Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 6, Episode 10 - Distant Drummer - full transcript

Two roughnecks (Sloat and Grade) cruelly harass Raffie Bly, a confused and defenseless young man who suffered a serious head trauma while serving as a drummer in the Civil War.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.



Come over here.

What do you want, Sloat?

I ain't got all day.

So, you done it again, huh?

Done what?

I was over at the freight
office this morning.



They told me you
cut your price again.

I can haul freight for
any price I want, Sloat.

Well, so can I.

But I ain't fool enough
to skin mules for nothing.

I told them you
could have the job.

I wouldn't touch it.

- Well.
- But it ain't no way

to beat me out of business.

Neither one of us can
make a living this way.

I can.

Well, that's 'cause
you're poor and thin,

got no pride in how you live.

Now, you can
talk all you want to,

I'm still gonna haul
that freight to Pueblo

day after tomorrow.

Unless'n you get
stopped somehow.

Are you threatening me?


What could I do against a
big, strong man like you?

Now, don't you
try nothing, Sloat.

What in the world is that?

That there's a
drum he's carrying.

It's about to cave him in, too.

Oh, he's lost.

That boy is really lost.

Maybe he's gonna play that drum.

I'd like to hear that.

Hello, boy.


What's your name?

Raffie. Raffie Bly.

You a drummer boy, huh?

I-I was...

during the war.

Well, I wasn't in the war,

so I never got no chance
to hear no drummer boys.

You sure missed something.

Oh, no, I didn't.


What I mean is you're
gonna play it for me right now.

Oh, I don't hardly play it much.

I just kind of carry it around.

It ain't no good just
to carry it around.

Well, I don't hardly play
the drum calls no more.

There... There don't
seem to be much need.

Well, I got a need.

I want to hear you play it.

So, take it off and
start playing it right now

before I give you...

All right.

We sure could use
a little drum music.

Wake this town up.

You better play it good, boy.

Well, I'm kind
of out of practice.

I wondered where
you kept them sticks.

All right now, play.

Can't even play worth a hoot.

He's slow.

Faster boy, make it faster.

There, that's better.

I can't keep it up for too long.

Don't you quit now.

You keep playing that thing.

Say, maybe he
needs a little help.


you go on playing that thing.

Keep playing.

Keep playing.

Go on, play it.

You quit now, and
I'll just cut a hole

in that little old
drum of yours.

Keep on playing.

You're getting
better all the time.

You slow down now,

I might have to cut
a hole in you, too.

Faster, faster.


Faster! Faster!

Faster, faster.

Faster, faster, faster.

Faster! Faster! Faster!

Go on, faster!


This how you amuse
yourself, Grade?

We was just having a little fun.

No harm in that.

The boy liked it.

He wanted me to hear him play.

That true, son?

No, it ain't true.

They made me play.

Then he started
at me with his knife.

He said he'd cut my drum.

What kind of man are you, Grade?

Do you mean you
believe a fool boy over me?

You're lying.

Why don't you
tell him the truth?

I told him the truth.

You was gonna cut me.

You shut up, or I'm
gonna kick that drum...

Listen to me.

You leave that boy
alone, you understand?

Come on with me, son.

That Marshal's gonna go
too far one of these days.

Him and his high-handed ways.

He sure made a
fool of you, Grade.

What am I gonna do, shoot him?

Me take on Matt Dillon?

I don't mean him; I
mean the boy, Raffie.


Sure, if he'd kept
his mouth shut,

everything would've
been all right.

As soon as the Marshal came up,

I saw him get
those sneaky ideas.

He was just waiting
to get you into trouble,

and he did, too.

Yeah, yeah, you're-you're right.

- He did, didn't he?
- Yeah.

Somebody ought to
learn him how to behave.

By golly, you're right.

Nobody's gonna put me on
the spot and get away with it.

He snitched on you good.

I'll fix him, you'll see.

Come on, I'll buy you a drink.

All right.


it's funny, you
buying me a drink.


It is, ain't it?

Come on.

- Oh, good morning, Mr. Dillon.
- Chester.

I think he must not have
that hooked up there.

Have you seen
Raffie this morning?

No, no, I haven't seen him yet.

Well, did you find a
place for him to sleep?

Told him he could stay
over in one of the jail cells,

but he didn't seem
to like that idea.

Well, I don't blame
him too much.


Morning, Marshal.
Morning, Chester.

- Morning, Raffie.
- Raffie.

Did you find a place
to sleep last night?

Uh, well, uh, no, Chester.

- But I slept anyway.
- Oh.

Raffie, I think I got
something for you.

You have?

Let's go on down and find out.

Why don't you
come along, Chester.

We'll have something
to eat afterwards.

All right.

Where'd you get
the drum, Raffie?

During the war.

I was too young.

They-they wouldn't
give me a gun.

Well, you're just as well off.

Well, I-I got hit anyway.

Right here.

Captain Smith,

he was our captain.

