Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 4, Episode 37 - The Constable - full transcript

Dodge City's businessmen learn a hard lesson when they reject Matt's advice and hire a meek constable to handle a gang of rowdy but free-spending trail cowboys.

Starring James Arness as Matt Dillon.


What's the matter?
What's the matter with you, huh?

Oh, I knowed it was you
fiddling around like that.

Oh, you did? Well, I just wanted
to see if you was dead, that's all.


Doc, I'll be pulling weeds
over your grave for 20 years.

Well, that'll keep you
from going to sleep in public.

Oh, I just stored a little bit up.

Nobody's going to get any sleep
in this town, not tonight.

Why is that?

Well, there's a new outfit
arrived out of Braveroot...

Drag R outfit.

Oh, they any worse
than any other outfit?

No, no. There's just
more of them, that's all.

Well, that's fine. Maybe I'll do
a little business.

Things have been
a little quiet lately.

Well, it ain't going to be quiet long.

Hey, fellas, lookie here!

Partner, hold it there.

All right, put the gun away, cowboy.

No, I ain't hurting nobody.

You've been here before.
You know the law.

Kansas law.

- I'm from Texas.
- We all are.


Don't make me throw you in jail
before I even get drunk.

You ain't throwing nobody
in jail, lawman.

Then put the gun away.

I got one more shot left.

Give me a drink, barkeep.

You're slower than a cripple's steer.

Be patient, will you?
I got my hands full.

And I got my bottle empty.

Now give me some whiskey
before I lose my temper.

You'll wait your turn, Mister.

I didn't make that ride
from Texas to wait for nothing.

Do you hear me?

I want some whiskey.
I want some whiskey!

Now look here, you're going
to have to pay for that.

Pay for it?

Sure. Like this?

Hee ha ha ha ha!

Hold it.

- Give me that gun, cowboy.
- Like blazes.

The law's gonna get you

You better run, you better get away

Run right along,
the law's gonna get you

You better run,
you better get away


Oh, good morning, Mr. Dillon.

Hello, Chester.

I, uh, turned them cowboys loose,
Mr. Dillon, like you told me to.

Oh, good.

You know, them was the sorriest
of cowboys I ever did see.

You know before the night was out
you had five prisoners back there?

I guess I was a little too busy
to keep track.

Oh, yeah.

It sure is a good thing
that you kept busy, though.

Otherwise, I'm telling you, we would have
been in for a peck of trouble.

Yeah, I suppose so.

I know that cowboys
take their pleasures serious-like,

but hey, I never seen anything
like that Drag R outfit.

They beat anything I ever seen.

You Marshal Dillon?


My name's Rance, Marshal.

I'm trail boss of the Drag R outfit.


I bossed that herd up here
from down near Matagorda.

That's in Texas, Marshal.

Yeah. I've been there.

You have, huh?

Well, you better not ever go back.

We might give you the kind of welcome
you're giving us up here.

What's your complaint?

Five of my men rode back to camp
a while ago, Marshal,

with blood in their hair.

They said you done it
with a six-gun barrel.

I did.

I probably saved them from getting shot
or else shooting somebody else.

I don't take kindly to your
buffaloing my men, Marshal.

Now, listen to me, Rance.

This town was on the edge
of a riot last night,

and I was finally able to stop it,

and I stopped it
without anybody being killed.

It's a man's own business
if he wants to draw his gun.

Around here it isn't.

Now, Marshal, I can't expect men

to live the miserable life they live
coming up the trail

and then take to drinking soda water
and talking in whispers

when they hit town.

What kind of place is this anyway?

It's a good town.

They can do all the drinking
and gambling they want to here.

But they can't go around
shooting up saloons

or starting free-for-alls
or stopping women on the street.

It's not that kind of town.

All right, so they got a little frisky.
I don't see no harm in that.

That's the kind of thing that leads
to a killing sooner or later, Rance.


I got to draw the line somewhere.

Well, now so do I, Marshal, so do I.

I won't drive cattle to Dodge no more.

I'll take them someplace else.

I'll spread the word back home
that Dodge is a no-good town.

This place will go broke, Marshal.
It'll turn to dust.

All be your fault.

I'm just hired to keep the peace, Rance.

Well, you... you just keep it, then,

as long as they want you here.

