name's
Hook, Marshal.

I'm sorry for what
happened to that banker,

but it's nothing
to do with me.

I won this money fair
and I'm keeping it.

Who dealt that hand?

I did.

What's your name?

James Varden.

And I agree with him.

Gambling money's
fair money.

Oh, Matt.

Chester just told me
about Mr. Papp.

Where is he?
Oh, yeah, Doc,

I think he went
back to the bank.

You better go over

and take a look at him.

Oh, all right, I'll
go right over.

Oh, say, Matt.

Could you come out here
a minute?

I want to talk to you.


What's the matter
with you, Shaneways?

You act like you
know the old man.

Yeah, I know him.

What is it, Doc?

Oh, Chester was telling
me something about

a $20,000 loan- four aces
as collateral, is that it?


Four aces got beat
by a straight flush?

Yeah. Why?

By golly, I recall
something about like that

that happened down
in New Orleans

a long time ago.

What do you mean?

Well, it was the
same way, exactly.

Fella borrowed
money he knew

he was going to lose
to a partner.

From the bank?

Yep, from the bank.

New Orleans, huh?


Doc, I was afraid of
something like this.

Look, you didn't know any
of the men involved, did you?

No, no, no, they-they came down
on a riverboat, people said.

I was the doctor on
the Tennessee Belle at the time

and, no, I never met any
of them, not to my knowledge.

Hey, Doc.

Yeah? Go on over to Papp's house.

His house?

I just rode by there,
and his old lady came out

and hollered at me
to fetch you.

Well, what's the trouble?

I don't know, he's
sick I guess.

Well, I guess I'd better
get over there, Matt.

Yeah, Doc, let me know, will ya? Yeah.

? Make his home ?

? In Kansas ?

? But a home that he made... ?

Mr. Dillon, maybe a little
bit of this here coffee

would kind of settle
your dinner for you.

It's not exactly
what's bothering me, Chester.

Yeah, well, it sure ain't
gonna hurt you none anyways.

Well, I'm not so sure of that.

Well, now doggone, Mr. Dillon,

you know, you ain't even
tasted it yet.

I soaked it cold this time.

You what?

I soaked it cold.

You know, I put the coffee
in the cold water

and let it soak awhile before
I brung it to a boil.

Well, you'll try anything,
won't you?


That's just as smooth
as a widow's kiss.

Ain't you even gonna taste it?

Uh, well, no.

I-I think
I'll just let it cool off

for a little while, Chester.

Well, uh...

Mr. Dillon, you-you think

that that Shaneways
is gonna pay the money back?

Well, I don't know.

This town'll be in a pretty
bad way if he doesn't.

Yeah, well, I... I reckon

there's nothing
you can do about it, though.

Well, I sure haven't thought
of anything so far.


Hello, Doc.

Well, how's Papp?

He tried to
shoot himself.

He what?!
He what?!

Well, he'll live, but he-he's
in bad shape, I tell you.

Now, Matt, you know, when
people hear about this,

it's gonna be awful
bad for the bank.


Why don't you just go
and arrest that fella

and take the $20,000
and put it back in the bank?

Oh, because I can't prove
he did anything wrong, Doc.

Got to do something.

You see, the only thing
I can do is

to get Shaneways
and his friends

to make some kind
of a wrong move.

Well, Mr. Dillon,
how do you know

that they're friends,
though, for sure?

Well, I don't know
for sure, but...

you see, if I could scare
Shaneways into running,

and if this Hook and Varden
would follow him,

well, that'd give me
a pretty good idea.

By golly, that'd be about
all the case you'd need

to prove they're working
together, wouldn't it?

That sure would do it.

Well, that means that
you're just gonna have

to follow around after
him night and day.

No, it doesn't.

You see, there's no train out

until tomorrow
noon, and no stage

that leaves till
day after tomorrow.

I'm going down to
the Long Branch.

I'll see you later.

Oh, well, I'll walk part way
with you, Matt.

Hey, Doc, what was
the name of that boat?

What...? Oh, you mean
the one I was on once?

Tennessee Belle. Why?

Well, I'm just

Hello, Matt.

Hello, Kitty.

You're looking
for somebody.

Yeah, I'm looking for a man
by the name of Shaneways.

He was in an all-night
poker game here last night?

Yeah. I met him
a little while ago.

I understand he lost
an awful lot of money.

And a lot that wasn't his.

Hello, Marshal.


Can I buy you
and the lady a drink?

Uh, no, thanks. I've got
to go talk to Bill Pence.

I'll see you later, Matt.

All right, Kitty.

I sent for that money
today, Marshal,

if that's what bothering you.

A little late,


Mr. Papp tried
to kill himself.

Yes, I heard.

Well, you can't hold me
responsible for that.

I didn't say I was.

But you, uh, seem a
little nervous about it.

Well, naturally
I'm a bit upset.

After all,
the man did me a big favor.

Tell me something.

When was the last time
you were in New Orleans?

New Orleans?

Why do you ask that?

Just curious.

Well, no, I've never
been in New Orleans.

Does that answer
your question?

Did you ever ride in
the Tennessee Belle?

what's that, a boat?

Yeah, a boat.

No, I'm afraid not.

Any further questions?

Not right now,
but just remember

what I said.

It still goes about
not leaving town.

I like it here, Marshal.

You should.

Mr. Dillon?

Good morning, Chester.