He gave me this
drum just for Antietam.

Told me to always wear it proud,

and I always tried to do that.

Especially kind of 'cause
he got killed, the cappy did.

Well, you do that, Raffie.

You just wear it real proud.


Here you are, Pete.

- Thanks, Moss.
- All fed.

Oh, good morning, Marshal.

Morning, Chester.


This is Raffie Bly here.

- Moss Grimmick, Raffie.
- Hi, hello, Raffie.


Marshal was telling
me about you last night.

Says you was looking for
a place to sleep and, uh,

maybe something
to eat once in a while.

I ain't weak with
it, but it's a fact.

I ain't ate much lately.

You don't look it.

But I ain't taking no handouts.

Oh, I ain't giving no handouts.

You work and you eat, and
you can sleep back there.

That's fine.

I'll work hard, too.

Yes, good.

Now, thanks a lot, Moss.

Raffie, you want to come and
have something to eat with us?

Oh, I'll feed him here, Marshal.

You might as
well get used to it.

Good, well, we'll
see you later, then.

- So long, Marshal.
- Thanks.

So long, Raffie.

Come on in, and
I'll show you around.

Huh, looks like Raffie's
doing all right for hisself.

Too good, you ask me.

When are you gonna
start learning him

that lesson you
was talking about?


Right now, by golly.

Come on, we'll have a
little talk with that boy.

Now, you can
bunk in here, Raffie.

That'll be fine.

And you can wash up over here.

All right.

Just make yourself at home.

Hello, Raffie.

You leave me alone now.

I ain't gonna play my drum.

Grade, isn't it?

That's right, Moss.

Say, I heard what
you did to the boy.

Now, you leave him
alone and get out of here.

Well, Raffie talks when
he ain't supposed to, Moss.

Grade just wants to
learn him how to behave.

Well now, you ain't gonna
learn nobody nothing.

Now, get out of
here, the both of you.

- You're spoiling our fun, Moss.
- Wait, what...?

Now, move over here. Move.

Come here, boy.

Don't you run away from me.

Come here, blast you.

I'll get...

Oh, now I got
you, you little rat.


I got me an idea.

You leave that alone.

You leave that alone.

Don't bust it.

Please don't bust it.

- Shame on you, Bill Grade.
- You leave that alone.

- Oh, be quiet, Moss.
- Don't bust it.

- That dirty bully.
- I said shut up.

Please don't bust it.

Please, mister.

You gonna do like I say?

My drum. Give me my drum.

Shut up and listen to me.

You climb that ladder.

You and me are
going up into the loft.

You won't bust my drum?

The first time you
don't do like I say,

I'm gonna smash it to pieces.

Now, get going.

Get going.

You need any help, Grade?

No, just stay below
and watch the fun.

Here, Moss?

Ah, let the old fool go.

Did he get away?

Yeah, he's too
scared to do nothing.

It don't matter.


hook the drum on-on
the end of this rope.


This is gonna be good.

This is gonna be real good.

Well, at least Raffie's
gonna have plenty to eat

and someplace to sleep now.

You know, he must have had
a pretty terrible time in the war.

Yeah, guess it
addled him some, too.

Yeah, that was a
miserable war anyway.

- That one?
- Yeah.

Any war is miserable.

Well, at least it's
over and done with.

We don't have to
go through it again.

Well, I wouldn't
count on that, Chester.

Marshal, get over to
the stable right quick.

- What the matter?
- It's Sloat and Bill Grade.

They're fixing to do
something awful to Raffie.

They're gonna hurt him.

Doc, I guess you
better come along, huh?

What are you gonna do, Grade?

You'll see.

All right, boy,

you want your drum, go get it.

He might fall off and
break his neck, Grade.

If I drop it, it'll bust.

All right.

Maybe you'd rather
have Sloat shoot it down.

No, no.

Please don't shoot it.

We're only trying
to help you, Raffie.

Don't, mister; please don't.

I'll get it.

Then crawl out there.

I'll go.

I'll go.

Get going, boy.

Hold it there.

Now, get back down off of there.

I got to get my drum.

Chester will get
your drum for you.

Let him get it, Marshal.

It ain't hurting him.

You shut up, Grade.

Now, Raffie, just work your
way back to the edge there,

slow and easy, huh?

All right.

I tried to catch
him, Mr. Dillon.

All right, get
down off of there.

No, no.

If I come up there after
you, I'm gonna throw you off.

No, I...

I'll come down.

It wasn't me who
done it, Marshal.

Then you get him out of
here before I break him up.

Doc, how is he?

Well, he's pretty lucky, Matt.

That could have
been a lot worse.

I'd like to get him
up in the office.

You think you
can walk all right?

He can if we help him.

- My drum.
- Easy, Raffie.

- My drum.
- Oh, it...

Your drum's all right, Raffie.

I'll bring it along.

Come on, just take it slow.

My head hurts.


Feel any better, Raffie?

