Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 3, Episode 6 - Jesse - full transcript

Young and likable Jesse Pruett teams up with an unlikely "partner" in the person of Bill Stapp, a murderous former Quantrill raider. Stapp has promised to lead Jesse to the man who killed his father so he can avenge his death, but the young man is tragically unaware of Stapp's true intentions

...starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

If you walk around up here
long enough,

you start thinking there must
be more dead men

than there are living.

It's the same thing a man
asked me about once.

"Why aren't there more marshals
than there are bad men?

That way, there wouldn't be
so much law-breaking."

It's a cool idea, of course,
but it got me to wondering

why there are
any marshals at all,

it being the kind of job it is.

I never could find
an answer to that one.

Matt Dillon, US Marshal.

Fella's got
a nice camp there.

Hello, friends.

You're just in time for dinner.

Get down.

You get down, Jesse.

But ain't you
getting down?

Do what I told you.

Well, okay, Bill.

We'll have to eat
on the trail, mister.

We're riding for Dodge.

Oh, why sure, friend.

These here is
buffalo ribs.

You can take them
along with you.

You got a sack
you can put them in?

Well, no, I ain't
got many sacks.

But you can have one.

Right there in the
back of the wagon.

Well, thanks, mister.

You're alone out here, huh?

Well, I had a partner, but he quit.

Well, ain't
that a doggone shame.

Well, now a man's
got to get

used to being
alone, I guess.

You ask me, you'd
be better off dead.

Is this sack okay,

Why sure, son.

Take all
you can eat.

I'll roast some more
for myself later.

I'll just take
these here.

Take them all, Jesse.

Aw, now... I-I don't
like to do that.

Go ahead, son.
You're welcome to them.

Well, a couple more.

Sure do thank you, mister.

It ain't nothing.

Come on, Jesse,
we got a long ride to make.

Well, so long, friends.
Good luck.

You're a buffalo hunter, huh?

Yeah, it ain't easy
without a partner.

You don't carry a six-gun?

No use.

Chaffs 50's the only thing
that'll kill a buffalo.

Mister, you ought
to get yourself

a good pistol like mine.

You killed him.

Sure, he wasn't
no good to nobody.

But you killed
him for nothing.

You just sat there and shot
him right in the head.

I told you when we teamed up
together yesterday,

I was gonna learn you
some things.

What's that got
to do with it?

You got to get
used to killing.

I was just showing
you how easy it is.

I-I said I's got
to get me a gun

so I can kill one man.

One man in particular,
that's all!

We can't ride just to go
shooting people down.

Still got to
get used to it.

Come on, let's ride.

You the boss here?

This is my stable.

We want to board
these horses for a few days.

I can take them.
Good. Unsaddle for me.

I'll go over
to the Dodge House

and get a room; you come over. All right.

Say, mister,
this horse of mine

stepped in a prairie dog hole
this afternoon.

Twisted his leg pretty bad.

I can give you
some liniment,

but I'm afraid it
won't do much good.

But I might be
needing a horse.

This one won't be no good
for quite a while.

Sorry, fella,
I ain't got no horses

for sale right now.

But wait a minute.

The last stall, ask him.

He's got an extra horse
he ain't using much.

Go talk to him.

I'll put these in here,

but you'll have
to unsaddle them.

Okay, thanks a lot.

Hello, there.

Hello. How are you?

Someone told me you
have a horse for sale.

Mr. Dillon?

Who told you that?
Moss Grimmick?

Well, I don't
know his name.

Oh, it's Moss
all right, Mr. Dillon.

See, I-I seen you
talking to him there.

Well, I got a horse here.

Hadn't really thought
of selling him.

You need a horse, do you?

Yeah, mine's crippled up
for quite a spell.

Say, this looks
like a good horse.

Oh, this is
a real good here.

I rid him a lot.

You're, uh, kind of strange
around Dodge, aren't you?

Yeah, my name's Jesse.

Jesse Pruett.

Jesse, I'm
the marshal here.

Guess you don't mind
trading with the law, do you?


What would you be
asking for him, Marshal?

Well, I guess I could
let you have him for $20.

This horse is worth
more than that.

You got more than that?
I'm broke.

Well, you can
pay me when you get it.

No thanks.

I don't take no favors.

Not from nobody.

