Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 6, Episode 11 - Ben Tolliver's Stud - full transcript

A row with his boss makes Ben quit his job. He leaves but says goodbye to Jake's daughter first. When he takes a horse for lost wages, Jake swears he'll kill him. The tables are turned when a hard and fast rule of Jake's soon backfires.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.





Come on out here, and
bring your horse with you.

What you want, Jake?

I thought I told you to ride
over to Big Spring this morning.

You did.

Well, why didn't you go?

I want to know if them horses
over there has got water.

What are you doing
messing around here?

Was just starting to halter one
or two of them broncs in there.

So's you could
gentle-break 'em, huh?

I told you before,
it's too slow.

On this ranch, we rope
'em, throw 'em, saddle 'em,

and let 'em get up under us.

I never rough-broke a
horse in my life, Jake.

I told you that before.

Well, maybe it's
because you ain't able to.

I reckon you know
better than that.

Well, it doesn't matter.

These are my horses,
this is my ranch,

and I'll run it
the way I see fit.


You're getting awful uppity
for a common cowhand.

You got any complaints,
you just say 'em out, Jake.

You bet I will.

Why didn't you ride
over to Big Spring

- this morning like I told you?
- I did.

Got back about 25 minutes ago.

You what?

Spring's fine; there's
plenty of water.

- But you just said th...
- I didn't say nothin'.

You were asking me what I
was doing here, and I told you.

All right, all right.

A-And another thing.

You ain't got sense enough

to tie hard and fast
when you're roping!

I dally; I always did.

That rope ought to be
tied hard and fast, like that!

If it gets tangled up in
your mount's legs or yours?

I've seen too many
people hurt that way.

If you get into trouble,

you just let go of
everything, is that it?

You lose your
bronc and your rope!

Beats getting hurt.

You're from
California, ain't you?

Well, I learned to
rope down in Texas

where they know
how to handle stock!

There are different ways
of doing things, Jake.

No, there ain't;
there's only two ways:

the right way and the wrong way.

Like I said, you got any
complaints you just say 'em out.

I'm saying 'em out.

And I got one more thing.

You keep away from my daughter.

I don't want any
$30-a-month cowhand

hanging around Nancy.

She's too good for a
saddle tramp like you!

I ought to knock your head off!

You try it, youngster,

you'll get a
bullet in the belly.

You're the orneriest...

I'm quitting!

Get your stuff out of the
bunkhouse and clear out.

All right, as soon as I've
said good-bye to Nancy.

I told you to stay
away from her!

You'll have to shoot
me in the back, Jake.

All right! Say good-bye to her!

It'll be the last
thing you'll ever say!

You show up around here
again, I'll shoot you in the back!

Ben, what's the trouble?

I been watching you over there.

- I'm quitting, Nancy.
- You're quitting? Oh, no.

I can't stand no more of it.

I know.

It was bound to happen...
Pa and his ornery ways.

I guess that's what
really killed my ma.

I'm gonna get you
away from here, too,

just as soon as I can get me a
job and get some money together.

That'll be a long time.

Not so long. You'll see.

Where you going, Ben?

Right now, into Dodge.

I can get a job out of there.

When will I see you again?

I'll get word to you.

We can find a meeting
place, and you can ride to it.

I will.

You know I will.

Why, I always could outfox Pa.

You sure could.

Good-bye, Nancy.

Make it soon, Ben.

- Well, hello, Carl.
- Howdy, Marshal.

How you been?

Well, I'm pretty
well tuckered out.

Rode 22 miles today
and 22 miles yesterday.

Not used to it.

Ah. Where you been, anyway?

Up at Jake Creed's.

Been promising to get out
there for a couple of weeks.

So yesterday I just
packed up and went.

Oh, you been out
there shoeing horses?

Yeah, five of them
wild, bitin', kickin' devils.

You know, Jake Creed ain't
got a gentle horse on his place?

Well, he kind of
makes a business

of breaking broncs, doesn't he?

Yeah. But that ain't
why I come to see you.

Marshal... you know I
ain't a man to carry tales,

and I ain't a man not to
try to stop a killing, either.

- Stop a killing?
- Jake Creed swears

he's gonna kill a man,
and I know he means it.

- Well, who's he after?
- Fella that worked for him

for a while. I don't know him,

but his name's
Tolliver. Ben Tolliver.

No, I don't think I know
him. What'd he do?

Well, seems this
fella Tolliver run off

and took one of Jake's
best stud horses with him.

'Course, Jake's
pretty mad about that.

