Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 4, Episode 36 - Print Asper - full transcript

Print Asper is suspected of attempted murder when he forces a crooked lawyer, at gunpoint, to return the ranch he stole from him, and the lawyer still ends up getting shot later by someone.

Starring James Arness as Matt Dillon.

A long time since I've been to Dodge, Pop.

It's good you stay out of Dodge, Will.

A man's a whole lot better off
on a ranch than in town.

- He's a whole lot lonelier, too.
- Then get married.

Place needs a woman.

I got my eye on the Sutter girl.

She won't be old enough
for two, three years.

Aw, you'll settle down, Will.

You tie him up. I got a little business
at the land office.

Land office?
What business you got there?

You'll find out when I tell you.

Right now, you go in the general store
and get our supplies together.

So, Print Asper,
what are you doing in town?

I drove in with one of my boys
after supplies.

Well, it's not often you come in.


A good thing I come this time.

Oh? Why is that?

I stopped by the land office.

I was talking to that clerk
about that paper you wrote up for me.

The one I signed a few weeks back.

Oh, yes.
The transfer of title, you mean.

The one that says my boys,
Will and Johnny, own the ranch now

and don't have to wait till I die.

Oh? What about it, Asper?

You wrote it up legal, and I signed it.

- That's right.
- Then you said

I'd have to wait a while
before I could give it to the boys.

I did.

I know why you wanted me
to wait, Rabb.

Do you?

I ain't never learned to read,
but that clerk can.

He told me that paper says
my boys don't own the ranch at all.

It says you do.

All right. The deed is in my name.

But I don't need to do
anything about it for a while,

so don't get all upset.

You cheated me, didn't you?

You signed it, Asper.
Everything's perfectly legal.

Sure. Only you own my ranch.

I told you you could go on living there

for a while.

What if I went to court with it, Rabb?

lt'd take forever,
and it'd cost you a lot of money,

and I could easily fake evidence
to prove

that you signed the ranch over to me
to pay off debts you owe me.

Sure. I wanted them boys
to own that ranch now.

They could take a bigger interest in it.
Take pride in working for themselves.

Would've been good for them.

Only their old Pa had to go
and fuddle everything.

You got outsmarted, that's all.

Now, if you don't mind,
I've got a lot of work to do.

I brought this here gun along.
I'm gonna shoot you with it, Rabb.

Here now. Are you crazy?
Put that gun away, Asper.

Just ain't no other way.
Like you say, it's all legal.

So I'm just gonna shoot you
and get it over with.

- You'll hang for this.
- Sure, I will. But I'm old.

It won't matter much,
and it might just learn you a lesson.


Listen to me. I'll...
I'll fix up another title transfer.

The other one won't count.
I don't want your ranch.

You'll think of some way to cheat me.
I'll just save time and shoot you now.

No, no, no.
I'll make out another one right now.

You can file it yourself. Look.

I'll do it right now.

You know I can't read, Rabb.

Well, we'll take it over together.
The clerk can read it for you.

Well, all right.

Go ahead. Write it up, Rabb.

There. You satisfied?

When we get it recorded,
maybe I will be.

Well, come on then.
We'll do it right now.

You know something, Rabb?
You're a pretty smart lawyer,

but I kind of think this is about
the last job I'll ask you to do for me.

And if you don't do this right,

I'll kill you.

Now, let's go find out.

Oh. Mr. Dillon.

Sorry, Chester.

I didn't mean to disturb you there.

Oh, no, you didn't disturb me.
I was just sitting there thinking.

Thinking, huh?

Yeah... Well, as a matter of fact,
I was sitting there waiting for you.

I figured you'd be in today.
It's a good thing you come, too.

- What's the matter? Something wrong?
- Rabb got shot.

- Rabb the lawyer?
- Yeah.

Somebody shot him last night
while he was a-sitting in his office.

- Was he killed?
- No, no. He's up at Doc's place now.

I see. Any idea who did it?

No, no. The... A couple of men
heard the shot,

and they went in there,
but they didn't see nobody.

What about Rabb?
Does he know who did it?

Well, he ain't been conscious since.

Leastwise, he wasn't up till noon today.

Well, I better get up there
and look into it.

- Can you get the saddle off him?
- Yeah.


- Oh, hello, Matt.
- Hello, Doc.

- You just get back?
- Yeah.

Chester told me about Rabb.
How is he?

Well, he's conscious,
but he sure is weak.

- Did he say anything to you?
- Oh, no.

No, I didn't ask him anything at all, Matt.

I knew you'd be back,
and I knew you'd want to do that yourself.

Mm. Is it all right now?

Well, yeah. Go ahead.
But don't talk to him too long.




Look, I know how you're feeling,
and I don't want to bother you,

but do you have any idea
who shot you?

Asper. Old Print Asper shot me.

Print Asper?