You know, Mr. Dillon,
he seems to me

like he's got just
a little bit too much pride

for his own good.

Well, yes,
not only that, Chester.

That fella's got
something on his mind.

Oh, morning, Marshal.

I'll be with you
in a minute.

Mr. Jonas.

Say, that new saddle
blanket of mine come in yet?

Oh, come in yesterday. It's
out back in the storeroom.

Oh, well, I'll go out
and get it.

Oh, it's laying on one
of them barrels by the door.

All right.

Morning, young fella.

What can I do for you?

I want to buy me a gun.

Oh, what kind of gun?

A six-gun.
I want a good one.

And I want a belt and a
holster with it. Mm-hmm.

Uh, guns are over here.

There you are.
Take your pick.

Uh, that one,
with the brass trigger.

That's a Colt Navy.

It's the only one I got.
You can have it cheap.

Why? What's the matter with it?

Nothing, been used

like all of them.

Well, hello, Jesse.

Buying a gun, huh?


Well, I hear you been working

for Moss Grimmick
the last couple days.

Nothing wrong
with that, is there?

No, no, that's fine.

You need a gun for the job?

Why shouldn't I buy a gun?

I don't know.

How much you
want for this?

Twelve dollars.
I'll take it.

I'll get you a belt
and a holster.

The old Navy Colt, huh?

Man, you've got
to be pretty good

to hit something
with one of these.

I'll get good.


tell me, what'd you
come to Dodge for?

I come here to kill a man.


Mind telling me
who it is?

I don't know yet.

Well, why'd you come
to Dodge to kill a man

you don't even know?

That's my business, Marshal.

And you can't stop me.

Not till it's too late.

You know how to shoot
one of those?

I can learn.

Jesse, come on along
with me a minute.

Come where?

Come on out back.

I want to show you something.

Come on.

Now, come on out here, Jesse.

Stand over there.

There's only two things

you have to learn about
shooting, Jesse.

One is to shoot straight,

and the other
is to shoot fast.

Well, see what I mean?

Would you teach me,

Well, that's what I brought
you out here for, Jesse.

See, it's not
as easy as all that.

I've been at this
a long time.

Yeah, but I ain't
got a long time.

That's what I mean, Jesse.

I think you ought to
forget about it.

"Forget about it"?

Not hardly.

There's lots of ways
to skin a cat, Marshal.

What was all that
shooting for?

That was the marshal,

teaching me a lesson.


You can keep this.

I'll take that shotgun.

Mr. Jonas, put this
on my bill, will you?

Yeah, sure,
Marshal. Sure.


I got five, Mr. Dillon.

Just enough for
a real good fish fry.

You must of worked
hard for them.

It's dark already.

Yeah, look at this,
Mr. Dillon.

Oh, that'll make
real good eatin'.

Chester, nobody can say
you're not a good provider.

Yeah, thank you.

Oh, I got this,
uh, letter.

I picked that up at the
post office for you.

Is it something

No, it's from the rangers
down in Amarillo.

Said one
of Quantrill's old men

is headed back for Kansas.

Not much I can do about that.

Say what his name is?

Yeah, Bill Strapp.

I never heard
of him before.

Oh, I never did either.
Bill Strapp.

Maybe he's come back
to organize a new gang.

You think?


Oh, Doc.

Either one of you fellas

care to have
a short beer with me?

Well, I'd like it,
Doc, but I can't now.

I got some fish up here
I got to fix for supper.

You catch some fish?

Yeah, look at this
one here, Doc.

Oh, this is a real beauty.

Well, look at- how many
of those did you catch?

Well, I got enough
for you, too, Doc.

They'll be ready
in about an hour.

Well, thank you, Chester.

By golly, I'll come back. All right.

Say, hold on a minute, Doc.
I'll go with you.

Otherwise, I'm liable
to get stuck here

cleaning these fish.
Oh, no, no, Mr. Dillon.

They're already clean.

I did that
at the riverbank.

All I got to do is
boil them a little now.

Boil them?

Well, yeah.

Ches, you're going-

Matt, he's going to ruin
those beautiful fish.

Doc, you mean you
never eat boiled fish?

Boiled fish?

Doc, come on,
let's get out of here.

He's joshing you. Come on.

Oh, someday
I'll boil you.

You think I
never eat fish before.

? ?