He says he's here in Dodge,

and he's gonna come
in here and kill him.

I told Jake, I said he
ought to come in here

and swear out a
warrant for horse-thieving

and you'd arrest
this fella, Tolliver.

He said no, he'd take
care of his own trouble.

Well, Carl, thanks
for telling me.

'Course, you know, Marshal,

I don't hold with horse thieves,

but I just thought
it was my duty.


Carl, you did the right thing.

What are you gonna do about it?

Well, I think I'll just
have a look around town.

If I can find this Ben Tolliver
and he's got Jake's stud horse,

- I won't need a warrant.
- Good.



Mm? Yeah? Hi, Mr. Dillon.

Say, did you ever hear of a
man by the name of Ben Tolliver?

Ben Tolliver? No, I
don't think I ever did.

Well, he's here in
Dodge somewhere,

and I got to find him...
The only trouble is

- I don't even know what he looks like.
- Well, what's he done?

Well, he's a horse thief; he
stole a stud from Jake Creed.

Oh. Well, I-I could
help you look for him.

Uh, even if it was Jake
Creed he stole from.

That's about the
meanest man I ever seen.

You're sure right
about that, mister.

Who are you?

Ben Tolliver.

Couldn't help listening.

You looking for me, Marshal?

I sure am.

Marshal, I got nothing to hide.

That stud you were talking about

is right down at the stable
tied up with my saddle horse.

Well, now, that's
funny... I just got through

talking to the
owner of that stable.

He didn't mention it to me.

There was no one
around when I rode in,

so I put him up
myself, left him a note.

You want me to go
find out, Mr. Dillon?

No, no, that's
all right, Chester.

All right, what's your
side of the story?

Jake Creed owed me four
months' wages, Marshal.

I left the other day, and he
wouldn't pay me because I quit.

I see. So you just took
the stud and rode off, huh?

I figured I had
something coming.

Well, let me tell you something,

you don't take
another man's horse

and ride off with it no
matter what you figure.

Marshal, I found that
horse out on the range,

running wild and unbranded.

I brought the horse to
Creed's, and I broke him myself.

I put three months'
work into that stud

- on my own time.
- Well, what'd you break him for?

Did you figure on riding him?

Well... could sell
him for breeding.

He's a mighty fine animal.

Well, that's fine,
but do you know

that Jake Creed is
coming to town to kill you?

He's got no cause.

Well, if he comes, I guess
I'll just have to get me a gun.

I'm afraid I can't
let you do that.

What do you mean?

I'm gonna take you to jail.

What for? I didn't steal
that horse, I told you.

I'm gonna ride out and
have a talk with Jake Creed,

but just in case I miss
him, I don't want you

running around town
here where he can find you.

Marshal, I don't cotton to being
thrown in jail for any reason.

All right, let's
just put it this way:

I'm gonna lock you up
till I check your story.

Chester, get the horse.

I'll meet you back
at the office, will you?

Yes, sir.

All right. Come on.


Well, Marshal Dillon,
and, Chester, come on in.


Is your father around,
Nancy? I'd like to talk to him.

Well, he's in the bedroom
changing his boots.

Oh, won't you sit down?

- Well, thank you.
- Pa, we got company.

- Who is it?
- It's Marshal Dillon and Chester.

Um, he'll be right out. Can
I make you some coffee?

No, thanks, Nancy.

- Uh, we don't have much time.
- Oh.

Well, how are things
in Dodge, Marshal?

Oh, fine, fine, Nancy.

Haven't seen you in
Dodge in some time, Nancy.

Well, I got no call
to go in, Chester.

I guess I'll make that
coffee anyway. Excuse me.

What are you doing
out here, Marshal?

Well, Jake...

You didn't come out here
to pass the time of day.

No, I came out here to
find out about Ben Tolliver.


What about Ben Tolliver?

Suppose you tell me.

He's a horse thief.

I'm gonna shoot him.

Anything else?

Well, Ben claims
that stud is his, Jake.

It is his.

Ben caught that
stud running wild

and broke him on his own time.

He belongs to Ben.

He was working on my
ranch, eating my grub.

That stud belongs to me.

I'll thank you

to keep your mouth out of this.

Well, Ben also claims
you owe him money, Jake.

Well, he never
would do nothing right.

From gentle-breaking horses
to taking dallies with his rope.

Any man who won't tie hard
and fast when he's roping

just ain't no kind

- of a cowhand!
- Well, Ben says it's dangerous.

Nancy, I told you to
keep your mouth shut!

