Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 4, Episode 20 - Love of a Good Woman - full transcript

An old friend of Doc's, a nurse, is visiting and he hopes she will stay around Dodge. In the meantime Matt is worried that an ex-con is gunning for him even though he thought he was innocent five years ago.

Starring James Arness as Matt Dillon.

You know, Mr. Dillon,

I was looking through
that Granger House supply catalogue.

Saw an advertisement for one
of them new celluloid collars.

Oh, yeah, those fancy ones.

Oh, well, they're better
than the paper ones all right.

I don't know about that.

Well, one of them is gonna
last you a life time.

If it gets dirty, all you have do
is take a wet rag, give it a whack.

Well, just get near lamp with it
or it will go up in flames.

You mean it'll catch fire?

Listen, as few times as you wear one,
you ought to stick with the paper collar.

Wouldn't be enough.

Mr. Dillon, look here.

Doc's got hisself a girl.


Yeah, lookie there, you see?

By golly. You know,
she ain't half ugly.

You reckon he's paying for her meal?

I wouldn't take any bets on it.

Oh, let's see what he wants.

Now, just wait a second now.
You got to go get that telegram.

That might be important.

Oh, well, yeah.
But I thought maybe

I could just stay around long enough
to be introduced to her, you know?

All right. All right.

Chester. Matt.

Marshal Dillon, Chester Goode,
I want you to meet Abbie Twilly.

How do you do?

Why don't you just pull up a couple of chairs
and sit down here with us?

- Well, yeah.
- Cup of coffee, Matt?

No, no thanks, Doc.
Chester, the telegram?

Oh, the tele... Oh, yes.
Well, yes, that's important.

That's uh... I'll hurry.

Uh, it was awful nice
meeting you, Ms. Twilly?

Yes, that's right.
Thank you.

That's the Chester
you were telling me about?

That's him. What's a matter, Matt,
you'd been out in the sun again?

No, I think that's just
kind of temporary condition.

Docs been telling me
about you, Marshal.

He has, huh?

Well, she wanted to know all about Dodge
and you're part of what there is to know.

I just been trying kind of fill her in
on what to expect here.

I just can't believe
it's as bad as Doc claims.

I mean all the violence and things.

Oh, well, he lays it on
a little thick sometimes.

Oh, no, gospel truth.
Every word of it.

You see, Matt, Abbie just can't believe
that all the violence in the world

didn't end the day Lee surrendered.

Well, I like to think it did.

I saw enough violence
and bloodshed during the war

to last me the rest of my life.

During the war, she was a nurse.
That's where we met, in a hospital.

We worked together for a long time.

- Is that so?
- Mm-hmm.

Well, what are you just kind of
out here for a visit?

Well, I've been living in St. Louis
for the past few years.

I just... I just felt so lonely.

Then I suppose I've been lonely
ever since the war.

My husband was killed at Shiloh.

And it sounds kind of silly,
but I bought a railroad ticket

and I just rode the train west
to the end of the line.

I guess you'd say my life
is sort of at loose ends.

You know, I've been trying to get her
to stay here and settle down.

It'd sure be wonderful if I had
a regular nurse to help me out again.

I'm too restless, Doc.

I need something,
and I don't know what.

You need somebody.
That's what you need.

Well, maybe so.

'Course I'll admit
most fellows around here

are kind of worthless, but then...

Well, I'll tell you one thing, Matt.

This is the best doggone
little nurse you ever saw,

and she knows
more than doctors do.

There are a lot of nurses
just as good as I am.

Here it is, Mr. Dillon.

- Oh, thanks, Chester.
- Charlie said that it was important.

You see, Charlie reads all the messages
when they come in.

'Course he has to do that
so he can write down what they say.

'Course Charlie would do that anyway,

because, well,
that's kind of the person he is.

He's just... Charlie's awful curious like.

Who's it from, Mr. Dillon?

Here, you want to read it?

Trouble, Matt?

Well, it's from Sam Beckett
out in Arizona, Doc.

Remember a fella by the name
of Coney Thorne?

- Yeah.
- Well, he's been out in Arizona

territorial prison
for the past five years.

