Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 4, Episode 24 - Doc Quits - full transcript

Doc takes hard the death of a homesteader under his care; then a flashy new medicine man comes to town and takes away many of his patients.

Starring James Arness as Matt Dillon.

Hello, Mrs. Crummley.
Is Doc here?

He's here.

Oh, I see.
With a patient, huh?

My husband.


He's been here
since yesterday, Marshal.

Well, I didn't know that.

Joe took sick in the night.

I had to drive him into town
in the night.

Oh, I'm sorry.
How is he?

I don't know.

Except that he...

he's still unconscious.

Oh, well, that's too bad.


I knew he was going to die.

I knew it.

There just wasn't very much anybody
could do for him, Mrs. Crummley.

You tried hard, Doc.

Maybe you'd like to sit down,
Mrs. Crummley?



I'd like to go in and sit by him

for a little while.

You sure can.

What was it, Doc?

Oh, contraction of the ileum.


Couldn't operate, huh?

Yeah, but he never did
have a chance.

I never saw a worse infection in my life.

If I could've just had him
here sooner, l...

Yeah, it's too bad.

You know, they were having a pretty
tough time as it was

on that homestead of theirs.

Yeah, I know they were.

Confound it, he didn't have to die.

It wasn't your fault, Doc.

Well, then whose fault was it?

Now, you're not making much sense.

Well, I'm making sense to me.

You know, what I think you need
is a good drink.

I know what I need.


Doc, look, l...
I just stopped up

to tell you that Chester and I
will be headed out for Ford Larned.

We'll be gone about a week.

Well, then go on. Get on your horse
and go to Fort Larned,

or wherever you're going.

Oh, Matt?


Well, I'll talk to you
when you get back.

Sure, Doc.

Well, it sure is good
to get back to Dodge.

Ain't it, Mr. Dillon?

Yeah. I guess nobody's
torn the town apart yet.

Marshal Dillon?

Yes, sir.

My name is Betchel, Marshal.
Jameson Betchel.

How do you do?

This is Chester Goode here.

- Chester.
- How are you?

Well, I'd been by before,
but you must've been away, Marshal.

What can I do for you?

Why, nothing, sir.
I only wanted to meet you.

I've been trying to get acquainted.

You know how it is when you first
move into a new town.

Are you going to start some kind
of a business, are you, Mr. Betchel?

Well, not exactly, Chester.
I'm a... I'm a professional man.


That's my office right
next to the dry goods store.

I just had the sign painted yesterday.

Are you a doctor?

Yes, that's right.
I'm a doctor.

We already got a doctor.

Well, gentlemen, it's been
a pleasure meeting you both.

I wouldn't mind to buy you a drink
the next time we meet.


I wonder what we're going to do
with two doctors.

I don't know, Chester.

Doc, ain't there nothing
you can do for my back?

What's the matter now?

It's killing me again.

Why don't you stay off your feet
like I told you?

That's kind of hard to do
when I'm working, Doc.

Well, if you won't take my advice,
how do you expect me to help you?

- I'm glad to see you back.
- Hello, Kitty.

Sit down.
I want to talk to you a minute.

All right.

Well, what's the trouble?

It's Doc. He's in a terrible mood.

Oh, yeah?

You know, he took Joe Crummley's
dying pretty hard, Kitty.

- That's just part of it.
- What do you mean?

Well, this new Dr. Betchel...
Doc's losing patients to him.

He is?

I shouldn't think he'd mind that.

He's always complaining
about being overworked.

That may be.

All I know is, he's getting
mighty hard to get along with.


Good evening, Doctor.

I took a chance on finding you here.

I, uh, want to talk things over
with you again.

I think I made it clear
that I didn't want to talk to you.

You make it difficult, Doctor.

Now, look, we've got to settle this.

We're just wasting time till we do.

We are?

Of course.

Now, wait, Doc,
we've got to talk about this again.

Oh, we do, huh?

All right. Matt? Oh, Matt?

Well, now what are you doing?

If you're going to talk, you're going
to have to have somebody to listen.

Matt, Betchel here wants to talk.
Go on, talk, Betchel.

I don't know why he brought you
over here, Marshal.

But, well, it's about
my practicing here.

What you got in mind?