Well, do you owe him
money or don't you?

He quit, didn't he?

I don't owe him one red cent.

Anyhow, this has got
nothing to do with the law.

I take care of my own
troubles and always have.

All right, I'm not gonna
stand here arguing with you,

but let me tell you something,
Jake... you kill Ben Tolliver,

and you're gonna swing
from the end of a rope.

I'll see that you
go to the gallows.

Now, you better
think about that.

All right. All right, but
he's still a horse thief!

And I'll tell everybody I know.

He'll get no jobs in
this part of the country.

You tell everybody you want
to, but just stay away from him.

Sure. Like I'd keep
away from a skunk!

- Bye, Nancy.
- Bye, Marshal.

Bye, Chester.

You sure did make
your point, Mr. Dillon.

I think he really means
it about keeping away

- from Ben Tolliver.
- Maybe.

- What do you mean, maybe?
- Well, he may have meant it

about the shooting,
but I know Jake Creed.

- He's not through with him yet.
- Oh, what could he do?

I don't know, but he's
a mighty rough old man.

I never been locked
up before, Marshal.

Well, you're out now, Ben.

Did you see the old man?

Yep. I think I talked him out of

coming in here to
shoot you, anyway.

Then you believe me
about the stud horse?

Sure, I believe you.

But I'd keep an eye out
for Jake just the same.

You know, he's
not the kind of man

- to let go that easy.
- I ain't afraid of him.

Well, I know you're
not, but just be careful.

Well, right now I'd say
the law owes you a drink.

Thanks, Marshal.

Chester, we'll, uh, see you
over at the Long Branch there,

after you get through
putting up the horses, huh?

Well, I take it you don't know

too many people
around here, Ben.

Ain't been here
very long, Miss Kitty.

They all come in the Long
Branch sooner or later.

You'll find a job easy.

Hope so.

Ben tells me he plans to raise
horses of his own someday.


Oh, you planning on
settling down around here?

Already found the girl.

Oh, who?

Nancy Creed.

Jake's daughter?

Yes'm. But how did you know?

Well, she kind of gave it away
that day out there at the ranch.

You know, I got an
idea that's probably why

the old man's got it in for you.

I know it is.

Well, what are you gonna do?
How are you gonna see her?

You sure can't go out there.

No, but I can get word to her.

There's a neighbor kid out
there I made friends with.

He comes to town most every day.

You... planning on having her
slip out and meet you someplace?

If I can find a safe place.

Well, I know a place.

Jake couldn't do anything
even if he caught you.

- Where?
- Out back

- of the marshal's office.
- What?

Well, it's the safest
place in town.

Well, now, just a minute, Kitty.

Now, hold on, Matt.

You get word to Nancy to
meet you there tomorrow night.

And you make sure
that you're in the office

just in case Jake does show up.

Never mind, Marshal.
I'll find some other place.

No, no, it's all right, Ben.

Kitty's probably right; it is
the safest place for Nancy.

No telling what Jake
might do if he caught her.

Well, it's all settled, then.

- Fine.
- Good. Let's have a drink on the house.

I won't complain.

- Clem?
- Yes, Miss Kitty?

- Uh, can you bring us three beers?
- You bet.


Hello, Nancy.

I see you made
it all right, huh?

I got Ben's message
this morning.

To come in and meet
him here, I mean.

I was worried for a
while there, Marshal.

- Oh, about Jake?
- Yes, I'd never have made it,

but he suddenly decided to
ride over and visit a friend of his.

- Well, you were in luck, then.
- Yes, I sure was.

- Ben said he'd be out in back.
- Yes, he's out there.

He wasn't sure whether you were
coming by the front way or now.

I shouldn't have,
but no one seems

to pay much attention at night.

Marshal, I appreciate
your helping us out this way.

Well, I'm not sure your
father would appreciate it.

But, well, anyway, I'll
show you out. Come on.

He's right down
there waiting for you.

Oh, Ben!

I reckon I shouldn't
have done that.

Good to see you, Ben.

I'm glad you got here.

Well, I was lucky; Pa
went off to visit a neighbor.

Come on, let's sit down.

I hate you having to
ride into town all alone.

Well, it was
nothing. I been riding

a lot further than that
ever since I was a kid.

But at night?

At night, too.

Many's the time.

You find a job yet, Ben?

No, not yet.

It seems like it's a bad season

for taking on
riders around here.

I was afraid of that.

I'll get a job.
Soon, you'll see.

I hope so.

I can't stand living out
there with Pa much longer.

