Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 5, Episode 13 - Box O' Rocks - full transcript

A man enlists the aid of a parson to fake his own death.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

Think maybe we're
too late, Mr. Dillon?

No. They're still
diggin', Chester.

Matt, hold on here a minute.

Hi, Doc.

By golly, I hope you've
got a good reason

for asking me
to climb this hill.

Well, I think I may
have. Come on.

Let's quiet down now, folks.

We got to have proper
respect for the deceased.

Here now. Seems to me you
men have got that deep enough.

We're not goin' to
plant him standin'.

All right, neighbors.

Let's all huddle around now.

We'll give Packy the kind of
sendoff that's due and fittin' to him.

If I have to listen to much of
that gone-to-glory talk of his,

I'll just bust a gallous.

He won't talk long
today. It's too hot.

Well, I'd just like to know
what this is all about.

All right now, folks.

I just want to say that
I came out here today

for the same reason
the rest of you came.

To pay final respects
to a fellow neighbor

we all knew and loved.

Packy Roundtree.

Now, I can't recall ever seeing
Packy at any of my meetings.

Never saw many of the rest
of you there, for that matter.

But I still looked on
him as all of you did...

As a fine, upstandin',

God-fearin' gentleman.

Fine, good,
honest, hard-workin'.

Credit to Dodge City and
the whole country around.

Is he talking about
Packy Roundtree?

That's what he said.

Packy wasn't nothin'
but a shiftless grubstaker.

Well, Chester, that was
while he was still alive.

That's all, unless somebody
wants to add somethin'.

I'll just say we're wishing
you a good trip, Packy.

Say, Doc,

you ever hear of a sawbone
around Walnut Springs called Stern?

No, why?

He's the one that signed
the death certificate here.

Well, could've been
some doc passing through.

Yeah. Could've been.

Now, folks, he's got a
long journey ahead of him,

so let's get him
started on his way.

You fellas that are
goin' to be pallbearers,

pick up these ropes.

And we'll put him down gently.

Hold it there, Parson.

Sorry, Marshal, didn't know
you were planning to speak.

I'm not.

Mr. Blouze, I'm sorry
but I'm afraid I'm goin'

to have to take a
look at that corpse.

I told you his
horse rolled on him.

He's all smashed up.

Chester, get a couple
of these picks there,

will ya? Give me a hand.

I resent this, Marshal.

Well, I'm sorry, Parson.

But any violent death
has to be certified

by the marshal's office.

I told you how it happened.
I brought the body in myself.

I know. All nailed
up in this coffin here.

It's the way it was given to me.


Yeah. Just a box of rocks.

Well, you think Parson
or Blouze is going

to come here or maybe head out?

He'll be here, Chester.

I just thought it'd be better
for him to come along alone.

People wouldn't think he
was under arrest or something.

Well, I ain't so sure,
but what he already has

is the doggonedest
story I ever heard.

Marshal, you make
Doc Adams a deputy?

No, why?

He's been following
me like a shadow.

Think I'd try to skip town?

Oh, nonsense.

I'm not followin' ya. I
was coming here anyway.

I'm kind of curious to hear
what you got to say about this.



Would you take those rocks
over to the assay office?

Maybe Pete can tell us something
about where they came from.

You want me to do it now?

Better get started.

Parson, sit down.

Now, Preston Hawkins,
that was his name?

That's right, Marshal.


And he said he was
Packy Roundtree's partner?

Said he was.


That's right.

I can't believe Packy Roundtree

had a partner. He
always liked to be alone.

All I can say is
what he told me.

Now, what did he look like?

About average, I
guess you'd say.

Nothin' special I can
tell you about him.

Well, was he short,
tall, fat, thin, what?

Well... kind of

short and thin, you might say.

Yeah. Sort of a
runt, more or less.

Mmm. Not too young,
by my way of thinkin'.

All right, now this
runt... More or less...

Stopped you outside
of Walnut Creek

and asked you to put this coffin

in your wagon and
bring it into Dodge,

Is that right?

That's right, Marshal.

And he said that
Packy Roundtree's horse

had rolled on him
and killed him?

And that his body
was in that coffin?

That's about it.

Oh, he gave me this, too.

Packy's will.

I was going to file it
after they buried him.


"I leave everything
I own to my partner,

Preston Hawkins."

Signed Packy Roundtree.

Everything I own.

Packy Roundtree
never owned anything!

Not as far as anybody knew, Doc.

Packy's probably
not even dead, Matt.

That will's not worth a nickel.

Well, it might've
been if that box

had been buried
according to plan.

Preston Hawkins or
whoever's plan it was.

Afraid I can't tell you
anymore about it, Marshal.

Would it be all
right if I go now?

My wife will be
waitin' table for me.

All right. Just don't plan to
leave Dodge for a few days.

I'll be right here, Marshal.

Lord's blessing
on you gentlemen.

