Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 4, Episode 34 - The Choice - full transcript

Matt tries to help Andy Hill, a young gunman who is apparently trying very hard to go straight, by getting him a job riding shotgun on the stagecoach.

Starring James Arness as Matt Dillon.

Well, Chester?

Howdy, Miss Kitty.

Weren't you even going to say hello?

Uh, well, l...

I thought you was busy there. l...

I wasn't busy. I was just telling
Andy here about Dodge.

This is Chester Goode. He's one
of the people you ought to know.

- This is Andy Hill.
- How are you?

How do you do?

Well, you going to have a drink?

Well, I, uh... Well, I thought maybe
I'd have just a little glass of beer...

- Sam... kind of pass the time...

bring Chester here
a glass of beer on the house.

- Oh.
- Coming right up, Miss Kitty.

Well, uh, thanks.

Chester works for Marshal Dillon, Andy.

That ought to be a good job.

Oh, yeah, it's a good job
if you like long hours and short pay.

- Here you are, Chester.
- Oh, thanks, Sam.

Chester spends a good deal
of those long hours

sitting around the depot
or the stage office

watching the travelers come and go.

Well, that's just so Mr. Dillon
will know where I am

in case that he wants me.

Oh, certainly.

You going to stay in Dodge long, Andy?

Maybe. I'm not sure yet.

I've been advising Andy to move on.

What for?

I don't know. Probably because
I want to leave myself.

- Oh.
- Hey!

Your name Kitty?

- I'm busy, Mister.
- Huh.

They told me your name,
so now I'm gonna buy you a drink.

Go on back to your hogs.
You're spoiling the air.

Here, I'll have no talk like that
from a woman.

Wait a minute.

Now listen, I think that you heard the lady.

Now why don't you just go on
and do your drinking somewheres else?

You put me out? You ain't even armed.

Well, I can get armed fast enough.
Sam, give me that six-gun.

- Yeah, that's...
- What about me, Mister? I'm armed.

You're too young to be wearing a gun.

Take it off.

You do it.

You take it off of me.

- Sure, I'll take it off...
- Do it from there.

You want to get yourself killed.

I don't want nobody to get killed.

Now look, if you was smart,
you'd get out of here.

I ain't going no place.

I'm gonna put a bullet in you.

You can't do it, Mister.

Don't try it.

Huh. Sure cocky, ain't you?

He shouldn't have tried it.

You sure handled that gun of yours
awful fast.

He was looking for a fight.

Well, he was doing that, all right,
that's for sure.

Did you kill him?

- I did.
- It was self-defense, Matt.

He started it, and he drew first.

- And he had to shoot him.
- That's right, Mr. Dillon.

He was just treating Miss Kitty
something terrible,

and before I could get a gun,
Andy, here, stood up to him.

I see.

Well, Chester, you'd better get
a couple of men and haul him out of here.

Yes, sir. A couple of you men
give me a hand here.

Your name's Andy, huh?

That's right, Marshal, Andy Hill.

You should have seen him, Matt.

he had his gun out
before Andy even started to draw.

- Pretty fast, huh?
- I'm alive.

Where are you from, Andy?

I just told you my name.
It don't matter where I'm from.

What are you doing around Dodge?

Look, Marshal,
I'm not looking for trouble.

I came here to find a good honest job.

It's what he told me, Matt,
and I believe him.

Why would I be lying?

When a man is as handy with a gun
as you are, Andy,

he isn't always looking for an honest job.

All right. I'll move on.

I wouldn't stand a chance here
with you against me.

Oh, Matt.

It's all right, Miss Kitty.
I'll make out someplace else.

- Thanks for your trouble.
- Now wait a minute.

You looking for a job, huh?

That's right.

All right. Follow me.

What for?

You'll find out. Come on.

Hello, Jim.

Hi, Marshal.

Jim, I'd like to have you meet
Andy Hill.

- How do, Andy?
- Andy Hill.

You said you were looking
for a shotgun rider the other day, Jim.

That's right. I still am.

Well, Andy, here, is looking for a job.

