Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 6, Episode 19 - Tall Trapper - full transcript

A man and his wife come across a lone trapper and make camp with him. Next day, the husband comes to Dodge to report to Doc that his wife is sick, but Doc finds the woman beaten to death, and the husband accuses the trapper.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.


Well, climb down, Tassie.



Uh, uh...

we seen this place and, uh,

we's figuring on
spending the night here.

Uh, my name is Rowley.

Marv Rowley.


Oh, and that there
is my wife Tassie.

Come on over here, Tassie.

Well, hurry up.

Howdy, ma'am.

We've had a long day and, uh,

we're dead tired and, uh,

there ain't another
place to camp

as far as a man can see.

There's plenty of room here.

I didn't think we'd
be crowding you any.

Where you headed for anyway?

North, maybe.

You ain't a buffalo
hunter, are you?

I'm a trapper.

You unload the stuff,
I'll take care of the team.


Come on I said.

What's the matter
with you anyways?

Staring at him like that.

I wasn't staring.

Well, he was staring at you.

I won't stand for that.

Oh, Marv, he seems
like a good man.

He seems like half animal to me.

I'm gonna keep my eye on him.

And I'm gonna keep my
eye on you, too, you hear?

Your talking crazy.

I know what kind of man he is,

living out here all alone.

Why, he's no better
than an animal, I tell you.

Then why don't we move on?

'Cause I drove all day
and I'm plumb worn out.

There's other places, Marv.

They ain't as good as this.

Besides, no man has a
right to hulk a whole prairie

to himself.

Then don't complain
if he stares at me.

Just keep your eyes off him.

I think I'm gonna
hobble them horses

down by the creek for the night.

You wash the dishes.

And, uh, get out the
bedrolls while I'm gone.

Let me help you, miss.

Well, I, I...

It'll be all right. He won't
know anything about it.

All right.


Well, why are we stopping here?

It's that trapper fella,
he's following us.

I just saw him.

Now, Marv, that's impossible.

He rode off the other
direction this morning.

Oh, sure, sure, after
helping you wash the dishes,

and load the wagon,
and every other fool thing

you could think of.

He was just being
nice, that's all.

A man ain't supposed to be
nice to somebody else's wife.

He said...

he said he felt sorry for me.

Felt sorry... Oh,
sure, sure he did.

That'd be just like
him, the sneaky dog.

He didn't mean
any harm by it, Marv.

Then why is he following us?

What do you think
he's got in mind?

You sitting there last
night making moon eyes

at him the whole time.

Let's drive on.

Oh, we'll drive on.

But if you find Mr. Trapper
gets any closer...

he's gonna find out
what's waiting for him.


Come in.

- You Doc Adams?
- Yes.

My name is Rowley,
Doc. Marv Rowley.

What can I do for you?

Well, it's my wife, Doc.

She's out on the prairie about
three hours ride from here,

and she's sick.

Well, is she out
there all alone?

Well, I didn't know
what else to do, Doc.

She said she couldn't
stand another turn

of them wagon wheels.
She's carrying on

something terrible about it.

What seems to be her trouble?

Well, I don't know, Doc.

She was ailing for a couple
years back in Georgia,

but finally we
figured to head west,

someplace where it's dry,
and see if that help any.

All the way from Georgia and

couldn't get her
on into town, huh?

Well, uh, I didn't
know what else to do.

Will you hurry, Doc?

She's so weak now,
she can't hardly move.

Well, we'll go on out there,

but you'll have to come
with me while I get hitched up.

All right. I'll get the door.


You go ahead, Doc.
She's expecting you.

- I'll untie my horse.
- Yeah.

Mrs. Rowley?

Mrs. Rowley.

Mr. Rowley?

Mr. Rowley.

What is it, Doc?

What's the matter?

- I've got bad news for you.
- Oh.

What's wrong?

You got her all covered
up, I can't see her.

Mr. Rowley, she's, she's dead.

Oh, oh, no, Doc.

- She can't be.
- I'm sorry.

Oh, Doc, you got
to do something.

She can't die.

You listen to me.

Your wife's been murdered.


Beaten to death.

Oh, no.

Golly, there's enough
dirt in here to fill a grave.

Looks to me like a body
could wipe their feet off

before they come inside,
instead of waiting till...