You think maybe he
might be lying some?

No, not really.

He's just avoiding
the questions.

That's all, Doc.

Has he ever been mixed
up in anything shady

that you know of?

No, no. He's all
right. He lives quietly.

He and his wife.

Spends all week riding
around the backcountry there

sellin' tinware and then
he preaches on Sunday.

Maybe somebody's
just usin' him, huh?

Well, I don't know.

There's no way
of finding out now.

It'll keep a while anyway.

Let's go get
something to eat, huh?



Uh, did you get a chance
to look at them rocks, Pete?


I said did you get a
chance to look at them...

Save it, son! I can't
hear ya. I'm too busy.

Oh! Oh, howdy, Chester!


Hot day, isn't it?

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

In here it is.

A day like this could just melt
you right down to the bone.


I said a day like this
here with the heat,


never mind. It's...

Uh, Pete, I'm
tryin' to talk to ya.

I ain't stoppin' ya.

Well, the... the
rocks that I brought in.

Did you get a chance
to look at them?




Well, them rocks I brought
in, did you get a chance...

No reason to yell
now. I can hear...

Say, that's pretty good ore.

It runs $55 a ton
in gold and silver.


what does?

Them rocks that you
brung in here. That...

That's what you asked
me about, didn't ya?

Yeah. $55 a ton?

You mean them
rocks that I brung in

wasn't just rocks?
Them rocks was ore?

Well, where do you suppose
they could've come from?

Why, any one of a
dozen places, maybe.

They'd been mined, though.

See, I can tell by the
way they were broken up.


They wasn't just float rock.

Well, you... you suppose
that Packy struck it rich?

Packy? Yes.

Might have.

That's what that
other fella thought, too.

Other fella? What other fella?

That one that brung in some
of that same rock this afternoon.

You mean, there was
another fella in here

with the same kind of rock as the
rock that I brought in? Who was it?

Well, I don't know. Stranger.

Jeb Crooder, I
think his name was.

- Crooder?
- Yeah.

He was a kind of heavy-set
fellow, bull necked.

And he wore a
plaid and calico shirt.

Kind of mean little fella.
He was kind of mean.

I've seen him around
town the last few days.

Well, Pete, why in the world

didn't you tell me?

You didn't ask me.

Well, I...


Well, thanks a whole lot.

Mr. Dillon.

He's wearing a calico plaid.

Yeah. And it fits the
description we got.

Let's go have a talk with him.

You Jeb Crooder?

Might be, Marshal.
What about it?

I understand that you
brought some rocks

into the assay
office this afternoon.

Some stuff out of that coffin.

Any law ag'in' it?

I also understand you've been looking
for Packy Roundtree. Is that right?

Marshal, suppose you go and do
your understanding someplace else.

Get up.

All right, boys, break it up
and go on about your business.

I didn't mean no
offense, Marshal.

I asked you some
questions, mister.

Sure. I have been
lookin' for Packy, all right.

Came here a couple of weeks ago.

Knowed him for years.

But I haven't seen
him for a long time now.

Did you find him?

No. No, I didn't.

And then... And then after that
what happened out at Boot Hill,

Well, I was just
flabbergasted, Marshal.

You know any reason why Packy
would want to pull a trick like that?

No. No, I don't.

You see, I figured I'd find
him through them rocks.

But the assayer, he
couldn't help none.

What'd you want to find him for?

Well, him and me, we used
to be partners years back.

I just wanted to say howdy
to him for old times' sake.

You know anything about
this new partner of his,

this Preston Hawkins?


No, I sure don't.

In fact, I don't know nothin'
at all about this, Marshal.

If I did, I'd tell ya!

Come on, Chester.



Parson home?

Won't you come in?

Evening, stranger.

Howdy, Parson.

Could I give you a cup of tea?

No, thanks, ma'am.

Say, that was some burying

you pretty near had out
there at Boot Hill today.

It was just a surprise to me
as a well as everybody else.

Heh. I bet it was.

Quite a mystery.

Well, not to everybody, Parson.

What do you mean?

Well, for one...

Ain't no mystery to
Packy Roundtree.

I couldn't say about that.

You couldn't or wouldn't?

I don't believe I care
to discuss the matter.

Maybe not. But I do.

In that case, I'll have
to ask you to leave.

Now sit down. Sit down, Parson.

You don't scare me none.

Who are you anyway?

Name's Jeb Crooder.


Mean something to
you, doesn't it, huh?

So Packy told you, huh?

I don't know what
you're talking about.

Well, you'd better
start knowing, Parson!

Because, look, I want the
truth about that box of rocks,

and I want it right now!

I've already told my
story to the marshal.

I'm not talking about
the lies you gave him.

Look here, my
husband doesn't lie!

Now, you keep your face shut.

Don't you talk that
way to my wife.

Stop it!

Stop that!


Keep your hands off her!

Feel more like talking now?