Shot me in the back.
Never even saw him.

Well, if you didn't see him,
how do you know who it was?

I was sitting at my desk.
He shot me through the window.

Yeah, but how do you know
it was Print Asper?

A couple of days ago,
he threatened me.

Said he'd kill me.

He did? Why?

Oh, his ranch...

I made a... a little mistake.

I got his title transfer mixed up,
but I fixed that.

That man's crazy.

He's plumb crazy.

He ought to be put in jail.

He ought to be hung.

Oh, Matt.

That's enough. I don't want him...
I don't want him to get excited.

What do you think
his chances are, Doc?

Oh, he'll pull through.
He's gotta have a lot of rest.

Well, I'd like to talk to him again
as soon as I can.

This story hasn't made much sense.

Well, can you wait a couple of days
till he gets a little stronger?

Mm. I guess I'll have to.

- You better.
- All right. I'll talk to you later.

- Here you are, Matt.
- Thanks, Kitty.

You look tired.
Did you have a hard ride?

Well, I rode till midnight last night,

then got up, started out again
at 4:00 this morning.

I'd call that hard.
Why don't you go to bed?

Miss Kitty.

Oh, Sam wants me.
Don't let my beer get warm.

All right.

He's right over here.

Well, here he is, Mr. Dillon.
I finally found him.

- Hello, Print.
- What is it you want, Marshal?

- Well, sit down. I'll tell you.
- Mr. Dillon, I think I'll just get a beer.

All right. fine.

Would you like a drink?

All I'd like to do is get to bed.

I rode in
from Coldwater an hour or so ago,

and I aim to ride on home
first thing in the morning.

Well, Print, you weren't in Dodge
last night, then, huh?

Coldwater's a day's ride from here.

How could I be in Dodge last night
and there, too?

Now, why'd you get me in here
for anyway, Marshal?

- Print, I have to ask you something.
- Well, speak up.

Did you threaten to shoot the lawyer Rabb?

How'd you know about that, Marshal?

Did you?

Yes, I did. Why?

Because somebody shot him last night.

They kill him?

He's still alive.

You got any idea who might have done it?

Yeah. I might have.

- But you didn't.
- No.

But I would have.
He's a crook, Marshal.

I thought I was signing my ranch
over to my boys,

and he put his own name in instead.

But he sure changed his mind
once I got him treed.


Well, Print, what about your boys?
Do they know about this?

Why, no.

Why, they couldn't do it, Marshal.

I raised them boys
to be different from me.

Oh, I can be right mean
when I'm pushed to it.

And I've killed men in my time.

But I've taught them boys to be different.

I know, Print, but, uh,

I think I'd better talk to them
just the same.

All right, then.
You can ride out with me tomorrow,

and we'll clear this thing up
once and for all.

My boys wasn't in on it,
and I won't have nobody thinking they was.

Now, you come talk to them tomorrow.

- We'll ride out in the morning.
- We'll leave the stable at daylight.

- I'll be there.
- All right.

Place is looking right nice, Print.

It's coming, Marshal. It's coming.

I can see why you wouldn't want
to be cheated out of it.

Well, Chester, life's always uncertain
and full of boils.

I don't see the boys around.
Maybe they're in the house.

Will! Johnny! You home?

- Is that you, Pa?
- Come on out here, Will.

- Oh, we've got company.
- Hello, Will.

Where's Johnny, Will?
I want the both of you here.

- He's around somewheres.
- Well, go get him, will you?

All right.
I got some coffee on the stove.

- Would you boys care to sit down for a cup?
- Oh, say, I'd like that myself.

Now, look, lawyer Rabb got shot
the night before last,

and the marshal here is looking
for the man who done it.

Well, I didn't shoot him, Pa.

Satisfied, Marshal?

What about Johnny?

Will, you think Johnny might have done it?

Ask him.

You know more than you're saying,
don't you, boy?

Now, come on, Will.

Whatever it is,
I want you to tell me.

I was listening at Rabb's window,

and I heard you say how he cheated you.

I told Johnny what I heard, too.

Why didn't you listen some more

since you were so busy snooping around?

I was gonna shoot him, all right,
but he fixed everything up,

and now this ranch is yours...
yours and Johnny's, you hear?

Well, Marshal, it looks like Johnny
got hotheaded and rode into town, don't it?

Yeah, but you don't know for sure
that it was Johnny that done it.

I know darn well he did now.

Well, we better go find him anyway.

I'll be right back with you.

All right.

Hey, where's Pa? Is he back yet?

- He's out looking for you.
- Why? What does he want of me?

You'd know more about that
than I would, Johnny.

I didn't want no smart answers, Will.

What are you talking about?

Where you been?

None of your business, Will.

You've been riding that horse
awful hard.

It's my horse, ain't it?

I can ride him any way I like.

I ain't stopping you.