So, my idea was to split
the practice in a friendly way,

and then we'd both still have
more than enough work.

That's all there was to it, Marshal.

No, it isn't.
Go on, tell him the rest of it.

Well, the rest of it isn't important.

It only concerns business
arrangements between us.

Marshal, since we'll be giving
better service and all,

it's only fair that we get paid for it.

Don't you agree?

There's nothing wrong with a doctor

trying to make a decent living,
is there?

No decent doctor needs
to charge any more than I do.

You're not being realistic, Adams.

Realistic, huh?

People pay more than they can afford
or stay sick. Is that it?

What about the Hippocratic Oath.

Did you ever hear of it? I doubt it.

Let me tell you something.

It took me an awful long time to get
those letters "M.D." after my name,

and I'm mighty proud of it.

And nobody like you
is every going to change me.

You tinhorn.

- Tinhorn? Now, listen...
- Hold on a second, Doctor.

Nobody's going to call me
a name like that, Marshal.

Now, look, I don't know
what's gotten into Doc,

but I'll find out.
You just take it easy.

Seems to me you were kind of
hard on him, weren't you, Doc?

Hard on him?

You heard what he said.

I wouldn't trust him
to doctor a sick mule.

Hello there, Cullen.

Hello, Marshal.

Cullen, here, here, wait a minute.

How is your ma?

She's fine.

I'm glad you asked.

She feels good, awful good.

She's 80 years old, Marshal.

Yes, I know.

I guess I ought to tell you, Doc...

What? Tell me what?

About the new doc.

His treating ma
was making her feel so good.

I thought you'd be glad to know.

Well, yes, I'm glad to know
your ma is feeling so good.

But, Cullen, l...

I've been treating her
for a good many years now,

and I'd feel awful bad about it
if she didn't get the proper care.

Well, we just figured
to make a change, is all.

So... So, I told you.

No hard feelings.

No. No hard feelings.

Morning, Dr. Betchel.

Well, good morning, Mr. Cullen.
Come on in here, sir.

How is your mother today?

She's all right, I guess.

But she sent me to ask
if you could come out again today.

Why, certainly.
I'll just get my things together here.

It'll just take me a minute.

- Oh, there's old Jake Wirth.
- What's that?

Jake Wirth, coming out
of Doc Adams' office.

Doc's with him, too.

Who's Jake Wirth, Mr. Cullen?

About the richest cattle man
in Kansas, is all.

Is that so?

Oh, he's got his boy in that wagon.

Must be ailing again.

His boy?

Yeah, something's wrong with him.
Has been a long time.

Nobody never could cure him.

See over there?

So, nobody can cure him, huh?

No, but Jake still keeps
bringing him around

every once in a while.

To see Doc Adams?

Sure, but it don't do no good.

Well, it seems a pity he wouldn't try
another doctor, doesn't it?

Well, Jake Wirth and Doc
have been friends a long time.

Well, it's too bad, though,
if friendship causes extra suffering.

Perhaps even results in someone
not being totally cured.

Yeah. Yeah, it sure is.

Oh, Mr. Cullen, by the way,
I just remembered...

I have something here in the office
that I have to do before I go with you.

I'll wait.

Oh, no, there's no point
in your waiting here, Mr. Cullen.

This... This office isn't
the coolest place in town, you know.

As any doctor will tell you,

the more fresh air you get,
the better off you are.

It is kind of warm in here.

- I'll wait for you outside.
- All right, Mr. Cullen.

Well, I'm glad to know
you're getting plenty of rest, Andy.

That's, uh... That's the best thing
in the world for him, Jake.

Lots of rest.
You are, now, ain't you?

Yes, sir.

All right. I'll tell you, I'll, uh...

I'll give your pa
some medicine for you,

and then I'll come by
in a couple of days,

and we'll have a...
have a nice talk, all right?

- Okay, Doc.
- Fine.


He's been that way over a year now.

Isn't he any better?

Well, like I told you, Jake,

he fell off the horse
and cracked his head.

It's a miracle he even lived.

But he can't go on like this.

I can't even let him out of my sight.

I know, Jake. And I'm...

I'm sorry. There's just practically
nothing I can do for him.

You see... Well, we just don't know
enough about things like this.

