Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 6, Episode 6 - The Peace Officer - full transcript

Matt strips the badge from crooked Tascosa sheriff Clegg Rawlins, but knows he will likely face an ambush attempt during his return trip to Dodge City. He gets unexpected assistance from Rawlins' jilted girlfriend Stella, who meets the Marshal on horseback in an attempt to escape Rawlins and begin life anew in Dodge.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

What's this?

Somebody busted
one of his windows.

Now he's boarding
up the rest of them.

I got a right to.

It's my store, ain't it?

Mr. Parks, you haven't
got a right to breathe

without my saying so.

This town's had just about
enough of you, Clegg Rawlins.

No, it hasn't, Mr. Parks.

And it ain't gonna
be boarded up, either.

Men don't like that.


Mean the wild drunks you
sell liquor to in your saloons?

You're some sheriff.

Take him outside and
teach him some manners.

You bet.

You wouldn't dare
do a thing like that.

Come along, Mr. Parks.


Are you all right?

You saw 'em.

They beat me up.

I'd have tried to stop
it, they'd have killed me.

I-I ain't blaming you.

Something's got to
be done here, Styles.

But what?

We're no match
for him and his men.

We got to have a new
sheriff around here.

I... I'm gonna do
something about it, too.

I'm gonna form a
citizens committee

and send up to Dodge
City for the U.S. marshal.

Oh, that won't do no good.

Tascosa ain't in his territory.

And besides, he's too
busy around Dodge.

I hear he's a good man.

At least he'll help us find a
decent, honest sheriff here.

Why, he's got to.

I'm gonna send for him today.

You better come inside.

You look like you're hurt bad.

Oh, I'm hurt, all right, but...

I'm still alive.

What'll it be?

Make it a beer.

That'll be 25 cents.


Pay it or go thirsty, mister.

Well, 25 cents is a lot of money

to pay for a glass
of beer, isn't it?

Hear that, boys?

He don't like the price.

He gives you any trouble,
we'll shoot him in the foot.


We'll shoot him twice
just to make sure.

Couple friends
of yours, are they?

Oh, we all work
together here, mister.

You mean you all work for
Clegg Rawlins, don't you?

He's called Sheriff
Rawlins around here.

Well, I guess that's as good
a title as any to hide behind.

You never been to
Tascosa before, have you?

Not since Clegg
Rawlins took over.

I told you once it was
Sheriff Rawlins, mister.

Yeah, I heard you.

Well, you're-you're sort of
a troublemaker, aren't you?

I just can't seem to teach our
friend here to behave, boys.

That's too bad.

I got a feeling he don't
like the way this town's run.

Where you from, stranger?

Come on, what
are you doing here?

Let's drag him
out of town, Ponce.

That's a good idea, Lighter.

You know, you're a
pretty grown-up boy.

Maybe we ought to
teach you some manners.

Anything else you'd
like to teach me?

Maybe you better go take
care of your friend there, huh?

Hey, that's only a nickel.

That's what we pay for a
beer in Dodge City, mister.

Mr. Parks.

Oh, yes, sir?

Matt Dillon.

I tell you, I've never seen

a more welcome face
in my life, Marshal.

All the decent citizens
of Tascosa are gonna

breathe a lot easier, what,
with your being here now.

Well, I'm afraid I'm only gonna
be here a short time, Mr. Parks.

Yeah, I understand that,
but you will look around

and then help us find
a good man, won't you?

Well, I'm certainly gonna try.

What happened to you there?


Uh, Clegg Rawlins'
men beat me up...

Ponce and that Harry Lighter.

Oh, yeah.

I've met those two already.


Tell me something, Mr. Parks.

Does Clegg Rawlins own
every saloon in Tascosa?

Yeah, he certainly does.

Boy, the money he makes on
them is really something, Marshal.

Why, this town is a gold
mine to Clegg Rawlins.

Well, it should be with
those prices he charges.

And if anybody
complains, well, they just

ride them out of town
at the end of a rope.

Mr. Parks, I'd kind of like to
meet some of the other members

of your citizens
committee there, if I can.

Yeah, of course.

Uh, there's
Mr. Berry at the hotel

and Jack Sight at
the Star restaurant.

And there's Mr. Styles
at the feed and grain.

All right.

Thank you very much.

- Bye.
- Bye, Marshal.

