Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 4, Episode 8 - Lost Rifle - full transcript

Matt refuses to arrest his friend Ben Tiple without more evidence, when the man he has been feuding with is found shot in the back.

James Arness as Matt Dillon.


Oh, hello, Marshal.


Say, you seen Ben Tiple today?

No, I ain't seen him.


Well, he's been pasturing
those two horses of mine

down by the river.

Yeah, that's right.

He's had 'em a couple of weeks
now, ain't he?

Yeah. I thought a little
green grass would do 'em good.

What's the matter, don't you
like the way I feed 'em?

Well, sure,
but now if you were a horse,

which would you rather have?

Well, I ain't a horse,
so I wouldn't know.

Well, you can ask mine
next time you see 'em.

Hello, Matt.
Brought your horses in.

Hello, Ben.

Looks like it did 'em good, too.

It sure did.

Thanks, Moss.

Ben, I hope you didn't make
a special trip out here.

Matt, five miles ain't much
of a trip, you know.

Besides, I had
some pretty good help.

Oh, did you walk all the way out
there just to help Ben, Andy?

Sure. I always get a good
breakfast out of it, Marshal.

I cook breakfast,
he rounds up the horses.

That's a fair bargain,
don't you think, Matt?

Well, sounds pretty fair to me.

Andy, I think you better
get on home now.

Your pa might be
out looking for you.

If he is looking for me,
it's just to give me a whipping.

Well, you listen here now,
you come out and visit me again

- soon, you hear?
- Thanks, Ben. I'd sure like to.

So long.

Bye, Marshal.

- All right, Andy.
- Bye, Andy.

Matt, if you'll wait
till I tie up over there,

I'll buy you a drink.

I'd like to, Ben,
but I got work to do.

All right.

Say, how much do I owe you
for the horses?

Oh, Matt, if I can't pasture
a couple of horses

for a friend like you...

Well, thanks, Ben.

- I sure appreciate it.
- You know, Matt,

if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't
have that land at all.

- You remember?
- Yeah.

But that doesn't matter now.

It sure does to me.

You did me a favor then.
I'll never forget it.

Well, I was just trying
to get you to work

to keep you out of trouble.

You were pretty wild
in those days.

- I was, too, by golly.
- I'll tell you...

Chester and I are riding out
your way tomorrow.

We'll stop by and say hello.

I'll be proud to see you, Matt.

Well, take it easy
in that saloon now.

Well, I won't guarantee that.

Hey, Tiple,
move that animal over.

You just hold on a minute,

I said move over.

You do that again
and I'm gonna shoot you.

You won't do nothing.

What's the matter
with you? You drunk?

You got a complaint
about something, Tiple?

You're a troublemaker, Gibbs,
and you always have been.

That all you got to say?

That's all.

Go ahead, Tiple, I'm waiting.

Hold it.

Now you stay out
of this, Marshal.

Not likely.

I know you're a friend
of Tiple's,

but I ain't sure I like
you protecting him this hard.

I'm not protecting anybody.
I'm stopping a gunfight.

Sure, you are.

Go on about your business.


I'll meet you anytime...
anytime you say.

That's enough, Ben.

Sure, we'll meet.

When you ain't got
your nursemaid around.

Matt, why'd you stop it?

You saw what he did.

Yeah, but that's no reason to
kill a man, Ben, you know that.

He's been looking for trouble
for a long time, Matt.

Look, Ben, it's been three years

since he accused you
of running cattle on his land.

Don't you think you ought
to forget about it?

Matt, I forgot that
a long time ago.

It's just that he keeps
pushing at me

every chance he gets.

Yeah. Yeah,
I know what he's like, Ben.

But you ought
to stay away from him.

Matt, it's bound to happen.

Sooner or later,
it's bound to happen.

And I'm not the kind of a man
that runs away from it.

You know me well enough
for that.


I'll see you later, Ben.

Who in the world is that
over there, Mr. Dillon?

I don't know.

Well, whoever it is, looks like
he just got all tuckered out

and decided to take hisself
a little nap, don't it?

Yeah. Let's go over there
and take a look.

Well, that's Will Gibbs,
Mr. Dillon.


He's dead.

Mr. Dillon, look here.

He's been shot
right in the back.

Looks like he was headed up
to Turkey Creek,

maybe do a little fishing.

