Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 5, Episode 38 - The Deserter - full transcript

Matt is on the trail of a badly wounded corporal for robbing the army payroll and falls into a trap when the father of the corporal gets the drop on him and wounds Chester.

♪♪ [theme]

starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

You looking for
Indians, Corporal?

No, no.

Well, we're only a couple
miles from Fort Dodge.

- Yeah, I know that, Sergeant.
- You don't act it.

Besides, no Indian would know that you
got an army payroll in them saddlebags.

Of course not.

Oh, it's bandits
you're worried about.

Why should I be?

You think no one would
hold up the U.S. Calvary?

Of course not.

I ain't worried.

If it'll relieve you, I'll carry that
payroll in my own saddlebags.


No, I offered to
carry it, and I will.

I ain't worried, Sergeant.

Well, you're wrong. I
was just trying you out.

There's always danger, as
long as you're in the Calvary,

and don't you forget it.

Right, Sergeant.

[horse neighs]


- Take cover! Scatter out!
- [gunshot]


You're a dirty renegade.



So Corporal Janiss rode off in one
direction and his accomplice in the other.

Yes, sir.

Obviously, they plan to
meet later and split the money.

Right, sir,

except I ain't so sure it's
gonna work out so easy for them.

What do you mean?

Well, sir, I gave orders to
all but one man to give chase.

I split them up
into two parties.

It's Corporal Janiss
I want most of all.

His civilian accomplice
you can have.

[chuckles] Thanks.

If I can find him.

Did you get a good
look at him, Sergeant?

Marshal, I didn't
see nothing but dust.

I very much doubt any of the Sergeant's
men will catch up with him, Marshal.

He had too much
of a start on them.

But there's a pretty good chance of
their running down Corporal Janiss,

don't you think, Sergeant?

I sure hope so, sir.

I put one bullet
in him. That'll help.

All right, organize two
patrols, 10 men each.

Sergeant Porter will
be in command of one,

Sergeant Tuck the other.

Tell them their orders
are to keep on riding

until they can come
back with something.

Major, I can lead
one of the patrols.

Not until the doctor
says you can.

- Oh, but Major...
- That'll be all, Sergeant.

Yes, sir.

Well, Marshal, it's a good thing
you happened to ride by today.

Well, I'm afraid there's not
much I can do to help you, Major,

at least not until you catch up
with that corporal and make him talk.

All this is rather embarrassing
for the Army, Marshal.

Yeah, I can imagine.

Janiss had been
with us for two years.

He even made corporal
in that short time,

and still we didn't know
what sort of a man we had.

Where's he from anyway?

I have his enlistment papers
and service record right here.

Someplace in California,
I bel... Uh, yes, here it is.

Porterville, California.

Porterville. Where
did he enlist?

Right here at Fort Dodge.

- Seems kind of strange, doesn't it?
- Why?

It's a long way from California.

You never know, Marshal.

This may not be his real name.

"Janiss... Lurie Janiss.

Parents: Deceased."

There's not much to go on.

I'll keep my eyes and ears open.

If you have any luck,
let me know, Major.

Thanks for your
interest, Marshal.

Sure. About all I
can do is look out

for somebody spending a
lot of money around Dodge.

Well, I can't let them get
away with this, Marshal.

It's more than just
the payroll money.

Yeah, I understand.

- Good luck, Major.
- Thank you.

Mess in an hour.
I wish you'd stay.

Well, thank you. Another time.

Good hunting, Marshal.

Hello, Marshal. What
are you drinking?

Nothing right now,
Clem. Thank you.

You know, if all our
customers were like you,

I could close up
shop and go home.

You wouldn't even have a home.

[laughs] By golly, you're right.

[Man] Hey, bartender.

I'm a-coming.

Just for that, he
gets a flat beer.

- Hello, Matt.
- Kitty.

You're kind of neglecting your
customers here, aren't you?

Oh, I just get them started,

and after the first
couple of drinks,

they can drift on their own.

Pretty cold-blooded way of
doing business, if you ask me.