That might not be for very long.

People in Dodge are not
going to like being broke.

Uh, I wish he'd show up.
I'm needed at the bank.

Well, we all had work.

I thought you said you told
Marshal Dillon to be here at 4:00.

I did, but the marshal isn't doing
much of anything the way he should lately.

He sure isn't.

Did you tell him what the meeting is for?

Of course not.

Well, we can't wait all day.
I've got bank work to do.

Good afternoon, gentlemen.

Good afternoon, Marshal.

Oh, this is my brother Carl, Marshal.

He's, uh, visiting from Denver.

- How do you do?
- Marshal.

You said you wanted to see me?

We all did, Marshal.

Mr. Hightower, Mr. Botkin,
Mr. Dobie, all of us.

Practically every man who does
business in Dodge is present.


Where's the, uh, trail boss Rance?

He does business here, too, doesn't he?

He certainly does.

And that's just what we want
to talk to you about.

Shall we sit down?

Marshal, we've had a meeting here,

and we've decided you've got
to go easier on these cowboys.

That so?

They bring a lot of money into this town,
and we don't aim to lose their business.

Gentlemen, there's always a little trouble

the first night or two
after a trail herd hits Dodge.

All I do is throw a few
of the wildest boys in jail,

and the rest calm down soon enough.

Rance won't stand for your slugging
and jailing his men.

He told me so himself.

Nobody got killed last night, did they?

That isn't the point, Marshal.

According to the law, it's the point,
Mr. Botkin.

The law's a fine thing, Marshal.

We also happen to be
interested in business.

And we're not going to let you
and your methods ruin it for us.

Nobody's trying to ruin your business,
Mr. Green.

But you're doing it.

And we've decided that if you
just leave Dodge alone

and do your work out in the country,

we'll hire a man here
the cowboys might take to a little better.

I see.

I'm speaking for the good
of the community, Marshal.

You're a fool, Mr. Green.

You're all fools.

You'd rather see blood spilled
than lose out on a dollar, wouldn't you?

All right. I'm not going to make
any more arrests

until you come and ask me to.

Now it's your town, gentlemen.

You can blow is off the map
if you want to.

I guess you're not going to learn
any other way.


Got the mail, Mr. Dillon.

Oh, good. Just throw it
on the desk over there, will you?

I'm probably going to have
plenty of time to read it,

the way things are going.

Well, just wait till people find out
what Dodge is a wide open town.

We're not gonna have
nothing but trouble.

Well, I don't know what else to do.

It's the only thing I can think of.

Besides, maybe with a little luck,
nothing too bad will happen.

Well, it's just a doggone shame
that people won't listen to you

is all I can say.

- Excuse me, Marshal.
- Come in.

Well, I don't want to bother you.

No bother.

Well, I sure hope not.

What can I do for you?

Marshal, you don't know me,
but I know you.


Marshal, l...

I don't know h...

Well, go ahead.

Uh, I'm the new constable.

Uh, they picked me to be constable.
I had to take it, I'm so broke and all.


I don't want you to be mad at me, Marshal.

I need the money.
That's... That 's why I done it.

What's your name?

- Uh, Dillard.
- Dillard?

Yes, sir. Uh, Dillard Bann.

Where's your gun?

Oh. Oh, shucks, Marshal.
I don't aim to get in no fight.

- You don't?
- No, sir.

If there's any trouble,

well, I'll just sort of talk them out of it.


Well, I wish you a lot of luck.


Well, ha...

Well, uh, I better be going.

l... I'm on pay already.


So long.

I'm gonna tell you, them cowboys
is gonna ruin him, Mr. Dillon,

that feller there.

Hey, lady.

Aw, don't be scared of us.

Yeah. Send the boy home
and have a drink with us.

Yeah. Come on. You're still pretty.


Oh, boy! You sure do
make a pretty picture

flying through the air!

- Yee hee!
- Wahoo!

- Don't stop there.
- Ahh!

Okay, now, fellas, let's stop this.

We don't want no fighting.
Now let's talk this over and...

Get! Now, Claude, hit me if you can.

Stop this, men.
Now there's no need to...


Now stop again, I said.

Get on out of the way!

Men, stop this fight.

Okay, now, fellas...

fellas... fellas?