Yeah, that's a mean way to die.

Sure is.

Well, I guess we'll have
to get a wagon

and take him back to town.

He didn't have no family
at all, did he?

No. Joe Spangler
was his best friend.

I guess maybe he'll probably
want to bury him.


There's somebody up there.

All right, come on out of there.

Come on out,
or I'll start shooting.

Don't shoot, Marshal,
don't shoot!

I-I ain't done nothing,

I ain't done nothing,
honest, Marshal!


What are you doing
out here, anyway?

Nothing, Marshal.

I was going to go fishing,
but I lost my line.

Well, what were you hiding
in the bushes for?

Will Gibbs.

I heard a shot
a little while ago,

and I come looking.

I saw him laying there.

Well, then I got scared
when I heard you ride up.

So I hid.

I see.

Well, you didn't have to be
scared of me, Andy.

I couldn't see who it was
at first, Marshal.

Oh. Well, did you see anybody
around here at all?

No, sir.

Whoever done it was gone.



Will Gibbs
was my pa's best friend.

Yes, I know that, Andy.

My goodness, Mr. Dillon...

You know the way Ben Tiple

and-and-and Gibbs
has been fooling around,

you think maybe Ben's
the one that done that?

No, no, not Ben.

It-it wasn't Ben.

Ben wouldn't do
nothing like that.

Well, they was enemies, sure,

but-but Ben didn't do it.

Now what makes you so sure
of that, Andy?

Well, I know my pa
and Will Gibbs

never had no use for him,

but Ben always been real good
to me just the same.

Well, now, that don't mean

that he's got to be good
to Will Gibbs, though, Andy.

No, I... I guess not.

Well, come on, we'll go out
and talk to Ben Tiple tomorrow.

We got enough to do for today.


I'm sorry I went and hid on you.

Well, that's all right, Andy.

You know,
it's like that sometimes.

A man will start running,

and just the fact that he's
running will make him scared.

Then he runs all the harder.

Come on,
you can ride up behind me.

What in the world's
he up to, Mr. Dillon?

I don't know.


Well, that's...
that's a little more friendly.

Hello, Ben.

Hello, Matt. Chester.

Howdy, Ben.

Say, that was some reception you
were about to give us there.

I couldn't tell
who it was right off.

Who were you expecting, Ben?

Why, nobody, Matt.

You were supposed to be out here

Yeah, I know.

Well, your place
is looking real good.

Yeah, I work pretty hard at it.

You know, you ought
to get some help out here.

Probably wouldn't cost you much.

In fact, it might
make you money in the long run.

Why, Matt,
help is hard to come by.

And when you do find somebody,
he stays till first payday

then rides off somewhere
and never shows up again.

Yeah, I guess that's true.

Don't you get kind of lonely
out here though, Ben?

Well, I've always been lonely,
but a man gets used to it.

At least, I guess he does.


No need to beat around
the bush, Matt.

- I know why you're here.
- Do you?

Yeah. I heard about it.

About Will Gibbs, I mean.


Well what?

You asking me if I done it,

Everybody in Dodge
thinks you did.

Well, what do you think?

Well, I've been telling them

I've known Ben Tiple
a long time.

That he's pretty hot-tempered,

and also that Will Gibbs
has been prodding him

every chance he had.

Well, that much is sure true.

I also told them that Gibbs
never had a chance

to get to his gun.

He was shot in the back.

What are people
saying to that, Matt?

Well, they say
you're a friend of mine,

and that's why I didn't come in
here to arrest you yesterday.

Is it, Matt?

No, Ben.

I'd arrest my own brother if I
thought he'd committed murder.

Well, let me see...
that happened some time

yesterday morning,
didn't it, Matt?


I have no alibi for then,

I was nowhere
anybody could see me.

Yeah, that's too bad.

It sure would have helped.

You know, Matt, I might
have shot Will Gibbs sometime,

but never in the back.

I know that, Ben.

Until I find out who did it,
you better stay out of Dodge.

They're going to have
a tough time lynching me.

Come on, I'll fix you
some coffee, huh?

All right.

Would you like some coffee,

Oh, yeah, thank you.

Here you are, Miss Kitty.

Thanks, Sam.

Evening, Kitty.

Well, I was just about to leave.


Well, look at this place.