Uh, uh, Mr. Dillon,
look at this note here.

I've been looking
all over for you.

we're taking Doc along.

If you follow us,
we'll kill him."

Yeah. I found it
underneath the door

when I opened up the
office this morning.

And then I run up to
Doc's as fast as I could,

and Shaneways and them
fellas must have took him,

because he ain't there.

Let's get the horses.

We getting any closer,
Mr. Dillon?

Well, yeah, but I don't think

we can catch them
before dark, Chester.

Well, what if we don't, and
they keep on traveling at night?

Well, we'll probably just
lose them in that case.

Come on.

Can you make him out,
Mr. Dillon?

No, I can't. Not even with
that fire they got going.

They're too far away,
but look over here.


Yeah, they sure got
their horses staked

a long way from
camp, don't they?


What are we gonna do,
just go down there

and shoot it out
with them?

No, we can't do that, Chester,
or they'd kill Doc for sure.

Well, uh, we got
to do something.

Well, we got 'em
out in the prairie,

and out here, they're
real greenhorns.

We're gonna steal their horses. Oh.

Then I want you to
take our horses

and get the whole bunch back
out of sight and hide 'em.

Yeah. Well,
what then, though?

I'm gonna go down there and
play Indian till daylight.


And look, when you hear
gunfire in the morning,

you bring the horses
and come on in fast.

Do you understand?

All right, let's go.

Let your horses get away
from you, huh?

Well, that ought to begin
to worry you just a little bit.

Oh, Hook and Varden will
find them soon enough.

Well, I wouldn't bet any
of that $20,000

on how soon that'll happen.

Them two dudes
out chasing around the prairie.

No, those horses can't have gone
too far.

Oh? No, not
very far, just...

about halfway back to Dodge.

That's about all.

You know, I... I've seen
some greenhorns in my time,

but I think
you three are the worst.

Why don't you shut up, Doc?

Well, now, I just might do that.

If you'd pour me some
of that coffee, I might do it.

What's the matter,
you cold, Doc?

Of course I'm cold.

Who wouldn't be cold,

spending the night
on a wet saddle blanket?



Confound it!

Why don't you untie my hands
so I can drink this?

You'll manage.

Yes, sir,

Shaneways, for a man that's
slick enough to outsmart

a bank, you sure got yourself
in a terrible fix,

trapped out here
on the prairie...

Don't be too sure, Doc.

No one's ever trapped me.
Well, this just

might be the time, you know.

You ran out of Dodge,
didn't you?

I was being smart.

You know the marshal
was on to us.

Well, he wasn't, either.

He was bluffing you.

He couldn't do anything
until you ran.

He didn't have any proof at all.

What are you talking about?

He had you.

You'd have recognized me
from the Tennessee Belle.

Well, you're wrong there.

I wouldn't have recognized you
at all, and if I had have,

I couldn't have connected you
with the Tennessee Belle,

or that New Orleans thing
or anything.

No, sir, you just
outsmarted yourself.

The marshal wanted you to run
with your partners, and you did.

Well, you're gonna get caught,
and if I was you,

I think I'd begin to worry
just a little bit about it.

You're the one who ought
to start worrying, Doc.

'Cause if Hook and Varden don't
come back with those horses,

we're leaving, just you and me,
on foot.

I think I'm safe enough now,

unless the marshal wants
to trade your life for mine.

Well, why don't you
just ask him?

He's right behind you.

Hold it.

Now get your hands up.

Now get over there and
get him untied. Go on!

How are you, Doc?

I'll all right.

Hurry it up.

All right,
Marshal, go ahead

and shoot.

Oh! Oh!


Doc, you really
took a chance there.

Well, I had to.

You all right?

Of course I am. Here.

You old horse doctor.

Where's the money?

It's in that saddlebag
right there.


What are you doing

You'll have Hook and Varden
back here any minute.

Doc, take this and keep
him covered, will you?


Come on,
get up.

Get up!

I'll be darned.

How'd Chester get
the horses?

Well, he's an
old horse thief.

Didn't you
know that, Doc?

They seen me, Mr. Dillon.

They're chasing back
across the prairie.

All right,
you and Doc get saddles

on a couple
of these horses, will you?

Yeah, all right.

All right, get going.

Shaneways, come here.

Go on.

Doc, hold these
horses there.

They'll kill both of us
standing here.

Not from this distance,
they won't.

Here, take this,
and I'll get a saddle blanket.

Hurry it up,

All right, get down.

Do I have to stay
here, Marshal?

Are you trying
to kill them?

No, I'm just trying
to pin 'em down.

We're ready,
Mr. Dillon!

All right, go on, get back there
and get mounted.

Be sure you keep a tight reign
on those other two horses.

You're not taking
their horses?

Why not? I got everything
I came for.

I don't need them. They'll die out here.

None of us knows how to
live in this prairie.

Well, maybe it's a good way
for them to learn.

All right,
get 'em out of here.


Marshal? Marshal.

Listen to me.

You can't do this.

You're murdering
those men.

They'll be all right out here
for a few days, Shaneways.

What do you mean?

Well, right now,
they're full of fight.

I'd have to kill 'em
to take 'em.

A few days alone
out here on this prairie,

and I can walk right up to 'em.

Then they'll join you in jail.

You treat people
kind of rough, don't you?

They're getting off easy,
mister, and so are you.

Let's go.

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