Have a seat.

No, thanks.

Well, I'm the man the citizen's
committee wants to get rid of.

Yeah, I know.

They've gone to a lot
of trouble, those men.

I'll be darned if I know why.

Yeah, they seem to
think they got their reason.

Well, I wanted you to
know how wrong they are.

You see, the boys got a
little out of line with Mr. Parks.

He got real excited about it.

I told them never let
that happen again though.

Did you?

People here paint a real
black picture of me, I know that.

But I wanted you to know
that I'm a reasonable man.

How's that?

Well, let's just say that I'm
easy to do business with.

Go on.

You see, Marshal, the people
that you've been talking to

are the same ones that
brought me here in the first place.

They wanted me
to clean up the town.

Well, I did that for them.

Now, all of a sudden,
they want me out.

I'd call that
downright ungrateful.

Rawlins, you have
something you want to say?

What I'd like to say is this.

I'm a very rich man.

A U.S. marshal don't make
much money, does he?

I was wondering how long it'd
take you to get around to that.

Now, wait a minute.

You don't want to walk
out on a good thing, do you?

Rawlins, you might as well
make up your mind on one thing:

you're finished in Tascosa.

Man don't give up
that easy, Marshal.

You got just about as much
time left as it's gonna take

the man I hire to get
down here from Dodge.

As short as that, huh?

And I don't know
who he's gonna be yet,

but he's gonna be a
real good man, Rawlins.

A real good man.

Oh, Marshal?

There's a lot of prairie
between here and Dodge.

I'd sure hate to see something
happen to you on your way back.

You better bring your
two gunmen with you.

I don't think you're man
enough to do it yourself.

Like I say, it's a long ride.

You know, it always seems
too bad when a man dies

for something he
ain't concerned with.

Now, Rawlins, if I was
worried about dying,

I'd have quit this
job a long time ago.



- Hello, Marshal.
- Hello.

It's not a trap; I came alone.

But I might have been followed.

You're pretty far
out on the prairie

for a woman alone, aren't you?

Well, I followed you all
the way from Tascosa.

You what?

Well, if you'd seen me sooner,
you would've sent me back.

I can't go back, Marshal.

Why not?

I'm Clegg Rawlins' girl.

You're what?

I mean I was.

Clegg would kill me if he
found out I tried to run away.

Well, now, following me
out here on the prairie is not

a very good way to keep
him from finding out, is it?

Look, I've got a
chance with you.

I never could've made it alone.

I'm a good shot.

What's your name?


Stella Carney.

Come on down out of the saddle.


I, uh, I forgot to bring water.

I got some right here.

So you'd be willing
to kill Clegg Rawlins

if you had to, huh?

He brought me down
here from Hays City.

Gonna marry me, he said.

That was two weeks ago.

Well, it took me a whole
two weeks to find out

he already has a
wife in Willow Springs.

So, you left him, huh?

I told him what I
thought of him first.

I got beat for it.

Let me ride with
you, Marshal, please.

I was told that Clegg Rawlins
and his men are after me.

They're either a little
behind or they're up ahead

there somewhere
right now waiting for me.

Are you gonna make
me face them alone?

Let's get started.

Getting tired?

Oh, no, I'll make it.

Now look, there's
a nester's shack

over there behind those trees.

Maybe he'll put
us up for the night.

I wouldn't mind that.

Near as I can make
out, there's two of them.

Yeah, it's probably
Ponce and Lighter.

Clegg wouldn't bother to
ride clear out here himself.

Well, I want to see
if I can't make them

come to us a little bit.

Think I'm gonna
work my way forward.

The next shot they fire
after I get into position,

you scream like you're hit.

Might throw them
off guard a little bit.

And keep down.

Look out!

Let me take a look at it.

Oh, my leg.

Went clear through.

The bone doesn't
seem to be broken.

Lucky, huh?


Look, I'll wrap it up for you.

Are they both dead, Marshal?


Now, I'm gonna have
to wrap this pretty tight

to stop the bleeding.

It's all right, I can stand it.

I'm not afraid.

No, you're not.

You did really well out there.

I'm gonna get you
over to that shack,

and we'll-we'll
dress this wound.

You think you can stand?

- I can't.
- All right.

Just take it easy now.

Here we go.

Well, I'm going
out to feed my pigs.