Well, what's the matter with it?

I feel like the hostess
that planned the big party

and nobody showed up.

Say, I can remember the time

when you appreciated
a slack night.

That was before I bought
half interest in the place.

Now I want to see it swarming.

Mmm. Getting greedy, huh?

I don't know why not.

I'm not getting any younger.

Listen, Kitty, you're gonna be
able to retire before long.

Why not?

Well, I hope you can.

I hope somebody's getting rich
around here.

It's a sure thing the law isn't.

Yeah, but the law keeps busy.


Joe Spangler.

Marshal, I want to talk to you.

All right.

I want to know why you ain't got
Ben Tiple in jail.

Will Gibbs was a friend
of yours, wasn't he?

That don't matter.

No, and it doesn't matter

that Ben Tiple's a friend
of mine. He didn't do it.

There's a lot of people
think he did, Marshal.

Do they have any proof?

I have.

My boy, Andy.

I'm pretty sure
he seen Tiple down there.


I'll get it out of him.

Whipped him twice already.

Wait a minute.

If Andy'd seen Ben Tiple
down there,

why didn't he tell me about it?


Scared of what?


What you might do to him

if he talked
about your friend Tiple.

But he's sure gonna talk
before I'm through with him.

I'll beat him lopsided.

Spangler, you better get out
of here before I lose my temper.

I sure don't want that
to happen, Marshal.

All I want is for you
to do your job...

before somebody
has to do it for ya.



Marshal, how are ya?

Say, you're gonna have
a pretty busy day today.

I am? Why?

Law of averages.

You didn't do nothing

Well, I did, too.

Good heavens, I was down...
Well, I...

How you fixed for cash?


How'd you like to make
a little loan?

Oh. Well, uh, how much you need?

About ten'll do it.

Ten, huh?

Well, all right.

There's five.

All right, thank you.

I'll just credit your account
with it.

Credit my account?

I don't owe you anything.

Oh, no, no, you're all paid up,
but you know, I been figuring.

See, a fellow that lives
like you do,

whose health depends sometimes
on the whims

of just anybody almost?


Well, you ought to keep

on a kind of a friendly
financial basis

with your personal physician.

Huh! By golly.

Now, I thought Chester knew
about every way there was

to wheedle me out of my money,

but you know,
I think you got him beat.

Well, you want to keep
on the safe side, don't ya?

Yeah, that's why I want
that five back on Friday.

- Oh, you do?
- Yeah.

Well, by thunder, I won't do
business with you anymore.

I'll take my transactions
over to the bank.

Mr. Bodkin will treat me...

Don't, Pa! Don't!

What's he doing to that boy?

Told you before,
you little snitch!

No, Pa, don't!


Why, that...

- Wait a minute, Doc.
- Huh?

I've had about enough
of his ways.

You won't learn, will ya, boy?!

- I warned ya! I warned you what
you'd get! - No, Pa!

How are you, Andy?
You all right?

I didn't mean to do it.

- I told him I didn't.
- What'd you do?

Lost his rifle.

I borrowed it to go hunting,

and I fell off the bank
into the river, and I lost it.

You're interfering, Marshal.

I ought to kill ya.

Don't try it.
You don't know how.

What right you got interfering
between a man and his boy?

Mister, you ever lay a hand
on that boy again,

and you're gonna find out.

Yeah? Kid ought to be in jail,
stealing like he does.

He's had a pretty rough time
since his mother died,

and you're not helping him any,

Still ain't none
of your business.

Then from now on,
I'm making it my business.

I ain't even gonna talk to you
about it.

I'll sure talk to you later.


You remember what I said.

He won't beat me again,

because I ain't goin' home.

Not ever!

He hates me.

Well, now, here, here, son,
you-you gotta go home, boy.

You-you got no place else to go.

- Matt, I...
- Well, Andy, I don't think

he'll ever try
to beat you again.

But if he does,
I want you to let me know.

Will you do that?

Okay, Marshal.

And don't ever let him
make you say anything

that isn't true, Andy.

You don't have to, understand?

All right, Andy.

And you can come see me
anytime you want to, hmm?

If you say so, Marshal.

Bye, Marshal.

So long, Andy.

Daddy come west to Kansas

Come make his home in Kansas

But all he made was...

Mr. Dillon...