Just released a couple days ago.

Mr. Dillon was the one
that arrested him, you see?

I see.

But I don't understand
why this means trouble.

Well, it seems he's headed
for Dodge, looking for me.

- Looking for you?
- Mm-hmm.

What for?

Well, he's probably gonna try
and kill me, I guess.

That can't be right.
A man just doesn't hate for five years.

Well, I wouldn't be too sure of that.

What will you do?

Well, there's only one thing
I can do, I guess.

Try to beat him to it.

Then Doc was right.
It is like that here.

Gun fighting and men
shooting each other down.

It's horrible.

Well, Abbie, people here
are not like they are back East.

People are people
no matter where they are,

and they weren't created for killing.

Well, I agree with you, Abbie.

I just wish people
like Coney Thorne did, too.

Well, it has been really nice meeting you.

See you later, Doc.


Well, what's a matter with you?

You're jumpy as a cat.

Hi, Kitty. Well, I guess
I was just day dreaming.

Well, it couldn't have been
a very pleasant one.

- You going my way?
- Yeah.


People out of 10 you see
in this town are men.

When are things
gonna even up a little bit?

There's a lot of women around,
but they're in the house.

- Washing, sewing, stuff like that.
- Yeah, you bet they are.

Men are out here on Front Street
spending the money.

I wouldn't marry
one of these no good louts

if he was Anthony
on a silver platter.

Say, you're getting pretty
independent, aren't you?

Next thing you'd be wanting
to vote or something.

Why shouldn't women vote?

Well, uh...

Most women I know
are a lot smarter than most men.

What chance have we got
in a man's world?

Look, you, why don't you shove that grin
in your pocket and take it on home?

Say, you're really
rolling today, aren't you?

I don't want any nonsense
out of you either.

Still makes my blood boil,
this man/woman business.

Like me, stuck with running a salon
just because I'm a woman

and there's nothing else for me here.

- What's a matter?
- Oh, nothing.

Just a stage coming in, that's all.

Well, stages pull in here three
or four times a day, don't they?

Oh, wait a minute.

You been meeting every stage
that's come in here for the last week.

I forgot, Coney Thorne.

Still think he's gonna show up?

Well, I got no reason
to think different.

Well, it's been a week, Matt.
If he was coming, he would have been here.

How long are you gonna keep sizing up
every stranger that gets off the stage?

They're not all strangers, Kitty.

That's Coney Thorne.


Yeah, I know.

That's mine.

Hello, Coney.

Matt Dillon.

What took you so long?

I've been waiting a week for you.

Who told you I was coming?

You got friends every where
ain't you, Marshal?

There's one thing
you ought to know, Coney.

I never thought you were guilty.
I only brought you in because I had to.

Apologies don't mean much to man

who's been five years
in prison, Marshal.

Well, that's all behind you now.
Why are you set on dying?

What makes you so sure
I'm gonna die?

Haven't had a gun
in your hands for five years.

There's other ways to kill a man.

You used to be a man, Coney.

You've changed.

I near went crazy.

I would have, I guess,

except I took to thinking

about who it was put me there

and what I do to him
when I got out.

That's all over now.

Not for you it ain't.

It's only beginning,

because I'm gonna make you
go crazy waiting, Marshal.

Just waiting like I had to.

You better go get
yourself some rest, Coney.

You look like you need it.

I aim to.

I'll sleep all the better knowing
you got to keep one eye open

every minute from now on.

I haven't shut both eyes
for as far back as I can remember.

You're not the first man
that's tried to kill me.

But I'm gonna be the first to do it.


- Uh.
- Oh.

- Hello, Doc.
- Morning.

What are you doing up so early?

I haven't been to bed yet.

Yeah. Why not?

Why not what?

Why haven't you been to bed yet?


I got a call about midnight
from the Dodge House.

They said some fellow over there was
raising thunder, keeping everybody awake.

Oh, sounds more like
a job for me or something.

Well, this fella wasn't drunk.
He just delirious, terrible sick.

Oh, what's a matter with him?

Brain fever, they call it.

He sure got it bad. Terrible.

I'm awful glad Abbie's still in town.
I moved her into a room right next to him.