Fellas, now stop it...

I don't mind making money, Doc,

but if this crowd gets any wilder,
I'm gonna wish we'd stayed closed.

Yeah, they're rough.

Seems like they get rougher every year.
Why is that?

You know, it's like Chester says,
there are just more of them.

Shouldn't have tried to cheat me.

Set 'em up, everybody. I'm buying.

They don't even care.
I'm gonna go get Matt.


Hey, what are you doing?

Hey, you, what are you doing?

This man's been hurt.

Who are you, Mister?

I'm a doctor. Now help me get this man
over to the office...

Well, now, he had it coming.
You leave him be.

- What?
- We don't need no Kansas doctoring.

- You're drunk.
- I'm drunk enough to lose my temper.

- Now you get out of here.
- I'm not going anyplace, Mister.

Get him out of here.

Get out of here!

There! Get out of here!

Stay out.

Well, now, I thought you quit, Marshal.

You thought wrong.

Well, now, what you doing here, then?

You have a man dying, haven't you?

Oh, well, he was shot in self-defense,

- Ain't that right, boys?
- That's right.

So you see, Marshal,
we don't need no help.

We believe in dying where we fall.

You better get that doctor out of here.

I'm not going to argue with you, Rance.

Now, men, let's not have no trouble here.

Let's talk this over
and settle it peaceful...

Oh. It's you, Marshal.

Oh, Marshal,
I've been having a terrible time.

Yeah, I can see that.

How is he, Doc?

He's in bad shape.
I'd like to have him up in the office.

Chester, you and Dillard here
give Doc a hand, will you?

- Sure.
- Sure, Marshal.

Now you just leave him be, Constable.

That's enough, Rance.

Marshal, you better get out of here
while you still can.

All right, go on.

The first man that moves
is going to die on his feet.

Hey, friend, don't forget your mail.

Well, good afternoon, Marshal, Chester.

Hello, Mr. Green.

Well, Marshal, things are working out
all right after all.

- Is that so?
- Ask any businessman in town.

Those cowboys certainly are great spenders.

Oh, my, yes.

Well, I know one that isn't anymore.

What do you mean?

A man was shot last night.
Doc couldn't save him.

Oh, yes. Yes, I, uh, heard about that.

Too bad.

They're just getting started, Mr. Green.

Oh, you're a worrier, Marshal.

Come on, Carl.
I'm showing my brother the town.

Well, so long.

They're in town early, Mr. Dillon.
Won't be dark for an hour.

Hmm. Maybe Rance needs a drink
for his headache.

Or maybe he's going to cause trouble
about that, too.

It's all right with me.

- Yippee!
- Well, lookie here... home!

Hey! Give us service, barkeep!

Put it up right here!

Ha ha ha!

Well, what do you know.

The constable.

Yeah. he looks kind of sad
sitting there alone, don't he?

Maybe we ought to be nice to him.

- What do you mean?
- Show him some fun. You know...

- Oh.
- Come on.

- Hello, Constable.
- Uh...

- Howdy.
- Hi.

Constable, we come to buy you a drink.

Oh? Well, that's mighty nice of you.

Well, I'll just have a little glass of beer.

A little glass of beer.

Well, that's all right to begin with.

Now why don't you come
over to the bar?

The boys don't like
to see you sitting alone.

- Oh, uh...
- Oh, come on!

Ha ha ha!

- Well, okay.
- Good.

Well, that's real friendly of you.

Real friendly.

- Boys.
- Hi, men.

Constable's gonna have a drink with us.

- Well, good.
- He likes beer. Lots of it.

- Oh, no, now...
- It makes him happy.

Barkeep, bring the constable some beer.
Bring him a gallon of beer.

- Oh, not a gallon.
- Yeah, here you go.

- Drink it down now.
- Thanks.

Oh, that ain't no way.
Drink it down like a man!

- You mean the whole thing?
- Yeah!

Sure! There's more where that come from.

Come on. Let's get you drinking now.
That's it.

Give me a drink over here.

They ought to let that constable be.
He's harmless.

A certain marshal
needs a lesson taught him...

a lesson that'll put him 6 feet under.

I might just have to do it.

I might.

Let's go have a drink.
That dinner plum sobered me.

You ain't been sober in two days.