I'm not in this
business to save souls,

and you didn't come in here to find
out how I take my customers, either.

As a matter of fact,
you're right, Kitty.

There was a payroll
robbery at Fort Dodge today.

You mean the Army can't
even protect its own payroll?

The worst part of it is one
of the robbers was a soldier.


I don't think he's likely
to be coming in here,

but he had a partner
who was a civilian.

- Mm-hmm.
- I want you to keep your eye out

for anybody that's spending a
lot of extra money around here.

Well, sure, yeah,
of course I will.


By golly, I hardly expected
to find the law taking it easy.

He's in a saloon
at this time of day

while murder and riot
rule the streets of Dodge

and plague the citizenry.

Sounds to me like you've been
bellied up to a bar somewhere all day.

Well, I don't suppose I have.

As a private citizen, I reserve
the right to live my life as I choose...

Drunk or sober,
standing up or lying down.

Matter of fact, I've
been thinking seriously

of going to bed for about a month
and having my meals sent in to me.

Now, I'll tell you something, You do that
and I'll bring your meals up to you myself.

Kitty, you're frittering away
your youth on that poltroon.

I'll have a beer, Clem.

Well, if I knew what that
meant, I might be able to quit.

I don't think so. You wouldn't
believe anything I said.

I hear the army got robbed.

Boy, the word sure
gets around fast.

Well, certainly. I met
Chester on the way over here.


One of the bandits
was a soldier, Doc.

By golly, I'll bet that Major
Honeyman is proud of that. Who was it?

Oh, some corporal. A fellow
by the name of Lurie Janiss.

- Lurie?
- Yeah.

- Funny kind of name, isn't it?
- Well, I never heard it before.

I have. A family lives up on
Turkey Creek got a boy named Lurie.

- Who are they?
- Brandts.

- Jed and Maddie Brandt.
- I don't believe I know them.

Well, I doubt if they
ever been in Dodge.

Well, it doesn't matter anyway,
because this fella came from California.

At least that's what it said
on his enlistment record.

Wait a minute.

About two years ago, I
think Jed and Maddie told me

their boy ran off and
went to California.

- Two years ago?
- Yeah, about.

This fella was supposed to have
enlisted in the army two years ago.

- Well, I declare.
- Where'd you say this place was again?

Well, it's right where Turkey
Creek makes that big bend south.

They got a little
homestead right in there.

It might be worth
a look up there.

Why don't you let Major
Honeyman do the looking, Matt?

Well, you know, I've been planning
on taking a look up there anyway,

ride through that country.
This is a pretty good excuse.

Say, why don't you take
Chester along with you?


Well, he was awful
nice to me a minute ago.

You know that end-of-the-month
manner he gets?

He's gonna be hitting me for a loan,
sure. Get him out of town, will you?


Doc, you can put your mind
at ease. We're going right now.


What is it, Mr. Dillon?

Let's take a look.

- Well, that there's an army canteen.
- Yeah.

- You suppose that corporal come by here?
- Could be.

Turkey Creek's right over there.

Find something else?

Yeah. Look at this.

It's blood.

Looks like he dragged
himself right over in there.

Let the horses graze, Chester.




See anybody?


Why don't you shoot?

I don't think I'll
have to, Chester.

Come on.

Is he dead?

No. He's alive, Chester,
but he's bad hurt.

You better go get the horses.
I'll see if I can get him outta here.

Yes, sir.

Don't you move, mister, 'cause
I got a rifle trained on your back.

Get your hands up.

Yeah, you just
loosen that gun belt

and drop it.

Throw it over here.

I oughta kill you right now.

What'd you shoot my boy for?

That's your boy?

I didn't shoot him, mister.
He tried to shoot me.

With what?

There's a rifle over
there in the brush.

I'm a United States
Marshal, mister.

This boy of yours is wanted for
desertion and robbery by the army.

The army, huh?

So that's where he's been.

He run off two years ago.

Who did shoot him?

[Dillon] He was shot
robbing the army payroll.

A likely story.

He wasn't even armed, mister.