- That so?
- That's right.

Did you ever ride shotgun before?


A man can get killed
if he does his job right.

A man can get killed falling off a horse.

Where you from, Andy?

Oh, I've, uh, been all over.

You recommending him, Matt?

He's pretty good with a gun, Jim.

Well, he's good with a gun, all right.

I can vouch for that.

Lots of men are good with guns.

We sometimes carry gold on that stage.

But then I don't suppose
you'd have recommended him

if you didn't have some trust in him.

I'd take a chance on him, Jim.

Stage leaves for Hayes City
at 6:00 in the morning.

You be here at 5.

I'll be here.


I got to get my horse stabled.
I'll see you later.

All right, Andy.

Mr. Dillon, l...

I guess that he's all right and all.

He just seems like he's
hiding something to me.

If he's hiding something,
it's probably bad, and... and l...

Well, I don't know much about him,

but I got an idea he's all right.

Thanks, Jim.

It's all right, Marshal.

What are you looking at out there anyway?


What is it, some pretty girl
or something out there?

Oh, Mr. Dillon,
you know there ain't no pretty girl.

Oh, that's right. I forgot.
You're broke again this week.

Well, being broke don't...

I was just looking to see if the stage
from Hayes City was coming in.

It's due in today.


I know.

I was just kind of curious
about that stage.

What with Andy riding shotgun,

I just hope that he turned out all right.

So do I.

Well, we'll soon know.

It sure late enough, all right.

You think something
happened to it, Mr. Dillon?

Well, that stage has never been
on time yet, Chester,

since the line opened.

Looks like it could make it
this once, at least.


You know, it's none of my business,
Mr. Dillon, but...

...why did you go out on a limb
for Andy like you did there,

not knowing him any more than you did?

Oh, I don't know, Chester.

Somebody helped me once
a long time ago when I needed it.

Guess I just haven't forgotten.

Well, I hope he's deserving.

Yeah. So do I.

Look. They made it.

There's Andy setting up there.
I guess everything's all right, huh?


Marshal, I want you to arrest him.

What are you talking about?

- We was held up.
- Held up?

Yes, by heaven. This so-called
shotgun man just sat there

like an owl on a rafter.

He just sat there and did nothing.

Just threw the strong box on the ground.

What about that, Andy?

Why kill a man for nothing?

For nothing? He held us up, didn't he?

The strong box was empty.
There were no passengers.

He didn't get a thing.

You didn't know
that strong box was empty

till afterwards, when I told you.

And I told you I knew it
before we left Hayes City.

I figured I ought to know
what I was guarding, so I found out.

Yeah, you probably did.

For all I know, you and that bandit
are in cahoots.

Maybe you and him are partners.

Wait a minute, Jim.
There's no proof of that.

There's nothing wrong with Andy, here,
finding out what's in that box.

Well, maybe not, Matt, but I ain't
paying a man who won't fight.

You're fired, Andy.

I'm sorry, Marshal.
I guess I disappointed you,

but I just can't shoot a man
out of the saddle for no reason.

You sure there wasn't any reason, Andy?

You think I was in on it?

I didn't say that.

Well, I wasn't.

Mr. Dillon, uh,

you think that maybe Jim Buck
there was right?

I don't know, Chester.

Thank you.

Don't drink it too fast.

We were talking about Jim Buck.

Oh, yeah.

Yeah, I was hoping he'd kind of cool off
after a couple of days.

- Did he?
- Mm-mm.

Well, he did some, but not enough
to give Andy his job back.

They tell me Andy's been all over town
looking for a job lately.


You still interested in helping him
after what's happened?

Well, sure, Doc.

I think if Andy was really bad,

he wouldn't be hanging around town
looking for a job.

He could be bluffing.
Have you talked to him?

No. He doesn't talk much,
especially to me.

Probably don't trust the law.


Well, he wouldn't be the only one
around Dodge.

Bartender, bring me a bottle.

And two glasses.

Who's that fellow with him?

I don't know.

Looks awful familiar, though.

Come on, drink up.

