Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 4, Episode 6 - Thoroughbreds - full transcript

Matt and Chester, out of water while riding back to Dodge, come upon a man with two fine horses who is not very trusting. When they meet him later in Dodge, he is much different: friendly and spending money freely.

James Arness as Matt Dillon.

You know, anybody
can make a mistake.

Every one of the men
buried up here did.

One tried to open the bank
after closing hours.

Another took on a shotgun
messenger with a six-gun.

Another tried to palm a card

dealt by
a professional gambler.

Maybe they deserved to die,
maybe not.

But when an honest man
gets killed

just for showing
a little courage,

it makes you wish nobody
was allowed to carry a gun.

Someday, maybe nobody will be.

But meanwhile,
I've got my job.

Matt Dillon, U.S. Marshal.

Well, I've been on
longer rides, Mr. Dillon,

but I sure can't remember
none drier.

Why don't you try putting
a pebble under your tongue?

No, no, that never works
for me.

Why not?

Well, I don't know. I...

I guess I'm just built different
than other people is.

Well, it's all in your mind
anyway, Chester.

Oh, now that don't make
no sense.

A body could be starving
to death for a drink of water

and you say it's just
the way it thinks.

Well, if that was true, I mean,

well, I could get myself
organized and quit eating, too.

Well, might be worth a try.

Don't make no sense at all.

Say, I bet
there's water down there.

Oh, there sure better be.

Of course, I haven't been by
this way for a year or more.

Well, now don't start talking
like that.

Come on.

Say, now those aren't
range horses, are they?

No, they sure ain't.

Them's just about the most
beautiful animals I ever seen.

He don't act none too friendly,
does he?

No, he sure doesn't.



We're looking for water.

It's over there.


You alone here?

I am.

Pretty nice camp.


I wasn't sure whether there was
water here this year or not.

There's plenty of water.

Well, good. We ran out
first thing this morning.

Make yourselves at home.

Say, that's a mighty
good-looking pair of horses

you got there.

They're all right.

All right?

Them horses got blood in 'em,

if I ever seen it.

I'll fight anybody
for these horses.

Anybody at all.

Well, now hold on a second.

We, uh, we didn't aim
to take 'em from you.

We were just admiring them.

Tell me something, mister...


Did you ever shoot a man
in the back?


I said, "Did you ever shoot
a man in the back?"

Well, I don't know
who you think I am, mister,

but I never shot anybody
in the back, no.

Okay, I'll believe you.

Wait a minute.

I said I believed you,
didn't I?

Say, now that's mighty
strange behavior, isn't it?

Well, yeah.

You-you know, Mr. Dillon,
it might just be

that them horses is stole.

Well, I don't know.
Could be.

Well, you gonna let him
get away?

Well, we'd never catch him now

on these horses of ours,
as tired as they are.

Well, we could track him,
at least.

He's a horse thief,
I'll bet you.

Well, I don't know, Chester.

We-We got no proof, anyway.

Come on,
let's go get that water, huh?

Excuse me, miss.


I was told
a lady runs this place.

That must be you.

Well, I'm half owner.

Kitty Russell, is it?

That's right.

If you'll permit me,
I'm Jack Portis.

How do you do?

Well, this is the first time
I was ever in Dodge.

You a gambler?

Oh, no, Miss Kitty.

I just came here
to enjoy myself,

have a little fun.

Make a few friends.

Well, that's what
we're in business for,

to help you spend your money.

Sit down.

Thank you.

Well, do you know anybody
in Dodge?

Not a soul so far,
except you, of course.

I aim to fix that.


Drinks for the house...

- This bunch?
- Here. Take it out of there.

Well, sure, mister.

Drinks for the house...

The man here is buying!

That's what I like to see...
people enjoying themselves.

Well, they will as long
as your money holds out.

We won't worry about that.

Would you like one, too?

Why not?

One here, bartender!

And another round for everybody!

I'm sure glad that
that ride's over, Mr. Dillon.

That's what keeps you
from getting fat, Chester.


And it'll keep you
from growing old, too.

Well, you can't have it all
your way.


Well, hello, Moss.

Marshal. Chester.

Howdy, Moss.