You listen to me, Marshal,

or I'll kill you sure.

The house is just around
the bend of the creek here.

I want you to pick
Lurie up and carry him.


What about him?

I gotta take care
of my own first.

And that's the way I
feel about it, mister.

You ain't rightly got
no choice, Marshal.

I can shoot you, put another bullet
in him and carry Lurie up myself.

All right. Then start shooting.

No, Mr. Dillon.

[groans] I can walk.

All right. Then if you
can walk, that's fine.

- You think you can make it all right?
- Yeah.

All right, Marshal.

Now, you carry Lurie,
and you follow him.

And handle him careful, see?

Open the door.

Set him down over there,
Marshal, and do it easy.

Jed, what's the matter?
What's happened?

Lurie's been hurt, Maddie.



Oh, Lurie.

Jed, he's been shot.

- [Jed] Yeah.
- Did you shoot him, mister?

He's a marshal, Maddie.

Well, did you?

No, ma'am. He was shot
running away from the army.

The army shot my boy?

That's right. And they'll
be after him again.

They'll be coming here. We
gotta figure a place to hide him.

Don't you try nothing now.

- That still bleeding, Chester?
- Some.

It's not so bad
since I sat down.

What happened to that one?

Your husband shot him, ma'am.


Well, he snuck up behind me.
He shouldn't oughta have done that.

These men need a doctor, mister.

In fact, that son of yours is
liable to die if he doesn't get one.

Lurie ain't going into
Dodge, doctor or no.

Oh, Jed, Lurie's in bad shape.

Maybe the marshal's right. Maybe
we oughta fetch him to a doctor.

We ain't taking Lurie into
Dodge, and that's final.

He come home for help.
I ain't gonna turn him in.

You can't hide him forever. They'll
find him sooner or later, you know.

I got a plan where the
army will never catch him.

Oh, but, Jed, we...

We ain't never had a
run-in with the law before.

We ain't got no run-in
with the law now,

but we gotta take
care of our own.

Nobody's taking
Lurie... him or the army.

Ain't that right, Maddie?

Sure, Jed. That's right.

All right then.

You tell him you can use it.

I can shoot it, all right.

[Jed] You got to guard
him every minute.

I will, Jed.

You hold that gun on him,
and you use it if you have to,

'cause I'm going.

Going? Going where?

I figured out a
way to hide Lurie.

You have?

It's a long ways from
here. They'll never find him.

[Maddie] Hurt like he is,
how you gonna take him?

Got that figured, too.

Take him in the spring wagon.

Team's already hitched.

If you say so, Jed.

Mister, if you don't think
you're in trouble with the law,

you better think again.

You've interfered with
the capturing of a prisoner.

You've shot an unarmed man.

If you walk out of
here with him now,

that's gonna make it
just that much worse.

Marshal, I'm obliged to you.

But I know what I'm doing.

You watch him, Maddie.

I will, Jed.

I'm gonna hold this gun on
you, Marshal, like he told me to.

But that still leaves you
free to take care of him.

Oh, he ain't got
much color to him.

- Maybe you better take him into my bed.
- [wagon departing]

Come on, Chester.

Easy now.


Mr. Dillon...


That wound's gonna
need tending, ma'am.

I can't help you none, Marshal,
unless'n I put this gun down.

No, ma'am.

A US Marshal giving
me his word, I'd take it.

If you promise you'll make
no move to go after Lurie,

I'll put this gun down.

You got my word.

Well, I can't go
against my husband,

bad as things are.

Would you fetch some water
and put it on the stove, ma'am?

The marshal's out
looking for Lurie's horse.

- He'll be back directly.
- Oh...

Well, looks like we're
not gonna lose you.

I don't feel too good.

No, I reckon you don't.

The marshal and I took a lot of time
digging for that bullet, but we found it.

I brought you some coffee.

- Coffee?
- Mm-hmm.



Say, that kind of smells good.

I got some soup cooking.

You can have some of that later.

That's enough for now.

That, uh... That's kind
of good coffee there.



I'm kind of an expert on coffee.