I feel fine.

How's the head? Still hurt?

A little.

I got a kind of ringing
in my ears, Doc.

- Oh, you have?
- Uh-huh.


those pills I gave you are
gonna make you go to sleep.

Then when you wake up,
you're gonna feel a lot better.

All right.

How is he, Doc?

Well, he's pretty lucky, Matt.

He got a little bit
of a concussion,

but he's gonna be all right.

I ain't never in my life
hurt nobody, Marshal.

Why do they try to hurt me?

Well, Raffie, I don't want you
to worry about that anymore.

They're never gonna
hurt you again, I promise.

Well, they got
to learn different.

They got to learn they
can't do them things to me.

I think they know it now.

I'm gonna fight them, Marshal.

I'm gonna get me a gun,
and I'm gonna fight them.

Now, Raffie, don't you
worry about any guns.

You just leave that up to me.

Well, I-I'm gonna fight them.

I'm gonna fight them; I'm...

I'm gonna get me a gun,

and I'm gonna fight them.


Why, you wasn't
hurt after all, was you?

You leave me alone now.

Oh, I'll leave you alone,

but it's a good thing
Grade ain't here.

He's kind of mad at you.

I'm gonna get me a gun;
then you'll leave me alone.

A gun?

You think I won't?

I told the Marshal
I was going to.

You told the Marshal
you was gonna get a gun?

I'm gonna do it, too.

I'm gonna fight you
and that Grade both.

You'll see.

And you told the
Marshal all about it?

I sure did.

I don't care who knows it.


That man looks dead.

Yeah, he's dead, all right.

Shot in the chest, looks like.

Who is he?

I ain't gonna touch him.

It's Bill Grade.

That mule-skinner?

That's who it is, all right.

What do we do?

I don't want to get
mixed up in this.

Look, that's his knife.

Looks like he used
it on somebody.

Yeah, more than likely
on whoever shot him.

I'm gonna go tell the
Marshal about this.

♪ Rabbit run, you
better get away ♪

♪ Run, run... ♪


Morning, Chester.

Where'd you get him?

Oh, found him out on the street.

Come on, Raffie.

I ain't never
been in jail before.

You wouldn't be here now

if you could just tell me
where you were last night.

Well, I don't remember, Marshal.

Ever since I fell off
that beam yesterday,

well, I get spells.

Everything seems cloudy.

I don't think I ever
killed nobody, Marshal.

I just don't remember good.

Well, Raffie, I don't
think you killed him either,

but I'm... well, I'm afraid I'm
gonna have to leave you in here

until I find out who did.

Sorry about this, Raffie.

I'll have Chester bring you
some coffee soon as it's ready.

That'd be fine.

Golly, Mr. Dillon, he don't
look like he'd hurt a flea.

Well, I don't think
he did it, Chester.

Well, you heard him say
that he was gonna get a gun.

Yeah, but you didn't
really believe him, did you?

Well, it is kind of hard
to believe, all right.

That's right.

Maybe you can get him some
coffee when it's ready, huh?

Where are you going?

Well, I'm gonna go out
and see what I can do

about getting him out of there.


Hello, Marshal.

Getting ready to
leave town, are you?

Yeah, I'm a little
behind schedule.

Thought I'd get an early start.


Grade was killed last night.

Did you know about that?

Yeah, I heard
that; sure too bad.

At least you got the one that
done it, that drummer fella.

Well, that's kind of funny,
you feeling sorry for Grade.

Why shouldn't I?

Well, you won't have
any more competition

at the freight office now.

You'll have pretty much
a free hand around there.

Oh, that never hurt me none.

I always had more business
than I could handle anyway.


What happened to your hand?

Oh, I-I scratched it while
I was loading the wagon.

Get down off the wagon, Sloat.

What for?

You're going to jail for
the murder of Bill Grade.

But you already locked
up the one that done that.

Grade used his knife on
the man that killed him.

Raffie doesn't
have a mark on him.

You do.

Well, I told you,

I scratched it while I
was loading the wagon.

Well, you can tell all that to
the judge down at your trial.

Get down.

All right.

But you can't hold me, Marshal.

You can't prove a thing.

He's dead.

Can you men take
him out of here?

Just get him off the
street somewhere.

What happened, Mr. Dillon?

Well, it looks like he didn't
want to go to jail, Chester.

Then he was the one
that-that killed Grade, huh?

Yeah. I didn't know it
till he went for his gun.

Saved me the trouble
of having to prove it.

Well, I'll tell you
something, that Raffie,

he's not gonna mind
leaving that cell at all.

Let's go turn him loose.

Oh, it's been nice
having you here, Raffie.

Now, take good care
of yourself, will you?

Good luck to you, Raffie.


Well, sorry to see
you leave, Raffie.


too many bad things
happened to me here, Marshal.

I'll look for some other place.

Well, can't say as I blame you.

Thanks for trying to help me.

So long.