How are you?

Say, Moss, give these horses
some grain, will you?

They've had a pretty long ride.

- I sure will.
- All right.

I'll put them
in these last two stalls.


Hey, look at this.

What is it?

Well, I'll be.

Well, he-he sure ain't trying
to hide 'em none, though, is he?

No, he sure isn't.

What is it, Marshal?

Hey, Moss, uh, who was it
brought these horses in here?

Say, them's real horses,
ain't they?

Yeah, they sure are.

Came in yesterday.

A fella called, uh, Portis.


Yeah, Jack Portis.

Real nice feller.

Did he say where he was from?

No, he didn't say,
but he ain't from around here,

I'll guarantee you that.


Calls that brand
a wine glass, Marshal.

Well, it-it looks
like a wine glass, all right.

So, where'd he get the horses,
do you know?

No, is there something wrong?


No, he didn't say nothing.

Well, naturally,
he ain't gonna say

where he got them horses,
Mr. Dillon.

He ain't gonna tell nobody that.

Well, thanks, Moss.

Bye, Marshall.


Hi, Kitty.

Well, how long you been back?

About an hour.

Good trip?

The best part's
having it over with.

How about a drink?

Yeah. Hello, Sam.

How are you, Marshal?


Well, here's looking at you.

Say, have you met
that fella there?

Jack Portis?

Him? Sure.
He's quite a character.

How do you mean?

He's about
the freest spender I ever saw.

Nobody can pay for a thing
when he's around.

Oh, so he's got money, too, huh?

Oh, you mean
besides those horses?

Real fancy animals, I hear.

Everybody in Dodge
is talking about 'em.

Nothing's too good
for Jack Portis.

You fellas want
another drink?

No, thanks.
It's too early yet.

Miss Kitty.

Hey, there.

Hello, Portis.


Well, I see nobody's shot you
in the back yet.


Somebody have reason to?

You know my name, mister,
but I don't know yours.

Name's Dillon.

I'm the marshal here.

Well, I'll be darned.

Why didn't you say so out there?

Well, you didn't give me a
chance to say much of anything.

Marshal, the way
you looked out there,

you could have been anybody.

How'd I know you weren't gonna
shoot me for those horses, huh?

Well, I don't know.

Did you shoot somebody for 'em?

Oh, so, that's what
you're thinking, huh?

Where did you get them?

I raised 'em.

Raised 'em?

I own a spread over
in the Washita River, Marshal.


That's right.

Well, you're a long way
from home.


I like to ride off somewhere
once in a while,

spend a little money,
have a little fun.

No harm in that, is there?

Well, you're saying the wine
glass brand is yours, then?

Of course it is.

Here, take a look at this.

I got it branded right
into my hatband, see?


Do you believe me now?


My golly, Marshal,

you're the most suspicious man
I ever met.

Well, that's my job, Portis.

That's what they pay me for.

Sure, I understand.

Can I buy you a drink?

No, thanks. Not right now.

Some other time?

lt'll be my pleasure, Marshal.

See you later. Miss Kitty.


Don't you believe him, Matt?

Oh, I don't know. I guess so.

Well, you don't act very sure.

Well, Kitty, could be

Jack Portis is just, uh, smart
enough to have us all fooled.

- So long.
- So long.

Yes, ma'am.

My spread
is in Oklahoma Territory.


Well, Doc, I feel some better.

- How about you?
- Yeah, say, I sure do.

I do that.

Hey, what in the world
could be keeping Chester?

Good heavens, you ordered
a steak for him, didn't you?

Yeah. I don't know where he is.

I just sent him
to the depot is all.

Well, I'll tell you,
a steak that's been

on the fire this long
not gonna be fit to eat.

Oh, there he is.

- Hi, Chester.
- Hello, Doc.

How are you?

- Sit down, Chester.
- Mr. Dillon.

You know, we ordered
a steak for you.

- A steak?
- Sure.

Oh, well, thank you.

What took you so long, anyway?

Uh... well, going to the depot
is what done it.

It's-lt's so far down there.

Mr. Dillon, what on earth
did they have to go

and build a depot
so far out of town for?

Do you know?

What was that, Ches?
What'd you say?