Oh, Chester, where's Matt?

Well, Doc, honest
to goodness, Doc,

I just get through
sweeping up your dirt,

and then you come in
here and stir it all up again.

You don't know what I asked you?

- What?
- Where's Matt?

- Oh, Matt.
- Hello, Doc.

Matt, I want you to
meet Mr. Rowley here.

This is Marshal Dillon.

- How do you do?
- Howdy, Marshal.

Matt, Mr. Rowley's
wife's been murdered.


She's in a wagon
out at Manse Grove.

Well how'd it happen?

Well, uh, while I was, uh...

she's been ailing,
that's why we come west.

Oh, I wish I never left her
to come and get you, Doc.

Well, uh, Matt, you see,

when we got back out
there she was dead.

Any idea who did it?

I know who did it. It
was a tall trapper fella,

we made camp with
him night before last.

He was making eyes at my wife,
and he followed us all next day.

But you didn't see him do it?


Well, do you know
what his name was?


My head is killing me, Doc.

Can't you give me
something for it?

Sure I can. You, uh,

you're not gonna need
him anymore, are you, Matt?

No, not right now, Doc.
We'll get right out there.

- All right, you come on with me.
- I'm sorry.

Well, that poor fella.

What about his wife?

Well, yeah, her, too.

We gonna bury her
out here, Mr. Dillon?

We would if she was in there.

- What do you mean?
- She's gone.


Let's take a look around.


Well, that there's a
Pawnee grave, Mr. Dillon.

Fresh built, too.


All right, come
on up out of there.

Hold it.

Get your hands up.

Both of them.

All right, now,
come on over here.

Let's have the rifle.

You ain't thinking of disturbing
the grave, are you, mister?

Who are you?

They call me Ben.

Are you a law man?

That's right. You
got a last name?

Not that I ever heard.

The Pawnees reared me.

I learned their ways.

Their burying strikes
me a lot more decent

than digging in the ground.

You a trapper?

Most of the time.

Did you kill that woman?

No, I didn't kill her.

Well, her husband's got a
pretty strong idea you did.

He said that?

He said they camped with you,

and you followed them
the next day. Is that right?

That's right.

Well, Ben, I'm afraid I'm
gonna have to lock you up.

I ain't never been
locked up before, mister.

Doesn't look to me like you
got much choice right now.

Let's go.

Uh, Miss Kitty, hi.

What is it, Rowley?

Well, I need somebody
to talk to, Miss Kitty.

I need somebody bad.

I lost my wife.

She is everything to me.

Just drink your drink, Rowley.

- Oh, hello, Matt.
- Hello, Kitty.

I was told I'd find Rowley here.

Yeah, he's here all right.

He's been drinking all day.

He just lost his wife, you know?

I know.

I just wish he was standing
up to it a little better,

that's all.

I'll take him off your
hands for a little while, Kitty,

and I'll see you later.

Hmm, all right.


Oh, howdy, Marshal.

If you don't mind, I'd
like to ask you something.

Oh, sure.

Now, you said that
you camped out there

with that trapper and that
he followed you the next day?

He sure did, the murdering dog.

And yet you left your wife
alone out there on the prairie,

and came into town?

Well, I didn't have
no choice, Marshal.

She couldn't stand
traveling no more.


Well, I got the trapper
locked up in jail, Rowley.

You have?

Well, that's fine.

I hope he hangs, Marshal.

Well, we'll see about that.

He's got it coming
for what he done,

murder in cold blood.

There ain't no
forgiveness for that.

Rowley, if you don't
mind, I'd like to have you

come over to the
office and see him.

All right, Marshal.



Hello, Marshal.

I got somebody here I
thought you might like to talk to.


Hello, Rowley.

You recognize him?

He's the man, all right.

You're bad mistook, Rowley.

You're a murdering devil.

A man shouldn't point no
finger unless he can prove it out.

I can't stand it, Marshal.

It sickens me
just to look at him.

I've got to get outside.

Rowley, just don't leave
town. I may need you.

You believe what
he says, Marshal?

Doesn't matter
what I believe, Ben.

But Tassie was a
kind and gentle woman.

I'd never hurt her.

Well, Ben, you'll
get a fair trial.

That's the most I can tell you.

All right, Marshal.

Howdy, Ben.