I'll tell you, this sure is
a purdy night, ain't it?

Look at them stars up there

just a-shinin'
and a-twinklin' away.


Yeah, look at all those lights
shining and twinkling away

in those saloons.

Ain't much of a nature lover,
are you?

Ah, I guess not, Chester.

Not while I got work to do.

What work's that?

Well, for the next few hours,
I gotta walk up and down

these streets, see that nobody
gets too drunk

or gets cheated at cards

or maybe gets their head
split open or killed.

Yeah, well, that-that could sure
get to be work, all right.

- -Well, put on
another pot of coffee.

I'll see you later.

Oh, all right.

Get your hands up, Tiple.

Don't turn around.

Put 'em down now.

You're kinda sneaky,
ain't you, Spangler?

I don't want none
of your mouth, Tiple.

Get in the alley there. Get!


Kinda surprised you, didn't I?

Not at all, Spangler.

I always figured you
for a coward.

I could put a bullet in you
anytime I want, Tiple.

Not facing me decent,
you couldn't.

The way you faced Will Gibbs?

It wasn't me that shot him.

No, of course not.

He shot himself...
right in the back.

You might as well admit it,

or you'll die right here
in this alley.

Why should I admit
to something I didn't do?

All right,

I guess
I'm gonna have to kill you.

All right, Spangler,
drop the gun.

I'm gonna shoot him, Marshal.

You'll die if you do.


Andy, get back out of sight.

I've gotta tell you something.

It's terrible important.

Get back there right now.
Go on.

- What's that kid doing here?
- Please, Marshal,

I-I got to tell you now,
before anything happens.

All right, what is it?

I'm getting mighty tired
of this.

You'll get a whole lot tireder,
you make a wrong move.

The marshal's gun's pointed
right at your back, Spangler.

You ain't in such a good spot,

It's a whole lot better than it
was when we first started out.

I ain't so sure the marshal
would shoot a man in the back.

Well, then he'll turn you around
and shoot you.

Maybe, but you won't be alive
to see it.

Spangler, I don't think
you're willing to die.

What's that blasted kid
doing here?!

At least he didn't come here

- to murder somebody like
Go on.

You're the murderer,
Ben Tiple, not me.

Spangler, Ben didn't kill
Will Gibbs.

You said that before, Marshal.

Don't come any closer.

It was Andy that shot him.


He just told me.

What are you saying?

It was an accident.

You remember the day
he took your rifle?

Well, he didn't lose it.

He was out hunting,
and he saw something move.

He thought it was an animal,
and he fired at it.

It was Gibbs.

When he saw what he done,
he got scared

and threw the rifle
into the brush.

I don't believe it.

Andy, you tell him.

It's true.

I was too scared
to tell anybody before.

It's true.

I shot him.

All right, Spangler,
you heard him.

Now drop the gun.

I don't believe him.
The kid's a liar!

I said drop the gun.

You put him up to this!

Have you gone crazy?

No, I haven't.


you killed him, Matt.

I'm sorry, Andy.

I didn't mean to kill your pa,

but he just didn't give me
much choice.

He wasn't my pa.


He wasn't your pa?

My real pa died
a long time ago.

Ma told me about it when she
made me change my name to his.

I see.

Guess that's why
he never liked me much,

beat me all the time.


That explains a lot of things.


What, Andy?

When you gonna hang me?

What? What'd you say?

When am I gonna hang you, Andy?

For shooting Will Gibbs.


So that's what you been
thinking all this time, huh?

That's why you didn't speak up
any sooner?

Well, of course.

But I've admitted it now.

And it's true, Marshal.

I done it, all right.

Andy, let me tell you

You did it, yes,

and it was a very bad thing
to do.

It was careless
and it was foolish,

but it was an accident, Andy.

And nobody's gonna hang you
for it.


You mean that?

I mean it.



I think we got a pretty brave
boy here, don't you?

Yeah, we sure do.

Spoke right up to save my life,
thinking he'd be hung for it.



You're all alone
in the world now and so am I.

How'd you like
to come home with me?

I could use a boy
like you full-time.

You-you mean it?

Well, sure I do.

Marshal, you believe him?

You think he means it?

Yeah, I think he means it.


Well, now I think we better
be getting home.

Too late for a boy of mine
to be out, anyhow.

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