Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 5, Episode 31 - I Thee Wed - full transcript

A man beats his wife and is sentenced to fifty days or fifty dollars by the judge. The beaten woman scrapes together the money for her husband's fine, only to be beaten again.

♪♪ [theme]

starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

Oh howdy, Mr. Dillon.



- Chester.
- Mmm. Hello, Matt.

Well, what are you reading
there, a dime novel or something?

It's a book of poetry.

Poetry?

Yeah.

Oh. Well, where'd you get it?

From one of the girls.

It's a book of poems by
somebody named Tennyson.

He lives over in Europe.

In England, Mr. Dillon.

You know, you ought to
listen to this. It'd do you good.

Get you away from this town and
the prairie for a minute, at least.



Yeah.

Well now, what's wrong
with the prairie anyway?

It's a terrible place.

Wasn't meant for human beings.

It's... It's blazing
heat in the summer

and screaming
blizzards in the winter

and, well, it just destroys
everything that's good or gentle.

That there is right, Mr. Dillon.

Now you just listen to this now:

"There is sweet music
here that softer falls

Than petals from blown
roses on the grass,

Or night-dews on still
waters between walls

Of shadowy granite,
in a gleaming pass;

Music that gentlier
on the spirit lies,

Than tired eyelids
upon tired eyes;

Music that brings sweet sleep

down from the blissful skies."

You see there what
I mean, Mr. Dillon?

Well...
- [slapping]
- [woman screaming]

[Woman] No, Sam! No, not again.

Maybe that'll learn ya!

- Please... please, Sam.
- [dog barking]

Hold it.

That's enough.

- You keep out of this, Marshal.
- Let go of her.

If'n she'd stayed home like she
oughtta, she wouldn't have no complaint.

I only came in to see that you
didn't lose all the crop money

on gambling and... and drink.

You shut up before I belt
the teeth out of your head.

- That's enough out of you.
- I don't see it's the law's business

to come hoofin' between
a man and his woman.

You hit her again, you're not
gonna be able to see anything.

You can't stop a man from
keeping order in his own household.

The way you keep
it, I'd let him rot in jail.

Now, Mrs. Lackett, if you'll
sign a complaint against him,

I'll have him brought
to trial for wife-beating.

Oh no, Marshal, I
couldn't do nothing like that.

Just you let me catch you.

Shut up.

Now everybody's heard these
stories going around, Mrs. Lackett.

He's done it before and he'll do it again
unless he learns he can't get away with it.

No, Marshal, I... I wouldn't
want to sign no complaint.

I ain't heard any...
Anything about any talk.

What about those fingers
that Doc set for you last year?

- Didn't he do that?
- She's a liar if she says so.

It was the gate of
the corral, Marshal.

One of the calves
was trying to get out.

Now you told Doc that you dropped
a piece of firewood on that hand.

I did?

I guess I just don't
quite remember.

Well, what you'd better remember
is where you left the wagon.

Go find it and get
back out to the place.

Just a minute, Mrs. Lackett.

Now you don't have to
go through this anymore.

Judge Blunt is coming
through here next week.

If you just sign a
complaint against him...

No, Marshal.

It's all right.

Well, Marshal, maybe that'll learn
you to keep out of a man's private affairs.

Lackett, you listen to me...

You lay a hand on her again,
I'm gonna throw you in jail.

But before I do, I'm gonna beat
you half to death. Do you understand?

Now you get out of here.

I was hoping that you'd just have
busted his head open, Mr. Dillon.

I'd like to.

Do you remember her when
she first came here five years ago?

Yeah, she came out from the
East to meet him, didn't she?

Yeah. Yeah, she was
kind of pretty in those days.

Well, that's sure hard
to believe, ain't it?

Well, it's the prairie, Chester.

It's the prairie that takes a man and
brings out all the meanness in him.

Not a man like Sam, Kitty.

He was born mean.

- Let it out.
- [exhales]

Do it again and hold it.

[inhales]

- All right, let it out.
- [exhales]

Well?

I suppose it is your considered
opinion after all that rigmarole

that I'm as good as dead, huh?

No. On the contrary, I
think you're gonna make it.