I told you I don't want to drink with you.

You'll drink.

Why don't you leave me alone, Kerrick?

Because I take it bad
when somebody won't drink with me.

Well, you take it any way you like.

You're drunk, Andy.

- I could kill you easy.
- Try it.

Hold it, Andy.

You stay out of this, Marshal.

Like the man says, you're too drunk.

Am I? Watch this.

What did you want to do that for, Marshal?

You better do your drinking
somewhere else, Mister.

All right, Andy. Come on.

Where are we going?

I'm gonna put you away
where you can sleep it off. Come on.

That lump on Andy's head
sure made him thirsty.

He's drinking coffee in there
like he just discovered it.

Yeah. Here it is.

I knew I'd seen this Kerrick
somewhere before.

You mean he's on one of them
"wanted" posters?

Yes, he's wanted in Oklahoma Territory,

and so is Andy.

Andy? What do they want with Andy?

Kerrick is wanted for murder,
Andy for robbery.

- They were partners.
- Well, I'll be.

He looked like such a nice feller, too.


You know, it must be that Kerrick
needs Andy, Chester.

He probably followed him to Dodge.

Well, it just goes to show you,
you just never know about people.

You know what I think?

I think Andy's trying to go straight.

But he's still got a choice to make.

I'm going to help him make it.

Mr. Dillon, I don't know
what you're figuring on doing,

but you could get yourself
in a pack of trouble

trying to help Andy out.


You must have a lot of faith in him.

Not a lot, Chester.

Just enough to give him a chance.

Come in.

Hello, Jim.

Well, hello, Marshal.
What are you doing here?

Well, I hate to bother you
this time of night,

but I'd like to ask you a favor.

Sure. What can I do for you?

Well, how are you fixed
for a shotgun guard?

I haven't found anybody
I can hire on yet. Why?

Well, I'd like you to give Andy
his job back.

Oh, look, Marshal,
you know how I feel about that kid.

Yes, I know how you feel about him.

I know that he disappointed you
last time and all, but...

Look, Marshal,

maybe he ain't really a bad kid.

But I'm bringing a load of gold
back from Hayes,

and I don't want somebody
riding with me I can't trust.

Jim, I want that boy
to have another chance.

Well, I don't know.

I don't like it, especially
when I'm carrying gold.

I'll take responsibility for him.

Jim, this is important to me.

All right, Marshal.

You have him at the stage depot
first thing in the morning.

Thanks, Jim.

- Chester.
- Yeah?

Could you get Andy out of there, please?

- Andy?
- Yeah.

Andy. Mr. Dillon wants to see you.

Let's go.

Well, how's your head, Andy?

You didn't do it no good.

Well, I'm sorry about that,

but you were pretty drunk, you know?

You didn't give me much chance
to discuss it with you.

What do you want, Marshal?

Well, I guess if I had as much
on my mind as you do,

I wouldn't be too friendly
with the law, either.

What do you mean by that?

It was Kerrick that held up the stage
the day you wouldn't shoot, wasn't it?



And the reason you wouldn't shoot

was because you didn't
want to kill a man without a reason,

especially when you saw
that it was your former partner.

I didn't have anything to do with that.

I didn't even know he was in the country.

What are you getting at?

Well, now you know.

Makes things pretty rough for me,
don't it?

It depends.

I'm through with Kerrick once and for all.

I got nothing to do with him now.

That's what that fight in the saloon
was all about.

I don't expect you to believe me,
but that's the truth.

There's a stage leaving
for Hayes City tomorrow morning, Andy.

Carrying a load of gold back.

Jim Buck has hired you on
as shotgun rider.

He hired me back?

I don't understand that, Marshal.

You want the job or not?

Yeah. I'll take it.

Better go and get yourself
a good night's sleep.

He'll expect you there
first thing in the morning.

You're taking quite a chance, aren't you?

Not half the chance you're taking.

Well, uh, I just don't understand,
Mr. Dillon.

You let Andy out of jail.
You give him his job back.

You don't even go after this Kerrick feller.