That, uh, bay horse over there...

he ain't been rode in a week, has he?

You aiming to ride out again, Johnny?

I asked you a question.

Well, I'll tell you.

I ain't rode that bay horse lately.

But what you've been riding,
or where to, I'm sure I wouldn't know.

You know, Will,

I've had just about enough
of your fancy talk, Will.

Pretty edgy, kid.
You got something on your mind?

Yeah, I got plenty on my mind.

You're so nosy.

You're in trouble, ain't you?

No. No, I ain't.

I fixed everything.

You shot that lawyer, Rabb.



I shot him twice...
the other night and again today.

What do you mean?

They took him up to Doc's after I shot him
the first time. I heard about that.

So I went back today and waited around
till Doc left his office for a while.

I went up, and I shot him again.

- For good this time.
- Johnny, you fool.


Well, if it wasn't for me,
you wouldn't have nothing, big brother.

Johnny, I didn't know
all Pa done the other day.

He made Rabb write out
another title transfer.

The land's ours now, clear and legal.

- I don't believe that.
- Well, it's true.

Him and the marshal was here.
They told me.

Well, it's still all right.

It's still all right
'cause Pa threatened him.

Rabb must have told about that.

Everybody will think Pa done it, not me.

You didn't tell them nothing about me,
did you?

Johnny, you didn't mean that
about trying to hang this on Pa.

Why shouldn't they hang it on him?

He's old. I got my whole life to live.

- You give me that gun, Johnny.
- My gun? What for?

Give it to me. I'm taking you
to the marshal right now.

Turn me in? My own brother?

- I want that gun, Johnny.
- No, you won't.

You pull out on me,
I'll run you through.

Come and get it.

You was always so dang smart.

Ain't Doc ever gonna
get through in there?

Well, Chester, it takes time
for a man to die.

Well, how you know he's gonna die?

I hope he doesn't, but he had that look
when I was talking to him.

That Johnny shooting his own brother.

Well, we'll find him.

Well, don't you think
we ought to get started?

Well, we gotta wait and see
what happens to Will first.

It seems like we're just
wasting so much time.

Print wants to come.
You know how he is.

Well, he can be pretty crusty, all right.

Will's dead.

I'm sorry, Print.
You want us to bury him for you?

Doc's gonna take him into town,
and he'll be buried there.

- You ready to ride?
- Don't you think I ought to give Doc a hand?

- A neighbor will be by. Let's get going.
- Print,

we'll go after Johnny.

Thanks, Marshal,

but I want to be there.

That old man sure is some Indian,
ain't he?

Yeah, he knows this prairie
like some men know the Bible.

He don't believe in eating.
He don't believe in drinking.

He thinks resting up is something
for the dead.

Well, he's on the hunt, Chester.
Nothing else matters to him.

I wouldn't want him on my trail.

- Three hours.
- Huh?

Trail's three hours old,
and that horse of his

is beginning to pull up lame.

I figure we'll run him down before dark.


Johnny, it's Matt Dillon.

I know you're there, Marshall,
and I know who brung you!

Johnny, I want you to give yourself up.

So's I can get hung?

This is the last time
I'm gonna ask you, Johnny.

You come out of there
with your hands up,

and I'll see that you get every chance
there is at the trial.

He ain't gonna come out of there, Marshal.

I know that boy,
and I know how he thinks.

Well, I guess we'll have
to play it your way, Print.

We'll just wait him out, Marshal.

What happened?

Well, it looks like
Johnny wants to shoot it out, Chester.

Well, ain't there no way that
we can get behind him

and kind of move in on him?

Well, that front door's the only way out.

And he'd be sure to get at least two of us
before we got through.

Yeah, I reckon you're right there.

Well, looks like it might be a long wait.

I guess one's enough at a time
to keep watching, isn't it?

Plenty. I'll take first couple hours.

All right.

How long you figure he'll stay
holed up in there?

Well, I don't know, Chester.

You think he might try
to make a break for it?

I hope not,
but there's no way of telling.

Well, killing your own brother, uh...
it's just terrible.

Any killing is.

Yeah, I know that, Mr. Dillon.

But when it's your own kin
and your own flesh and blood, it just...

Well, it just makes me sick
to think about it.

l... I don't know what gets into a man
to get him all twisted up like that.

What are you thinking, Print?

Thinking of all those wasted years.

Print, when he makes a break for it,

let me do the shooting, will you?

Maybe I can knock him down
without killing him.

No, he'd only hang.

We'll both shoot, Marshal.

All right, Print.

Mr. Dillon. Mr. Dillon!

What is it?

He opened up the door.

Well, Print, I, uh...

You know I fired first. It, uh...

Probably my bullet that did it.

No. I seen your shot, Marshal.

You hit him in the shoulder.

On purpose, I figure.

I killed him.

I had to.

He was my son, wasn't he?