I don't understand how anybody
can take a bullet that close to the lung

and six months later, not even
have a wheeze to show for it.

You must have a
very fine physician.

Hmm. You think I'm
gonna be all right, huh?

Well, when you pay your bill,
I'll give you my full report on it.

Well, don't worry about that. You
already told me all I need to know.

- [rustling]
- What was that? Somebody at the door?

Yeah, probably one of your
patients trying to bust in to pay his bill.

Well, the way collections are,
I guess we'd better let him in.

- Doc!
- Mrs. Lackett.

- Help, help.
- Matt.

Easy now. Just lay
her down, Matt, there.

- All right.
- Easy.

[moans]

Would you get my
bag for me, Matt?

[moaning]

Mrs. Lackett, you just rest
easy. Doc will take care of you.

What do you think, Doc?

All right, you can
talk to her a little while.

Mrs. Lackett?

Look, I know how you feel,

and I... I hate to trouble you,

but I want you to tell
me what happened.

It don't matter, Marshal.

Nothing does anymore.

It was Sam, wasn't it?

I don't remember.

You might as well
tell me, Mrs. Lackett.

I'll find out anyway.

He'd kill me if I tell.
He said he would.

He won't touch you.

He'd have really
killed me this time.

I know he would if...
If I hadn't got away.

Mrs. Lackett, he'll
never harm you again,

not if I can bring him to trial.

He was so kind
and gentle, Marshal,

when we were first married.

Evenings, sometimes,

he'd want me to put
on my wedding dress,

wear my brooch with the pearls.

He'd pin it on me himself.

That's what it was all about.

He wanted that brooch
to bring into town to sell.

I couldn't part with it.

I wouldn't tell
him where it was.

So he beat you?

What is it changes
people, turns 'em bad?

I don't know, Mrs. Lackett.

Now look, where did you leave
Sam? Was he out at the ranch?

I sneaked away after
he finished with me.

He hurt me, Marshal.

He hurt me terrible this time.

Will you sign a complaint now?

Yes.

Yes I will.

Good.

Doc, I'll be right back.

I never been out to
Sam Lackett's place.

It's only about a half
hour's ride, Chester.

How in the world did Mrs.
Lackett get to town anyway?

I don't know. She
made it somehow.

Hey, wait a minute. Maybe we
won't have to make the ride after all.

Lackett!

Wait a minute.

Hold it, Sam.

I'll kill you, Marshal.

Drop that gun and
come out of there, Sam.

You stop right there, Marshal.

I come to town after my
wife and I'm gonna find her.

I said throw out your gun.

You got no right standing
between a man and his wife.

All right, now are you
going to throw that gun out

or am I going to
put a bullet in you?

No. No, Marshal, that's enough.

Look, here... here's my gun.

Throw it out.

All right, come out of there.

Hit you, huh? I thought I did.

You know where the
jail is. Start walking.

You hurt bad?

I said you're going to jail.

Get going!

Get going.

[all chattering]

All right now, quiet
down, you folks.

I don't have much time here.

I rode in yesterday.
Riding out again tonight.

And it don't matter whether you
folks have got business with this court

or whether you just come in off
the street to get out of the sun,

you're gonna show respect.

Now let's see:

the first thing we've got here
is a case of wife-beating...

Sam Lackett...
Preliminary hearing.

I was only teaching
her to heel, judge.

Shut up, Sam. You'll get your
chance to make your speech later,

when we get to it. And
from what I hear about you,

you're way overdue
in this court now.

- That ain't fair.
- Shut up, I said.

Where is Marshal Dillon?

Chester, where's Matt?

Oh, well, he ought to be
here anytime now, Judge.

Well, we can't start
this without him.

Well, him and Doc, you
see, they was going by

and they was going to pick
Mrs. Lackett up and bring her,

that is if she was able to come.

You see, Doc said that she might

lose the sight of
one of her eyes.

That's a lie. She's just putting
on, trying to make it hard on me.

Sam, I'm gonna
tell you right now...

I don't like wife-beaters.

Now you get me mad and I'll
find some way to hang you yet.