You did? Why?

Well, so she can be near him.
You got to be with him all the time.

Oh, that's right.
You been trying to figure out

some way to get her
to stay in Dodge, haven't you?

Oh, now, here.

No, this man needs professional care
all the time, constantly.

And I can't be there.

Well, how bad is he anyway?

He's about as bad as he can be.

You mean he might die?

Well, sure.

Why, he won't if Abbie's
got anything to do with it.

Well, hope he comes out of it all right.

You have breakfast yet?

No, as a matter of fact.

Hi, Doc.

Mr. Dillon,

Charlie told me to give you this.

Said it come in first thing this morning

when he opened up.

I'm telling you, sometimes I wish
they never invented that telegraph.

Probably from Washington,
giving you a raise.

I'd be happy if they sent me
my last two months pay.

Well, what is it?

Oh, it's from the U.S. Marshal
over at Tucson.

Says if Coney Thorne's left Arizona,
he's broken his parole.

If he shows up here, arrest him.

Well, I didn't even know
that he was on parole.

Neither did I.

Well, let's go find him.

Hold on here now.
Hold on a minute.

He won't be hard to find, Matt.

Well, I didn't whether I'll tell you this or not,
but you got that telegram.

Well, that fellow over at the hotel.
That's Coney Thorne.

- What?
- Yup.

Now, wait a minute now.
Listen, Matt.

He's not gonna go anyplace.
Not for a week or more, that's for sure.

Now, why don't you
give him a week, Matt?

Just a chance.
He's not gonna shoot anybody.

Doc, I can't do
something like that.


Let me ask you something.

Could he have had that brain fever
when he came here?

Well, he undoubtedly did.

And could that turn a decent man

into the kind of men that would want
to shoot somebody in the back?

Well, I can't honestly answer that, Matt.
But he's a terrible sick man.

And anybody deserves a chance.

Now, just give him a week, huh?

All right, he's got a week.

Come on, let's go have
some breakfast.

Marshal, how are you?

Fine, Abbie, fine.
May we come in.

Oh, yes.

Thank you.

It's nice to see you again, Chester.

Thank you, Miss Abbie.

Well, where's your patient?

He's in there.
This is my room.

Oh, I see.

Well, Abbie, I'd like
to talk to him if I can.

Uh, no. Please.

Well, Abbie, Doc says
he's ready to be moved now.

It's been 10 days already.

Please, just a little longer.

Just a couple of days.
Believe me, it's very important.


Well, he... he needs rest, Marshal,

the kind of rest
that he's getting here,

and the kind of care.

Well, I can understand
how you feel, Abbie,

but things are a little different now.

When Coney came here,
he broke parole.

- I know.
- You know? How?

He told me about it.

He's told me a lot about himself.

I see.

Well, then you know he's a wanted man.
He's an outlaw.

He came here to kill.
I thought you hated violence, Abbie.

I haven't changed, but he's not
that kind of a man, really.

Well, he stood right there in the street
the day he got of the stage coach

and told me he was gonna kill me.

I know that,
but he wasn't himself.

He's a good man inside, Marshal.

It's what he's been through...

knowing that he was innocent,

and being in prison the way he was.

It's like soldiers I saw
who had been through too much.

It changes them.

For awhile anyway.

But if they're given a chance,
the right kind of chance,

they can find their way back sometimes.

Is that what you're doing?
Giving him another chance?

I'm trying to, Marshal.

How does he feel about it?

I don't know. Not yet.

I guess I've said all I can say.

Well, all right.

But just one thing, Abbie.

Don't tell him I know about the parole.

Thank you, Marshal.

Thank you for taking
a chance on him.

Not on him, Abbie.

On you.

Good luck.

Well, she sure takes
her work serious like.

Yeah. She's in love
with him, Chester.

Oh, well, I never heard
of such a thing.

It sure don't show much sense.

You ever known a woman in love
to show any sense?

Well, no. No, I didn't,
now I come to puzzle on it.

Kind of scary, ain't it?

Hi, Kitty.

Hello, Matt.

What's matter?
Get a little rough for you in there?

I never seen the place so crowded.