Break every bone in my body,

I'll tell you nothin'.

Yeah? Well, maybe there's other
bones that I could break, Parson.


Please, don't!

What do you say now, Parson?


Lord, forgive me.

Now start talking!

That's some confession, Parson.

It's about the wildest
story I ever heard.

Marshal, my husband doesn't lie.

And I didn't lie to
you, Marshal. Not ever.

Of course, maybe I let
you mislead yourself a little.

Now, let me get this straight.

You said that Packy Roundtree
found you outside of Walnut Creek

and asked you to help him?

He was in mortal
fear for his life.

That's why I agreed to do it.

He showed me a paper.

He'd gone down to
Hayes and got his name

legally changed to
Preston Hawkins.

Yeah. And you
don't think it's a lie

when you told me
that a man named

Preston Hawkins
gave you this coffin?

But it wasn't, Marshal.

My husband doesn't lie.

Parson: He gave me
that will at the same time,

leavin' everything to Hawkins.

That is, to himself
under his new name.

So I sort of figured that since
he changed his name legally,

Packy Roundtree was sort
of dead in a way of speaking.

That was the only way I
could help Packy in his trouble.

And you said that Packy claimed

he was doing all this
because he was scared?

He was scared.

He practically turned white every
time he mentioned Jeb Crooder's name.

Crooder told me that he
used to be a partner of Packy's.

Not according to Packy.

He said this Crooder kind of got
the Indian sign on him years ago

and been bullying
him ever since.

Hmm. Maybe that'd explain
why he never settled down.

That's what he said.

Said he just always
kept movin' on

and hopin' that Crooder
wouldn't find him again.

This time he couldn't move on

because he stumbled
onto a vein of ore.

That's right.

There where I told you.
Right were Walnut creek

cuts sharp into the
Comanche Hills.

From what I've seen of Crooder,
why, Packy's story makes a lot of sense.

So does yours, Parson.

Thank you.

Like I told you, Marshal.

One thing my husband
doesn't do... He doesn't lie.

Thank you, Martha.

Well, this Crooder is
a coward and a bully.

And Packy's got good
reason to be scared of him.

That I can guarantee.

What do you mean? I didn't
think you even knew him.

We didn't until tonight.

He forced his way into our home.

Knocked me down, kicked me.

Nearly killed me.

Then he threatened my wife.


Made me tell him where
he could find Packy.

I had to tell him, Marshal.

What could I do with
him threatening my wife?

- Chester.
- Yes.

Get a couple of
horses saddled fast.

Yes, sir.

Well, they ought to be
around here somewhere,

according to that
parson's description.

Let's take a look
down this drop.

Bring the rifle, Chester!

Come on, Chester.

Well it looks like we
found the mine anyway.

You think it was Crooder
that fired the shots?

I don't know, Chester.
Could've been.



I'm goin' circle down around there
and get up closer. You cover me.

Yes, sir.


Looks like we got him
bottled up. Come on.

That was Crooder, all right.


Mr. Dillon, how we gonna
get him out of that mine?

Hold it.

Drop them guns.

Now ease them
hands up real easy.

Fine, darn, thing-a...

Packy! Packy,
it's Marshal Dillon.

Marshal Dillon.


Get down, Packy.

What are you doin'
out here anyway?

I got your friend Crooder holed
up in that mineshaft, Packy.


Is there any other way
out of there, Packy?

No. There ain't no other way.

Well, we might as well stay
here and wait him out, Chester.

I want to tell you
about Crooder, Marshal.

Can't it wait, Packy?

I want to show you somethin'.

I... I'm a coward, Marshal.

I... I just got the
courage other men have

when it comes to Jeb Crooder.

I ain't got not at all.

I want to tell you
about 3 years ago,

out in Montana territory,

I thought I got
clean away from him.

I had ordered a flock of sheep.

Bred 'em up from nothin'.

Then Crooder showed up again.

Hog tied me.

Told me to sign
over the sheep to him.

He put his gun 6 inches
from the calf of my leg.

Put a bullet through it.

Then put a bullet
through the other one.

I... I signed, Marshal.

Ought to have been hung.

Right on time.

That's a durn good fuse.

4 and 5.

Just too bad, Marshal,

that nobody can get in
there now and get him out.

You know, I worked all night.

Got myself in a real
good round of drillin'.

13 holes. I loaded 'em up.


No chance now.

That's 10.

Ought to bring
down a lot of rock.

You know, I reckon I'll stick to
that brand of fuse from now on.

That's 11.

Don't worry, Marshal,
about questions

you ain't never gonna
get the answer to.

I sure hope that
Parson kept that coffin.

Might come in handy.

I don't think he's gonna
need a coffin, Packy.


Ought to be one more.

Ain't very pleasant to get
shot in the legs, Marshal.


Reckon that's the
end of it, Marshal.


I reckon that's the end of it.

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