Hello, Chester.

Well, I, I, uh,

got you a little dinner there.

Well, thank you, Chester.

Yeah, I got a couple
of apples in there,

and a little piece of cheese
to kindly go along with it.

Ah, golly, you
know, I just, uh...

can't hardly figure you out.

Well, why not?

Well, you seem like a
peaceable kind of a fella.

You know, living alone
out there on the prairie.

Trapping and all like that.

You don't seem like
the kind of a person

that would rob or steal,

leave alone murdering a...

poor, sick woman like that.

Sick woman?

Mrs. Rowley.

Why do you say she was sick?

Well, that's, that's why Rowley

come in to get Doc,
because she was sick.

That's why they came
out here in the first place,

is so she'd get well again.

She was real sick, huh?

Well, you was out there.
You spent a whole night

with them, you ought to know.

Yeah, that's
right. That's right.

Marshal? Marshal?

Uh, he's over at Delmonico's.

Is there anything wrong?

It's that Rowley fella. He
took his wagon and left town.

Are you sure?

Yeah, he's gone, all right.

Said he couldn't stand
it around here no longer.

How long's he been gone?

Well, just a few minutes ago.

He's headed east to town.

Well, uh,

listen, Moss, maybe you
better saddle up our horses.

- I'll tell Mr. Dillon about it.
- Sure, sure.

Uh, don't worry...

Sorry, Chester,
I've got to do this.

Don't... Ben, you're gonna
look guiltier than ever.

Let me out of here.

I don't know, Chester.

They've got me
half-hung already.

Ben, open this... Ben!


Mr. Dillon!

Mr. Dillon!



I'm back here,
Mr. Dillon. I'm locked up.

What happened?

- Well...
- Where's Ben?

Well, he tricked me, Mr. Dillon.

He throwed me against
the bunk over there,

and then he locked
the door and he run.

There wasn't a thing
that I could do about it.

Well, there wasn't
nothing I could do about it.

Oh, Chester.

Well, he's probably
gone after Rowley,

and they got a good
head start on us,

so we'll have to get
moving. Come on.

- You know about Rowley?
- Yeah, Moss told me about him.

Let's go.

So it's true.

He buried her like an Indian.

Well, if that ain't something.

Ain't you supposed
to be in jail?

I kind of broke out.

I had an urge to follow you.

That's close enough.

They'll hang you sure now.

You had to come out
here again, didn't you?

You were driven out here.

Take another look at Tassie.

You know a lot, don't you?

I know you killed her.

I know you beat her to death.

That's a funny thing
for you to be saying...

me about to blow a hole in you.

I want to hear
you admit it first.

All right, I admit it. What
difference does it make?

You followed us
that whole next day.


And come evening,

Tassie was so took with you...

she said she was gonna
ride back and meet you...


She said that?


Looks like we got company.

- What?
- Horses coming.


Is he dead?

No, but he's pretty bad off.

He had a rifle on me,
Marshal. I jumped him.

He told me he killed Tassie.

He said she was gonna
leave him and come with me.

Rowley, Rowley, can you hear me?

I ain't gonna make it, Marshal.

Now, Rowley, listen.

I want to know the
truth about Tassie.

What happened?

She was gonna leave me.

Run off with him.

A man don't have to
take that from his woman.

Gonna leave me...

It's a...

bad thing that I done, Marshal.


I couldn't stand to
have her leave me.


Well, Ben,

how come you broke
out of jail and ran away?

I knew he killed her, Marshal,

when I heard he was saying
that she had a sickness.

There was nothing wrong
with Tassie, Marshal.

She was just plumb wore
out from doing his carrying

and toting, that's all.

He made it all up.

So it'd look like she was
killed while he was in town

fetching the doc.

I see.

Now tell me this, why
were you following them

out there on the
prairie in the first place?

I just couldn't help
myself, Marshal.

Tassie there, she...

she struck me as

sort of a lonely and...

troubled woman.

Guess she reminded
me of myself a little bit.

I've been living alone
all my life, Marshal, I...

never stopped in any
one place long enough

to call it a home.

I always kind of dreamed I'd...

meet a nice woman
like that and...

maybe settle down.

I was mighty taken
by her, Marshal.

All right, Ben.

You're free to go.

Thanks, Marshal.