Couple of new trail herds in today.

Think I've danced
with every cowboy from Texas.

Well, at least when they're dancing,
they're not fighting.

Did you ever dance with one of them?

Is there any as bad as all that?

It's worse, they just drink or play
blackjack or something.

Why do they always want to dance?

Well, because by the time they hit Dodge
they haven't seen a woman for three months.

Well, let them stand around and look.

It's a lot easier on everybody.

Mr. Dillon.

Mr. Dillon, I just seen Coney Thorne
down the street there.

I seen him real plain.

He's peeking in the window
at the stage office.

And then he started to go around back.

- Well, see you later, Kitty.
- Yeah.

You think he's trying
to run away, Mr. Dillon?

I don't know.
The office is closed.

It doesn't usually open up till midnight
around time the Pueblo stage leaves.

Yeah, well, at least he didn't try
and shoot you in the back

just as soon as he got out of bed.

Around here.

Mr. Dillon, that ain't Coney Thorne.

Who are you, mister?
What were you trying to do?

Aim to get me a lawman.

Good chance that fella
Coney Thorne get blamed for it.

You're a lawman.

I hate them.

All of them.

Just wanted to get me
a lawman, that's all.

Well, he's still alive, Chester.
You better go get Doc.

Yes, sir.

Burt, you and some of the boys
take him out of here.

Mr. Dillon, I just can't understand.

Trying kill somebody
that he didn't even know

just so he can say
he got a lawman.

Yeah. Yeah, probably thought it make him
feel bigger or important or something.

Wouldn't be the first time.

Matt, I'm going over to the Long Branch.
You want to drop by later?

Oh, I guess so.

Any you folks going on to Pueblo
better bring your stuff around front

so I can load it up.

Ready? Get.

Mr. Dillon, I still say
that it was Coney Thorne

that I've seen in front of the depot.

I got a real good look at him.

Well, maybe.
What reason would he have?

What would he be doing out there?

Well, he could be trying to get away...
to make a break for it.

Oh, I don't think so, Chester.

Say, wait a minute. He and Abbie
are both from out of town, aren't they?

- Yeah.
- So neither one of them would know about

the stage office being closed
this time of night.

Come on.

Hello, Coney.



I told you it wouldn't work, Abbie.

It's all right now.
It's gonna be all right.

Are you going somewhere, are you?

Yes, Marshal.

Before your business is finished here?

That's all over now, Marshal.

Somehow it don't seem
important no more.

It's like is was telling you
the other day, Marshal.

Coney is one who's found
his way back. He's all right now.

It's true, Marshal.

I don't bear any grudges
against you or anybody.

You shouldn't have left Arizona, Coney.

You broke parole.

I'm gonna have to take you back.

He 's going back, Marshal, right now.

And I'm going with him.

We were figuring on stopping in Pueblo
long enough to get married.

And we go onto Arizona
and I give myself up.

I see.

Well, it would be another year in jail
for you for parole breaking.

I know.

I can do it now with Abbie waiting.

Will it be all right, Marshal,
if you just give us a chance?

What kind of a chance can I give you?

Don't arrest him here.

Let him go back on his own with me.

Let him give himself up.

Please, Marshal.

Are you folks aiming to take this stage

or are you gonna stand there
gabbing all night?

Tie that on, will you?

Well, you better get in there.

Next stage for Pueblo
is the day after tomorrow.

Thank you, Marshal.

Thank you.

I'm gonna tell you
what I'm gonna do.

I'll send a wire to the U.S. Marshal
in Tucson.

I'm gonna tell him that I heard
that you married

and settled down
near Arizona somewhere.

So it's not likely that you'll be coming
to Dodge and breaking parole.

Good luck to you.


Hang on, folks.

Yah! Get!

Now, Mr. Dillon, you didn't say nothing
about that fella that tried to kill you.

I thought you was going to.

No, Chester.

Coney Thorne's had enough trouble.

He's got enough bad memories, too.

Oh, well, that's for sure.

You know, Doc's all alone
over at the Long Branch.

Beer would kind of go good
right now, don't you think?


Yeah, I guess maybe it would.

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