While Kerrick's in Dodge, Chester,

I can pick him up any time I want to.


he's not as important to me
right now as Andy is.

Everybody that's going to Hayes City
better get aboard.

The stage is leaving.

Tim, you want to help them?

Okay, folks, let's go.

Well, so you decided to go along, huh?

Yeah. I'm going.

That's real nice of you.

You ready to go now,
or you think maybe we ought to wait

until you eat breakfast or something?

Let's get going.

Well, sure, Andy, if you say so.

Okay, Jim, all in.

Thanks, Tim.

Good crowd today, Kitty.


I said it's a good crowd here.


I'd sure like to have
half interest in this place.

Oh, a doctor in the saloon business
wouldn't look right.

Well, it wouldn't look any worse

than a doctor walking around Dodge

Oh, you're not fooling me a bit.

You're the richest man in town.

Let's get married.

What was that?

I said let's get married.

I guess that's what you said, wasn't it?

- Mm-hmm.
- Why?

Because you're so handsome.

And you are rich.

And what more would any girl want?

Well, now, l...

I have to admit I'm handsome.
It's true.

- Mm-hmm.
- But rich?

Good gosh, you'd have to support me.

- Honest, I haven't got any money.
- Ohh.

No money, huh?

Let me tell you something.

If you'd spend a little more time
out working

instead of sitting around in here,

you might make something.

My gosh, I might have known it.

Here I was getting proposed to,
and you come in here and spoil it.

- Oh, you proposing?
- Yes, yes, it's true.

He turned me down again. I don't know.

Oh, well, you can't expect
these young fellas

to make up their mind in a hurry,
you know.

I thought you'd be over there
waiting for the stage from Hayes City.

I was.

- Has it come in yet?
- Nope.

My gosh, four hours late, ain't it?


Have a beer, Marshal?

All right, Sam. Thanks.

Mr. Dillon, it's here.


If you're looking for Andy,
I don't know where he is.

Where is he? What happened?

I ain't seen him since we got
to Hayes City.

- You mean he quit?
- I'd call it that.

- Did he tell you he was quitting?
- He didn't tell me nothing.

He just disappeared.

How come you didn't hire
another shotgun man?

I would have, but they decided
not to send any gold on this shipment

If I ever see that worthless
Andy Hill again,

I'll break his head open
with a whiffle tree.

I never should have listened to you.

Oh, Mr. Dillon, at least he didn't
help Kerrick rob the stage.


Well, he probably found out there
wasn't going to be any gold shipment,

so he got a hold of Kerrick,
and they made a run for it.

That kind of gives him a head start,
don't it?


- I'm going after him, Chester.
- Right now?

Well, yeah. Like you said,
they got a pretty good head start already.

It's going to be a long trip.
You don't have to come if you don't want to.

Oh, well, now, Mr. Dillon,

the only thing I'd do around here
would be spend my money foolishly.

All right, let's go.

Mr. Dillon?

Lookie there. Ain't that Andy?


It's Kerrick.

- Kerrick?
- That's right.

Did you kill him, Andy?

I killed him.

Jim Buck said you ran off
when you got up to Hayes City.

If I hadn't, Jim might not be here.

What do you mean?

Kerrick was going to hold up the stage.

I decided not to let him do it.

I was afraid if I'd tried to fight him
sitting up there with Jim,

things might go bad,
so when I got to Hayes City,

I rode out to meet him alone.

Go on.

When I found him and told him,
he got mad.

And went for his gun.

Claiming self-defense, Andy?

There was no witnesses.

I see.

Maybe I shouldn't have come back.

- Chester.
- Yes, sir?

Would you help Andy
get that body off the horse?

What are you going to do?

I'm going to let the law
in Oklahoma Territory

know what's happened to Kerrick.

What abut me, Marshal?

I'm going to send a telegram, Andy.

I want to see if I can talk them
out of wanting you back.

That is if you can talk Jim Buck
into giving you your job again.

My guess is they'll give you a pardon.

Thanks, Marshal.

Don't thank me, Andy.

I won my bet.