I wouldn't be talking if I was you.

Gentlemen... Oh, gentlemen...

- What do you want?
- The waitress made a mistake in there.

Your bill is, uh, $2.00 short.

Well, the whole thing weren't worth $2.00.

The food ain't that good.

Why, it's the best food in town.

Please, don't let's argue.

We won't argue.

Who's fighting?

Just some of the boys
having a little fun.



Carl, what is it?

He's been shot.

Somebody get Doc Adams. Hurry.

Too late, Rusty. This man's dead.

He's my brother.

He can't be dead.

Being your brother didn't help him any.

Took a stray bullet.

Boys are shooting a little low, I guess.

Who did it?

Which one of them did it?

How are you going to tell that?

Nobody done it on purpose.

It was an accident. That's all it was.

You bet he's gonna drink. Come on.

Hold it! Hold it!

Hold it! Hold it.

All right, men, bring him out!

Bring him out. Come on.

Hold it. Hold it. Bring him out.

That's it. Come on, little man.

Come on.

No more beer. I'll bust open
if you make me drink more beer.

Don't you worry.
2 more gallons is all you get.

Your carriage is waiting, Constable.
Here you are.

Oh, you can't put me in there.

I'll bust! lt'll kill me!

Come on now. Move it out!

Things sure ain't clapping down now,
ain't they?

No. I didn't figure they would.

Yep. Just as long as nobody gets hurt,
I guess...


Look who's coming, Mr. Dillon.

There's Mr. Green, Mr. Botkin,
and Mr. Dobie.


Marshal, I'm afraid
we've made a mistake.

My brother Carl was...

shot down and... and killed a while ago.


Stray bullet. I don't even know
who fired it.

I'm sorry about that, Mr. Green.

Things are getting out of hand, Marshal.

They smashed one of the windows
at the bank.

Didn't try to steal anything, though.

And that constable's
really helping us now.

They poured a lot of beer into him

and rolled him off down the street
in a barrel.

We need your help, Marshal.

We've learned our lesson.
We won't interfere again.

You... You will do something,
won't you, Marshal?

They'll set fire to this town next.

Well, it's pretty late now.

We'll do whatever you say, Marshal.

Well, Rance is the boss of those men.

Maybe if I can throw him in jail,
I can control the rest of them.

Good idea.

All right, but I want every saloonkeeper
in Dodge

to turn out his lights and close up.

That's going to be up to you men
to spread that word along.

I don't want to be seen
till I go for Rance.

We'll do it, Marshal.

We'll do it right now.

Let's go, men.

Closing up the place at this hour.
I can't imagine...

Oh, this is the last
Dodge City run for me.

I'm not boarding here no more.

A certain marshal done that.

I'll get his hide for that.

Let's go get him, Rance.

I wish I weren't so drunk.

Aw, we're behind you, Rance.

- All right, come on.
- Come on.

Come on.

Street's closed, Rance.

Take your men back to camp.

Marshal, I'm in no mood to fool.

Town will be open again tomorrow night.
You're welcome to come back.

There won't be no town
tomorrow night, Marshal.

- That right, boys?
- That's right.

All right, that's the way
you feel about it.

You're going to jail.

I'm what?

I said you're going to jail.

You leave him be, Marshal.

You looking for a fight, too, Mister?

I think your friend Rance here
is a little too drunk.

But maybe you're not.

Well, how about it?

I ain't no gunfighter.

Go on, you coward.

No, why should I die here?

Then I'll have to try it myself,
drunk or sober.

Don't be a fool, Rance.
He'd kill you for sure.

Get out of my way.

Give me that gun!

Oh, no.

All right, that was smart of you, cowboy.

Now he's still going to jail.

You got a lot of nerve, Marshal,

bucking a crowd like this.

I'm not bucking a crowd.

I'm just one man going up
against any other man here.

I've been to Texas, too.

I guess you win, Marshal.

Do you want to take him back to jail,
or do you want me to?

I reckon his head might be
less lumpy tomorrow if I do it.

- Give me a hand, Bill.
- Sure.

Come on, Rance.

And the rest of you men listen to me.

You know how I run this town.

You're welcome to come back
tomorrow night if you want to.

But if you do, it'll be on my terms.

Now get back out to camp.

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