[door opens]

- Marshal?
- Yes, ma'am.

Chester, how you feeling?

Oh, he's... he's doing fine.

Howdy, Mr. Dillon.

It's about time you woke up.

You know, you kind
of had us worried there.

Marshal, is that really the
army payroll in those bags?

Yes, ma'am, I'm afraid it is.

You know, Mrs. Brandt,
Lurie had a partner... a civilian.

Now, he may come
looking for this.

I want to find a good place to hide it.
You know of anywhere around here?

Well, there's a little old
shack over the next ridge.

You go out the kitchen door
and keep on that path to your left.

All right. Thank you.

Chester, you rest easy.


did Lurie kill
anybody robbing that?

Well, no, ma'am,
but his partner did.

Well, that's something.

Not much.

Anybody home here?

What you doing, busting
into people's houses?

I come looking for Lurie,

and I'm sure this
is the right place.

Lurie ain't here.

He ain't been here for a
long time, almost two years.

Well, he'll be here.

I come a long way.


Who are you, mister?

Name's Radin.

Are you in the army?

Why do you ask that?

Well, I just figured Lurie
being an army man and all.

You're his mother, ain't you?

I am.

Lurie told me he run away
from here two years ago.

He told me you didn't
know where he was

or what he'd been doing
except he'd gone to California.

Well, I...

I mean, we... my husband and
me... We found out where he was.

But since he run off, we didn't
think we'd bother him with it

till he came back
home again on his own.

His pa. Where's his pa?

He ain't here.

He had to drive into
Dodge yesterday.

Don't make sense,
Lurie not being here yet.

Should've been here
by yesterday easy.

Ain't that far a ride.

Unless'n he's waiting at
our meeting place now.

What are you mumbling about?

About Lurie not being here.

You seem to know
a lot about Lurie,

considering you
ain't no army man.

I know him real good.

- So you're the one.
- What?

You're his partner.

You helped him rob
the army. I'm sure now.

- He's been here.
- Mister...

All right now, lady.
Let's have the truth.

I'll tell you the
truth about you!

You never mind about
me. Where's Lurie hiding?

I don't know. His pa
took him off somewheres.

Lurie's bad hurt.

I thought he got hit. Did they
take the money with them?

Lurie didn't have no money.

Do I have to learn you to
talk straight to me, lady?

You can't learn me nothing.

Now, you talk, woman, or you'll
get hurt! I ain't a patient man!

You ain't no kind
of a man at all!

Tell me!

Hold it!

Well, a lawman.

A U.S. Marshal, huh?

Suppose you put
that gun down, mister.

You're a funny kind of a lawman.

Got a badge and
no gun. [chuckles]

You, uh, in the habit of beating
women like that, are you?

I'd be glad to oblige you,
Marshal, but I ain't got the time.

Yeah. A coward like you
never has the time, does he?

Talk's cheap. I'm
gonna kill you, Marshal,

and then I'm gonna beat that woman
half to death and find that money.

Over there by that window!

Come on. Move. Can't you hear?

That's it, Marshal,
nice and easy.

That's it.


You're making a
big mistake, mister.

- You're in enough trouble already.
- Yeah.



Well, that just
about does it, ma'am.

Did you bury him deep?

Deep enough.

Oh, I killed a man, Marshal.

That's a... That's
a terrible thing.

Radin got what was
coming to him, ma'am.

I just don't know
how it all come about.

We was peace-loving
folk... Jed and me...

And then Lurie ran off,
and he robbed the army,

and Jed shot Chester,

and I killed that man in there.

Don't prove out, Marshal.
It just don't prove out.

There wasn't any of
it your fault, ma'am.

But it's got to stop.

It'll be my fault unless I
do something to stop it.

You remember that
promise you made me?

Well, I'm releasing you from it.

It's the only way I
can think of to end it.

You mean you want
me to go after Lurie?

There ain't no other way.

- Well...
- Don't worry about Chester.

He'll be all right.

That is, if you think
that you can trust me.

I think I can trust you.

You and I've gotten
along pretty well so far.

Let's go.