Uh... well, what'd they have
to go and build a depot

so far out of town for, Doc?

Well, now, I-I think I can
answer that for you, Chester.

You see, when the people
built the railroad through here,

well, they decided
it might be kind of handy

if they put the depot down there
close to the railroad track.


Yeah... well, it-it-it sure is
a long ways down there, huh?

Let's get a little more there.

- Come on, now, hold your glass
there. - I'll have a little more.

- Bring them a little closer
there. - Oh.


Say, Matt, you know, that Portis
is the darnedest fella.

He never quits night or day,
does he?

Oh, yeah, yeah, Doc.

He's been here over a week now.

He hasn't been without company
for more than a minute.

Well, he... he's a nice enough
fella, I guess.

From what I've seen of him,
he's all right.

Oh, yeah, yeah,
he's a nice fella.

Anybody that buys drinks
for people the way he does

is bound to pick up friends
like a dog picks up fleas.

Yeah, I guess so.

Well, I-I just got to go.

I'll... I'll see you later.

All right, Doc, so long.

Oh, lookit there, Mr. Dillon.

There's them thoroughbreds


Say, who's that with them?

Oh, that's a feller
that Portis hired

to give them horses
a little run every day.

Well, nobody can say

that Portis doesn't take
good care of them.


No. He treats them horses
like they was pure gold.

You know, they might be at that.

Well, they're better animals

than I'll ever have anything
to do with, I know that.

Let's go over
and take a look at 'em.

Mr. Dillon, that sure is
a beautiful mare.

How much do you think
them horses is really worth?

I don't know, Chester.

I never had much to do
with animals like that.

That Jack Portis...
he must be an awful rich man.


I wish I knew more about him,
one way or another.

That's the brand, I tell you.

It's on both of 'em.

All right, don't yell
about it. I believe you.

Let's ride on out to the river
and talk about it in camp.

You take up a lot of room,

Excuse me.

Well, he sure was a sour one,
wasn't he?

Did you ever see those men
around town before?

No, no. They're strangers to me.

From the way he acted, I'd just
as soon keep it that way. Why?

Did you notice the brand
those horses were wearing?


Wine glass, same as these.

Well... Well,
what do you make of that?

Do you think
they're working for Portis?

I don't know.

They seemed pretty excited

when they saw the brand
on these thoroughbreds.

Well, you... you want
to let 'em get away?

They're camped down
by the river.

Let's go find out
what else they got there.

Let's get the horses.


Are you lost or something,

What are you men's names?


My name's Keller.

Not that I take too much
to a stranger asking.

Well, there's no reason for us
to be strangers.

That's Chester Goode.
I'm Matt Dillon.

Then you're the marshal, huh?

That's right.

What are you doing
down here, Marshal?

What do you want with us?

Kind of interested in that horse
you're riding there.


Yours is wearing the same brand,
isn't he?

Sure, it is.

What's wrong with that?

Well, those two, uh,

you were looking at
in town today...

they're wearing
that wine glass brand, too.

We know that.

What's the connection?

All right.

Jack Portis stole them horses,

and he stole some money, too.

How do you know?

We know, all right.

Where'd this happen?

Outfit on the Washita River.

Oklahoma Territory?


Well, what outfit was it?

My uncle's.

Jack Portis killed my uncle,

He killed him, ran off
with what money he could find

and them two thoroughbreds.

And we followed him here
to Kansas.

What do you aim to do now?

Take him. What else?

Now, why didn't you come to me
about this?

Ordinarily, we would have.

What do you mean?

You think we'd ride all the way
from Oklahoma after nothing

but a horse thief
that stole a little money?

I told you,
he killed my uncle, Marshal.

That makes some difference.

Not to me, it doesn't.

It wasn't your kin
that was killed.

All right,
I'll tell you what I'm gonna do.

I got some business
up river this afternoon.

You men come into town tonight.

I'll have
Jack Portis in jail.


But until then,
you stay out here.

- Understand?
- We can wait.

Marshal, look,
maybe you don't believe us.

You ought to send a telegram
to Oklahoma.

They'll tell you
about Jack Portis.

Yeah, a couple of days ain't
gonna make us no difference.