Maybe someday, but not yet.

Let's go up to the office.

- How are you, Mr. Wirth?
- Hello, Cullen.

I see your boy ain't improved none.
A pity.

Doc here is doing the best he can.

It'll work out, I guess.

This new doctor in town...
he's been helping my ma,

and she's been suffering
from the misery.

Dr. Betchel...
he's an awful smart man.

Betchel, huh?

Yeah, I've heard
a lot of talk about him.

Dr. Betchel says there's always
something that can be done,

just like for my ma.

Your ma's feeling better, huh, Cullen?

Well, seems like.

Come on, Jake.
Let's go up to the office.

Now, wait a minute, Doc.

You really think he's helping your ma?



Betchel can't help your boy
any more than I can.

- Doc, you can't be certain.
- But I am certain!

Well, at least he might be
willing to try!

Well, there's nothing to try, Jake.

Medicine just hasn't learned

how to treat cases
like your boy, I tell you.

You know, Doc,
there's a lot of people

saying you might be jealous
of Dr. Betchel.

- Jealous?!
- That's the talk.

Dr. Betchel says sometimes
doctors get kind of rusty like.

They don't learn new things
like they should ought to.

He says they get old-fashioned.

I'm sorry, Mr. Cullen, I was so long,

but I think we're ready
to go to your mother's now.

This here is Dr. Betchel.

I'm Jake Wirth.

Well, how do you do, sir?

Well, shall we go?

Uh, Dr. Betchel?

Yes, sir?

I got an awful sick boy here, Doctor.

Well, I'm sorry to hear that, sir.

Doc here has been
taking care of him,

but it seems like there's
nothing more he can do.

He ain't very well, Doctor.

There's always something that
can be done for any patient, Mr. Wirth.


Now, you listen to me.

You and I have been friends
for an awful time.

And I just wouldn't tell you
something that wasn't true.

You know that.

And if I thought that man
could help your boy,

I'd be the first one to say so.
But he can't.

Believe me.

Dr. Betchel,
I want you to help my boy.

All right, Mr. Wirth.

Since you've asked me
to come on the case,

I'll do all that I can.

Now, my office is right down there.

I'll examine the boy first,

and then we'll start the treatment
in a day or so.

All right, I'll take that wagon over.

Good. Good, I'll go on ahead.

Ain't we going out to see Ma?

Well, of course, Cullen...
as soon as I finish with Mr. Wirth.

I'm sorry, Doc, but...

sometimes a man's
got to forget friendships.

Well, what did you find out?

Well, Mr. Dillon,
nobody's seen hide nor hair of him

since yesterday afternoon.

You don't Doc would do
anything silly, like, uh...

I mean, like up and quitting, do you?

Well, no, of course not.
He wouldn't do a thing like that.

Well, how do you figure
his sign being down, then?

- Huh?
- Yeah.

It was just laying right there
on the boardwalk.

Uh, it was, anyway.

I picked it up, and I just kind of
tacked it back up on the wall.

Oh, I don't trust myself
out on that street.

What's the matter?

I'm going to start slapping
a few faces around this town.

I just heard that Mrs. Enders,
or whatever her name is,

and some other woman talking.

She said that she thought
it was just fine

that there was a new doctor in town.

Well, I know, Kitty, but...

Listen, that woman's had six kids,

and Doc has delivered
every single one of them.

And he's seen them through
scarlet fever and measles

and whooping cough
and typhoid fever

and everything else that's come along.

And I bet you all he's ever
gotten out of it is...

well, maybe a bunch of carrots.

Well, it sure is enough
to make you mad, all right.

Now, wait a minute.
Don't let's get mad.

I think Doc's probably mad enough
for all of us anyway.

You bet he's mad.

And what's more important,
he's hurt.

- I want to know where he is.
- Kitty, just take it easy.

I'm going to go out
and look for him myself right now.

Besides, I got an idea of where
he's probably at anyway.

Well, you kind of had us worried, Doc.


Oh, me and Kitty. Chester.

- Chester?
- Yep.

Well, that could be serious.

Yeah. I should've known
this is where I'd find you, though.


Well, that big catfish.

He got off your line
three times already this year.

I didn't figure
you would be the kind to quit.

Well, seems like
you're enjoying yourself.