Hello, Red there.
Give me a couple of beers.

Oh, coming
right up, Doc.

Hello, Marshal.

There he is, Bill.

Hello, Jesse.

Oh, he's about
the fastest I ever saw.

So he's the marshal
here, huh?

Yeah, I told you
about him.

Jesse, marshals
can get killed

just like anybody else.

Ain't that right,

Yeah, that's right.

Here you are, Matt.

Hey, that's a mighty
pretty gal just come in.

Yeah, she sure is.

Wait here, Jesse.


Ah, she can take care
of herself all right, Doc.

Well, Jesse, I guess you
haven't found your man yet, huh?

I'll find him.

Don't you know there's a law
against killing?

A law? The law
didn't stop him

from killing my
pa, Marshal.

Your pa?

He was killed right
here in Dodge.

Oh, what
was his name?

He went by the name
of Jim Packard.

Oh, I see.

How do you know he
was killed here in Dodge?

Friend- rode
back to Texas

and told me he
saw his marker

out there in that
Boot Hill of yours.

But he didn't find out
who killed him?

He was in a hurry, Marshal,
couldn't take the time.

I see.

I'm the oldest in the
family, and it's up to me

to get the man
who killed my pa.

And I'm gonna do it,

just as soon as I
find out who it was.


Yeah, what's
the trouble, Kitty?

That friend of yours
you sent over.


I don't even
know him.

He said that you
told him my name

and for him
to buy me a drink.

Oh, he did, huh?

No offense, Marshal.

I was just trying
to get acquainted.

You must have crawled
out from under a rock.

That's telling him.

You keep out of this.

maybe you'd better

do your drinking
somewhere else, huh?

I know where there's
a good trough.

She's too good
for me, huh?

Go on, get going.

Well, I sure have
seen friendlier towns.

All right, why don't you
go back to one?

Come on, Strapp.
You shut up.

There's no use having trouble
with him. You shut up, that's all.

I ought to knock your ears off,
you fool, green kid.

But I didn't mean
nothing by it.

Well, now, there's
a charming fella.

Real gentleman.

I can't understand
why you'd want

to run a friendly fella
like that out of Dodge.

I'm glad I didn't, Doc.

Jesse spoke up
just in time.

What do you mean?

Well, that, uh,
that's Bill Strapp.

I'll keep an eye
on him for a while.

Well, I can
imagine why,

but what about this
Jesse, the young fella?

Did his pa really get
killed here in Dodge?

Yeah, it happened
last winter

with you down
in Saint Louis.

Oh, oh.

Yeah, he was killed here
all right.

It's too bad,
'cause I guess

that means there's
gonna be trouble.

You know who
killed him?


I did.

Have another
drink, Jesse.

Do you good.

When are you gonna
tell me, Bill?

What are you
waiting for?

We finish this jug, then we
go back to the Long Branch.

I'll tell you who
killed your pa there.

Why not now?
Why not before?

We ain't been ready.

That's why.

We ain't been ready?

The man that killed Jim Packard
ain't gonna be easy to take.

That's why I'm gonna back you up

when the time comes.

Back me up how?

Well, you call him out.

Then when he goes for his gun,
we'll both shoot him.

He won't be watching me,
so I'll get a bullet

into him before
he's got a chance.

I can tear him
apart with this.

Your shotgun
is good, but...

you can't handle it as fast
as he can the six-gun.

Sure wish I had more practice
at this business.

Well, I don't like the idea
of maybe getting shot.

Have another drink.

Then we'll get going.

Why don't you get
this Strapp fella alone

and arrest him
first, Marshal?

Well, I'd only have
to turn him loose

in a day or two, Moss.

Besides, it wouldn't
stop Jesse anyway.

But this Jesse's so
young, Mr. Dillon.

It's a doggone shame
to have to shoot him.

I don't like the idea
any better

than you do, Chester.

I kind of like
that boy.

That's why I gave him
a job in the first place.

Well, he'll be all right
if gets rid

of some of those
fool notions.

And Bill Strapp.

Yeah, Bill Strapp.

Mr. Dillon...

All right, you'd better get back
out of the way somewhere.

Hello, Jesse.

Well, if it ain't
the marshal again.

Come on in, Marshal,
and have a drink.

No, thanks,
not right now.

The marshal's
pretty choosy

about who he drinks
with, ain't he?