I'll find out about Jack Portis
soon enough

when I get him in jail.

If he's guilty,
he'll show it soon enough.

He's guilty, all right.

All right, but in the meantime,

you leave this up to me,

See you at the jail
this evening, Marshal.

Might be in that place.

He better be.
We're running out of time.

Come on.

There he is.
We're in luck.

You're gonna get him
out of here, ain't you?

I sure am.

When we go, you follow us.


Where's the marshal?!

Portis drew first, Marshal.

It was self-defense.

I was too far away to see that.

Mr. Dillon, there's Miss Kitty
standing over there.

She probably seen
the whole thing.

Yeah, you better go ask her,

Ask anybody.

How about it?

Any of you men see Portis
draw first?

Of course not.

They're all friends of his.

They all lie!

Looks like
you're in trouble, Burke.

What about me, Marshal?

I seen it.

Ain't my word worth nothing?

There's only one of you, mister.

Look, those men are lying,
and you're not gonna arrest me.

Mr. Dillon?

Miss Kitty was standing
right there,

and she seen the whole thing.

Well, Kitty,
what happened anyway?

Don't believe her.

She's a friend of his.

It wouldn't make any difference

to Kitty whether
she was a friend of his or not.

Well, what happened, Kitty?

Well, I couldn't hear
what was said inside, Matt,

but it looked like
he was drawing him out.

Then Portis went for his gun.


Yeah, Portis drew first.

Yeah. See there?

I told you.
Portis'd never drawn first

if he hadn't been guilty.

And he wouldn't have been killed

if you'd done
what I told you to.

Portis was a murderer.

Burke, I want you
and your friend

to get on your horses
and ride out of Dodge.

Go on back
to Oklahoma Territory.

We're gonna take those horses
that he stole with us.

All right, take 'em
and get going.

Come on, Burke, let's go.

It's still kind
of hard to believe.

Well, Portis wouldn't have
drawn first

if he hadn't been guilty, Kitty.

He just wasn't
that kind of a man.

Well, I think the evidence
is against you this time.

I've seen a lot of men
come and go in my time,

and I don't think you've heard
the end of this one.

Come on, I'll buy you a drink.

Come on, Chester.

Well, I've got the mail,
Mr. Dillon.

Oh, good.

There's one letter here
for that, uh, that Jack Portis.

Oh, yeah?

See, they didn't have no address

where they could send it
back to,

so they told me
to bring it over to you.

Well, I don't know
what to do with it.

Well, uh,
maybe it tells you inside there

where you can send it back to.

Well, yeah, but I sure hate
to open a man's mail,

especially after he's dead.

Well, I-I...

You want me to burn it?

No. No. I guess
whoever sent this letter

doesn't know he's dead.

Maybe I ought to open it
and find out who he is,

let him know.

"Dear Boss, I hope
you've run out of money by now

"and on your way back
to the Wine Glass.

"Things is fine here,

"except the Washita has run
near dry

"and two saddle bums
has run off

"with a couple of our horses.

But at least
they wasn't our thoroughbreds."

Saddle bums?

Well, Mr. Dillon,

that-that Burke and Keller
was riding wine glass horses.

You suppose he means them?

I don't know.

"I'm keeping two pints
of coffee on the stove

in case you show up



Jack Portis was telling
the truth after all, huh?

It sure does look like it.

You know, he made
a terrible mistake there,

though, Mr. Dillon.

Drawing first like that...

it kind of made him
look like he was guilty.

Yeah. Guess he figured
that was the only chance he had.

These two sure had it
all over him, though.

They walked in here,
saw those two thoroughbreds

and figured out a way
to steal them, too.

Bold as brass.

They did that, but,

well, how are you gonna
explain that, though,

to this feller
that wrote the letter?

I don't know.

But maybe he'll feel better
when he gets his horses back.

Well, how are you gonna do that?

Well, it's gonna be a long ride,
Chester, and a hard one,

but we're gonna catch those two

if it takes us all the way
to California.

- You want me to get the horses?
- No, I'll get 'em.

You fix up
a couple of saddlebags

and get the rifles, will you?

I just hope they're laughing
when we catch up with them.