I am. Why shouldn't I be?

No reason.

Well, stop that.
How am I going to catch any fish

with you splashing around
the water with rocks?

I guess you didn't hear
about Mrs. Cullen, did you?


Yeah. Well, she died today.

Well, I'm sorry to hear it.

Doc Betchel figured what she needed
was a good bleeding.

Bleeding? That old lady?

Well, she couldn't stand that.

Well, he bled her three times.

Earlier this morning,
she sent her son looking for you.

For me?

Well, an awful lot of good
that would have done.

I couldn't have done anything.

At that point, I couldn't.

I couldn't have helped her none then.

When are you coming back to town?

I don't know. Why?

Oh, I was just wondering, you know,
about Jake Wirth's boy.

Well, that's not my case, either.

I know it isn't, Doc. But, you know,
at least if you were in town,

people would know
where to find you and so forth.

There's a lot of folks
seem to think you quit.

Well, I didn't quit.

Yeah, well, your sign was down.

Of course, it's back up now.

Chester put it up.

What's the matter?
You through fishing?

Yeah, I am for now.

Well, hold on a minute.

I'll walk along with you.

Got the bucket, Mr. Wirth?

- Yeah, I'm coming, Doc.
- Good.

Thanks. Put it right down.

It's mighty cold out here tonight.

That's the way we want it.
It's just... just right.

You want the boy out here now?

Just... Just a minute.

You sure this is going to work?

Oh, it'll work.

Of course, this is just part
of the treatment, Mr. Wirth.

What else are you going to do?

No more tonight. I'll explain
the rest to you tomorrow.

Well, should we get Andy
out here now?

Well, all right.


Andy, are you ready?

It's cold.

Right over here, Andy.
This won't take long.

Come on, son.
Let's get this over with.

Come on over here, Andy.

Now, come on.

You just lie down there,
like I told you inside.

A little cold never hurt a man, did it?

Especially when it's going
to make you well and strong, boy.

All right, now.

That's a boy.

Easy, now.

Easy. That's right.

Now, you just... just lie back.

That's it, now.

All right. Now, you close your eyes.

Hold your breath.



Stop! That's enough!

Patience, man. Patience.

I don't want any more of this.

Now, wait just a minute, Mr. Wirth.

That's that way we want it.

That's the best thing for him.

That's all there's going to be.
Come on.

It's the best thing for him,
is a couple of good shocks, Mr. Wirth.

Let's get you warm.

How's your back, Sam?

- Fine.
- Good.

I went to see Dr. Betchel.

He gave me unicorn root,
cayenne pepper, and vinegar.

- Cured me.
- Cured you?

Cured me of Dr. Betchel.

Made me so sick,
I couldn't feel my back no more.

Doc? Hello, Marshal. Doc, you've got
to come out to my ranch right now.

You've got to come right now.

- What's the matter, Jake?
- It's my boy Andy.

- Boy...
- Please, Doc.

- Well, I can't Jake.
- Sure you can.

It's not my case.
You know that.

I told Dr. Betchel he couldn't
come back after last night.

I just stopped by his office right now,
and I told him for sure.

- Mr. Wirth?
- What?

I might have known
this was on your mind.

What are you doing following me?

You're here to get Doc Adams
to take your boy's case.

- I sure am.
- He's not going to do it.

All right, just a minute, now.
What did he do to your boy?

He made him take off his shirt
and lay down on them wet sacks,

and then he poured
cold water all over him.

He's an awful sick boy today, Doc.

Looks like the ague,
and he's got a terrible temperature.

If you'd let me finish the treatment,
he'd have been all right...

Finish the treatment?!
You're a worse quack than I thought.


You probably gave that boy pneumonia.

I don't know how you ever got started.

Probably at a medicine show
or something.

You're a fraud,

and you're the most obvious fraud
I've ever seen.

But you've done all the harm
around here you're going to do.

You're through, mister.



Doc, will you come with me now?

Yeah, Jake, I'll go with you
on one condition.

Like I told you, you know,
I can't cure your boy,

except for the fever, if I'm lucky.

I understand, Doc.

- Say, Doc?
- Yeah?

You'd better get back here
when you're through.

Yeah. Why?

I think he's going to need a doctor.