Having company like this has
throwed me clean off schedule.

I'll be along in just a
minute to put up our horses.

Okay, Marshal.

Mr. Crowe, I sure
want to thank you.

It's mighty good of you
to take care of us here.

You're more than welcome.

You can borrow that
spring wagon of mine

to take her into Dodge
tomorrow if you want.

Well, I'd sure appreciate that.

We'll get it back to
you as soon as we can.

No hurry.

I don't use it but seldom.

Having me along is
gonna slow you down.


don't worry about that, Stella.

When Clegg finds out
what happened here,

he'll ride into Dodge.

He'll be waiting
there for you, Marshal.

Maybe not; after all, there
are a lot of other towns

he can try to take
over, you know?

Oh, it's more
than that, Marshal.

A lot more once he
finds out that I'm with you.

Clegg's a jealous man.

He's-he's crazy jealous,

and now he'll think there's
something between us.

Between, um...

you and me, Marshal.

Of course, that's...
foolish of him.

Isn't it?

You better get
some sleep, Stella.

Got a long ride tomorrow.


When we get into Dodge,

I hope it's Clegg who dies.


Well, Stella, I guess it's
been a pretty rough trip on you,

hasn't it?

I could do with
a bed, all right.

Look, I'll get you a room
at the Dodge House,

and then I've got a friend

who will come over
and look after you.

Come here; let's go easy on it.

You sure you'll be
all right, ma'am?

Yes, fine, thank you.

Well, I'll come back
later this evening.

You've been very kind, Kitty.

You get some rest.

I'll tell Matt when I see him.


Thank you again, Kitty.

Hello, Matt.

Hi, Kitty.

Well, uh, how is she?

Oh, she's gonna be all right.

She wants to see you.

Oh? Well, Kitty, listen to me,

I sure thank you for
coming over and all.

Oh, don't even mention it, Matt.

I'm always glad to help you out.

Hello, Stella.


How are you feeling?


Much better, thank you.


Doc tells me you're gonna
be up and around before long.


You know, I was thinking that,
uh, after you get on your feet,

why, maybe we ought to
go down to the Long Branch

and have a talk with Kitty.

She can probably get
you a job down there.

As a matter of fact, Kitty
and I were talking about that

- just before she left.
- Oh?

Yes, she-she was
telling me about Dodge

and the Long Branch
and Chester and Doc.

About herself.

She told me quite
a bit about you.


Well look, Stella, it
was like I was saying.

I-I think you'd
like it in Dodge.

I'm leaving Dodge.



Where will you go?

Oh, I don't know.

Abilene, maybe, or St. Louis.

Well, Stella, there's no
reason for you to leave

if you don't want to.

Yes, there is.

If it's Clegg Rawlins
you're worried about, why...


It's not Clegg Rawlins.

Look, I, uh...


Maybe you better go now.

Bye, Stella.

Good luck.

Good-bye, Matt.

♪ Make his home in Kansas. ♪

Well, how is she, Mr. Dillon?

Well, she's gonna
be all right, Chester.

Oh, good, good.

Something bothering you?



Well, I guess I better
get down to Delmonico's.

A man I want to talk to
about that job in Tascosa.

Oh, you mean Slim Trent.

Well, he's a good
man, Mr. Dillon.

- There ain't none better.
- Marshal.

That's for sure.

Who's he?

That's Clegg Rawlins, Chester.

Better give me
a little room here.


I've been looking
for you, Marshal.

Last time you sent Ponce
and Lighter to do your looking.

That was a mistake.

I never could trust them.

I hope you buried them.

I didn't have time to.

They're not important anymore.

But, um, you and I
can still work out a deal.

You're still trying
to buy me off, huh?

Any man can use money, Marshal.

Rawlins, you're
through in Tascosa.

Don't you know that?

How's Stella, Marshal?

You take my advice.

You ride out of Dodge
and keep on riding.

All right.

You can have her.

She never meant
anything to me anyway.

So long, Marshal.

I knowed he was
gonna do that, Mr. Dillon.

I just knowed that he was.

Well, he sure had it
coming to him, that's for sure.

Tascosa's gonna be a lot
better off because of it, too,

I can tell you that.

As a matter of fact,

they might not even need
Slim Trent down there.

Well, everyone's gonna need
the law down there, Chester.

Some of you men
take him out of here.