- I ain't done nothing.
- Shut up, I said.

[door opens]

Sorry to be late, Judge.

[Judge] It's all right, Matt.

Doc here says that Mrs. Lackett
wasn't in any condition to come here.

You just sit down here, Mrs.
Lackett. She's not, Judge.

She ought to be in bed.

She's just gonna tell you
a bunch of lies, Judge.

Now you open your mouth again and
I'm gonna hold you in contempt of court.

Now let's get
on with this thing.

Sorry you have to go
through this, Mrs. Lackett.

I'll read the complaint and
we'll see what we've got to go on.

This is a complaint
charging that Sam Lackett...

- Your Honor, sir?
- Yeah?

Please, sir, could
I say something?

Well, it'd be kind of
out of order, I reckon,

but I guess it's all right.
What is it, Mrs. Lackett?

It...

- It's that complaint, Your Honor.
- Yeah?

I want to take it back.

What?

I don't know what I was
thinking of when I signed it.

There ain't no
truth in it, Judge.

I fell off our wagon.

That's how I got hurt.

I told you it was all a
pack of lies, didn't I?

Quiet, quiet. Now
you people shut up.

Well, Marshal?

She's afraid of him, Judge.

She's afraid to
go through with it.

Sit down, Mrs. Lackett.

Well, Mrs. Lackett, are
you sure you want to do this?

Yes, sir, I'm sure.

Well, it does seem like a shame

to let a wife-beating scoundrel
like Sam Lackett get off scot-free

just by intimidating a witness.

If there was some
other charge...

What kind of charges you
need, Judge? I've got quite a few.

Well, just anything.

Well, how about
resisting arrest,

shooting firearms
in the city limits?

- Oh, he done that, did he?
- He did.

That'll be $30 or 30 days.

You've got a dirty rotten
way of running things.

That'll be $50 or 50 days.

Look here, Judge, I ain't
got no $50 and you know it.

Well, you've got 50 days.

Now get him out of here
before I lose my temper.

Let's go.

[Sam] Rotten dirty crooks.

[Judge] Next case.

♪ She's got them big eyes ♪

♪ She's got them big eyes ♪

♪ She's got... she's got a ♪

♪ She's got the big... ♪

[Sam] The stew smells
bad enough, Chester.

Do you have to sing?

Well, I didn't figure
that a man like you

would know anything about
good music anyway. Here.

I feed my pig better than this.

Pig?

Next time I'll bring
it to you in a trough.

Chester.

Mr. Dillon.

That thing's smoking
pretty bad, isn't it?

Yeah well, it must be in the
pipe there, is all I can figure out.

The damper don't
seem to do it much good.

You know, it just acts like

that some little old bird just
went and built a nest up there.

Well, you'd better
check it over.

It keeps on like that and
you'll smoke us out of here.

Yeah. Well, I kind
of thought maybe

that the thing to do was
just to get a new stove.

You know, one of
them long-bellied kinds?

What are you cooking
up there, anyway?

Well, that there is my
special... Mulligan stew.

Oh.

I'd sure like to see you try
something different for a change.

Oh, Mr. Dillon, did
you ever eat liver soup?

- Liver soup?
- Yeah, liver soup.

Oh, I tell you, there was an old
fellow down on the Canadian River

that used to
make it all the time.

What he would do, you
see... He'd get the calf liver

and he's squeeze it real hard.

And that there was
the start of his soup.

And then he'd get
them little bitty... oh...

well, them little black seeds. I
don't know what you call 'em.

But he'd throw them in there.

And I'm telling you, that'd
really make it taste good.

Yeah, oh, that
sounds good. Yeah.

Oh yeah. Well, do you
know what he would do then,

right at the last minute
just before it was cooked?

Never mind. Listen,
you don't have to tell me.

Well, I'm just about
through, Mr. Dillon.

You see, he'd take these
calf brains and dump 'em in

and just bring them to a boil.
Wouldn't cook them too much.

Said that they wasn't
good cooked too much.

He did?

Yeah. And I'm telling you, that
feller knew what bittles is all about.

Ah.

Well, just as long as he stays
down on the Canadian River.