Yeah... I'll drink
with you tomorrow, Jesse.

No, not tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be too late.


Strapp knows
who killed my pa.

He's gonna tell me.

Let me tell you
something, Jesse.

There's only one thing
that Strapp wants.

That's to see me killed.

Why, 'cause you kicked him
out of there?

No, because he used to be
a bushwhacker with Quantrill.

Now he's back in town,

he wants to see the law
out of the way.

That's a lie.

How do you think
he knew your pa, Jesse?

How do you think he knows
who killed him?

Don't listen to him.
You shut up, Strapp.

You never told me
you knew my pa.

You just said you knew
who killed him.

You ain't gonna listen

to any tinhorn marshal,
are you?

Did you ever know a lawman
yet who wasn't a liar?

Why don't you
leave me alone, Marshal?

I ain't done

Yeah, but you're
just about to, Jesse.

It don't concern you.

Yes, it does, Jesse.

I'm the one that killed your pa.



Is that true?

Yeah, he done it.

Shot him dead.

He's the man you're after.

Come on, let's get him
now. Don't do it, Jesse.

He won't back you up- he
doesn't even aim to try.

You can't get us both.

Don't be a fool.

Come on, this is what
you've been waiting for.

He's your man.
You killed my pa!

All right, don't move.

I ain't moved,

No, you haven't, have you?

Now, wait,
Marshal, I...

I ain't done nothing,
I was just talking.

It didn't work,
did it, Strapp?

Can't jail a man
for talking.

Get out.
Get out?

Yeah, and if you ever
come back here

with anybody else to
do your dirty work,

I'll kill
both of you.

Now, wait, Marshal.
Get your horse and ride.

Sold my horse.

All right, there's
a stage leaving

at 8:00 in
the morning.

Be on it.

Well, when he comes to,

we'd better take him over
and lock him up.

All right, sir.

That you, Mr. Dillon?


How's the prisoner this morning?

Well, I just took him
some coffee.

He's talking
a little bit this morning.

That's more than he could
do last night. Oh, good.

He claims that you
hit him awful hard.

I did.

Hello, Jesse, how are you?

What do you care?

Well, you're lucky
I didn't have

to shoot you
last night.

Why didn't you?
You killed my pa.

How long since you've
seen your pa, Jesse?

Ten years ago, maybe.

Strapp never told you
that he used

to ride with him?

Pa... and Strapp?

Your pa was one
of Quantrill's riders, Jesse.

He was nothing but a
killer when I knew him.

That's a lie.

He killed a woman right here
in Dodge last winter.

Shot her through the
head. I don't believe it.

Why, wasn't he that kind of man
when you knew him?

He wasn't that mean.

Well, ten years of killing

can make a lot of difference
to a man, Jesse.

How come he left home

in the first place?


She made him go.


She said she had to.

She said she was afraid
he might get drunk sometime...

and kill her.


I don't know, Marshal.

I don't know.

Your pa was a
killer, Jesse.

He was a killer just
like Bill Strapp.


That old man.

Old man?

Out there
in the prairie.

Nice old fella
give us some meat.

And then,
Strapp shot him.

For nothing.

He shot him
right in the head.

Jesse, I'm gonna
turn you loose.

You can go whenever
you want to.

What about Strapp
murdering that old man?

Well, I told him to
leave on the 8:00 stage.

It's almost that now.

Hurry up, mister.
I'm coming.

You can't sit here.

I'm picking up the messenger,
edge of town.

Come on, get
driving fast.

Hurry up.
Ha! Giddyap!

How you gonna stop
him, Mr. Dillon?

Well, I can't chance
hitting the driver, Chester.

Get out of the way.

Hold it.

Dead, huh?


Well, I never seen
nobody so full of hate.

Even dying, he's still
trying to kill you.

It was you he was shooting at,
Marshal, but me that killed him.

Pushed him off like that.

Well, I wouldn't look
at it that way, Hank.

Well, it's true, ain't it?

No, you was just
saving him from hanging is all.

Yeah, you sure did.

Looks like a lot of people
have been saved

from hanging around here lately.

You're right, Marshal,

and I reckon I'm grateful
for it.

Well, Jesse,
if you really mean that,

you've accomplished
a whole lot more in Dodge

than you
started out to.


Go get your horse.