It wasn't so bad
before you came along,

but... now, well,
everything's different.

If I could just get me a
stake, a few hundred dollars.

Well, what would you do with it?

I heard about a place upriver.

And I went out to
see it this morning.

It's not much, just a cabin,
but, well, the corrals are good.

Well, is it for sale?

$300. There's a fair piece
of land that goes with it.

Well, what about stock?

There are lots of
horses running wild

on the prairie, just
there for the taking.

Man knows how to catch 'em,
he can make out pretty well.

Well, you know how to catch 'em.


Nancy, I could sell the stud!

- Oh, no.
- Oh, it's a fine animal,

might get $300 for him.

But after all the work
you put in on him,

breaking him to
ride and everything.

That just puts his price up.

Nancy, I'm gonna sell him.

I know how much
that stud means to you.

What you mean to
me is more important.

I just don't want you to
do something you'll regret.

Then you just leave it to me.

I know a man who
might buy him right off.

I'll take him out there
first thing in the morning.

We're gonna get
that place, Nancy.

We're gonna start
our own spread.

Then we can get married soon?

Sooner, by golly,
than you think.

Someone's coming.

- Oh, it must be Pa!
- Over there.


- Ben? Oh!
- Chester.

You, like, scared me to death.

I was afraid you were Jake.

Well, that's what I
come to tell you about.

I-I seen him up the
end of Front Street.

- What?
- Well, now, I ain't sure that it was him.

I didn't get too close to
him... He run off 'fore I could...

But it sure did look
like him right enough.

- We got to get Nancy out of here.
- Well, uh,

I seen her horse out front.

Why don't you wait
here where it's dark,

and I'll go get it for you.

- Thanks, Chester.
- Well, don't thank me.

I just don't like
the sight of blood.


Sure ain't a town for getting
up early in the mornings, is it?

No. Well, people got to get
their sleep sometime, Chester.

They sure don't get
much at night around here.

Well, the place would
go broke if they did.

Yeah, the saloons would, anyway.

Well, that's what I
was talking about.

They're the ones that
make all the money.

Say, I wonder if Nancy Creed
got home all right last night.

Well, I hope so.
You don't really know

whether it was Jake you
saw or not, anyway, do you?

Well, no, but I wasn't
gonna take no chances.

Well, come on, we're not gonna
get rich standing around here.

Marshal Dillon! Marshal!

- There's gonna be a killing.
- Huh?

Yeah, that Ben Tolliver
come running into my office

over the Stable L a while ago,

grabbed my pistol
out of my desk there

and jumped on his
horse and rode out.

And he was boiling mad.

Crazy, wild. I never
seen a man so mad.

And he's going after Jake
Creed, and I know why, too.

It's because of that
stud horse of his.

Well, what do you mean?

Well, I wasn't at the stable
myself last night at all,

but Jake Creed sure was.

I told you that I seen Jake
in town last night, Mr. Dillon.

- I knowed it was him.
- Ben told me

to go take a look, and I did.

And do you know what that mean
old devil of a Jake Creed done?

He hamstrung that stud.

Why, the poor horse
can't move out of his track.

Worse than killing him.

Let's go, Chester.


Oh, Marshal.


- Was something wrong?
- Is Jake around?

Well, he's not
here at the house.

- What is it?
- Where is he?

Probably out at the barn.

Have you seen Ben this morning?

No. Wh-What's the matter?

I'll explain it to you later,
Nancy. You stay here.

Sounds like it
came from the barn.

Where's Jake, Ben?

He's in there.

I'll take the gun.

Ben, what happened?

He killed him, Mr. Dillon!

No, I didn't.

Oh, no!


You shot him.

You killed him.

I didn't kill him, Nancy.

He killed himself.

What are you trying to get at?

I did come here to kill him
after what he did to my stud.

- Ben!
- Changed my mind.

I couldn't kill a man.

I... I couldn't.

Mr. Dillon, this
horse has been shot.

I had to shoot him.

Must've busted his leg when
the bronc pulled him over.

Figured Jake roped the bronc

over there, and the other end

was tied hard and
fast to his saddle.

He got tangled up in it
somehow and couldn't get loose.

It's what your pa and I
always argued about, Nancy.

I... I told him what
could happen.

I know.

It's so awful, Ben.

Now, now.


Come on.

By golly, Mr. Dillon, I...

I sure feel sorry for
that little girl, don't you?

Yeah, Chester, it's too bad.

But I got an idea that Ben'll
take pretty good care of her.

Come on. We have
some work to do.


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