Well, he will. He's buried
there. He died last spring.

Good morning, Marshal, Chester.

- How are you, Mrs. Lackett?
- 'Morning, ma'am.

Well, wouldn't you
like to sit down?

Oh, thank you kindly.

How you feelin', ma'am?

Oh, as good as an old
body can expect, I guess.

What are you doing in Dodge?

I kind of thought you'd be
out at your place resting.

Oh, I... I couldn't get
used to it, Marshal.

Didn't seem proper,

no more than it does to
come visiting at a jailhouse.

How's Sam, Marshal?
How's he taking to it?

Pretty mean. But I hope maybe
we can take some of that out of him

before the 50 days is up.

Marshal, as near
as I recollect it,

the judge said $50 or 50 days.

That's right.

Then if the fine was to be paid,

you'd turn him loose.

Well yes, why?

I want to pay his fine, Marshal.

That's what I come for. I
got the money right here.

But I thought you said
you didn't have any money.

I got it.

I sold my brooch
with the pearls.

You mean the one that he
beat you for not giving him?

Mrs. Lackett, the last
time Sam beat you,

he almost killed you, didn't he?

You want him to do that again?

Oh, he won't kill me,
Marshal. I'm sure he won't.

- Why won't he?
- Well, I...

I don't know exactly, Marshal.

I guess it's just that
a woman goes on

hoping that things will change.

The only thing that's
going to change Sam

is to have a good long time
in that cell to think it over.

Maybe when he knows what
I'm doing it'll make him think.

I gotta hope that, Marshal.

I gotta hope things
will be different.

Nothing is going to be
any different, Mrs. Lackett.

Marshal, I'm doing
the only thing I can.

All right, there's nothing I
can do to stop you legally.

But there's one thing I
want you to understand.

From this point out,
it's in your hands.

There's nothing anybody can
do to help you, Mrs. Lackett,

if you're not willing
to help yourself.

- What's going on here anyway?
- Come on out of there.

I'll take the money,
Mrs. Lackett.

Hester, what do you
think you're doing here?

Come around to gloat, did you?

No, Sam.

I just paid your fine.

Oh. Well, so you finally
come to your senses, huh?

And you, Marshal,
maybe this will learn you

not to interfere between a
man and his wife from now on.

Here's your receipt.
Here's your gun.

Now get out of here.

Where'd you get the money?
Did you sell that brooch?

- Yes, I sold it.
- Well, it's about time.

But why'd you let me lay in
there a whole nine days first?

I couldn't get up, Sam.

I ain't been well.

That's no excuse.

You ain't being smart
with me, are you?

No.

No, Sam, I ain't
being smart with you.

Then you just watch
what you're saying.

Ain't you done no thinking, Sam?

You had nine days.

Ain't you sorry at all for
what you done to me?

You keep your mouth
shut or I'll knock it sideways.

And just you remember,
what I done to you ain't nothing

to what'll happen to you if
you try lawin' against me again.

You... You'd beat me again?

Is that what you're
trying to say, Sam?

I'll beat you twice a day,
you don't toe the line.

Uh, I may even throw
you clean off the place.

I can't see much reason
to keep somebody around

as ugly and busted up as you.

Then it's still the same.

And it'll go on being the same.

You haven't changed a bit.

What are you talking
about? Why should I change?

I just hoped for
it was all, Sam...

The last little
piece of hope I had.

Oh, why don't you stop whining?

Did you bring the wagon?

- Yes.
- Well, go get in it.

I'll be along after I've
had a drink or two.

I got mighty dry
sitting in that cell.

- How much you get for the brooch?
- Not a whole lot.

Give me the rest of it.

- Oh, Sam, don't.
- Eh.

What's the matter with you,

pointing a gun at
your own husband?

I'm just as strong
as you are now, Sam,

And I ain't a bit afraid.

I'll make you afraid, woman.

I'll beat you till you'll
wish you was dead.

You've done that,
Sam, lots of times.

Give me that gun.

He's dead.

Then he won't beat me no more.

I don't have to suffer no more.

He can't hurt me ever again.

I'm sorry, Mrs. Lackett.

Let's go.

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