Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 6, Episode 8 - The Worm - full transcript

Murders follow when a buffalo hunter and his browbeaten partner come to town.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

Where are we? What's going on?

We're at the Dodge House, Ben.

Hey, mister, what's
the matter? You lost?

Or drunk?

You want me to come up
there and crack your neck?

Just plain mad, huh?

What do I do now, Ben?

You go in there
and get me a room.

W-What about me?

Oh, now, Ritchie, who's
gonna watch the wagon nights?

You don't want somebody
to come along and s...

steal all our stuff, do you?

- No.
- Well, all right then.

I'll be right back.

He says they're plumb full.

Well, I...

Well, now, you go in, Ritchie,

and you tell that clerk I
want to talk to him out here.

- Oh, but I already...
- Go on, you tell him, Ritchie.

Shut up!

You really want
it, don't you, fella?

I'm gonna come over there,
I'm gonna hurt you bad.

On one foot?

No, by heaven, on two.

You, uh, wanted to see me?

I sent my partner in for a room.

We are full up, Mr. Spadden.

Oh, you kick somebody out then.

No, I can't do that.

You think your hotel's
too good for me, don't you?

I didn't say that.

Well, I'm saying this.

You go in there,
and you go to work.

Soon as I get this boot on,

I'm coming in there,
and I'm staying.

But I just told you...

How'd you like a nice
little scar starting here

and working all the way
down here, wavy-like?

All right. All right.

He ain't gonna get
you no room, mister.

He's just gone back inside
to get a breath of fresh air.

I told you to shut up!

Why, you ain't
even hardly armed.

So I'm getting myself a drink.

You come back here!

Come back here,
you dirty little coward!

Here's your boot, Ben.

I'm gonna find him later,
I'm gonna cut his heart out.

Aren't you gonna
put your boot on?

What for? I'm
going to bed, ain't I?

You take care of the
wagon like I told you.


Taste good after a month
of hunting buffalo, huh?

When are we going back, Spadden?

Out in the prairie?

Soon as that buyer gets to town

and pays me for those
hides he took off of me.

I... I kind of like
it here in town.

Well, you get your fill of
it, Ritchie, and get it fast.

Well, we'll be here a
few days, won't we?

Well, Ritchie, I thought you
liked skinning hides for me.

- Well, sure, but...
- But go on, say it.

- Go on.
- I...

Go on, say it.

I... I like skinning hides
out there on the prairie.

That's better.

That's the fella who was at
the Dodge House this morning.


Well, hello.

What's the matter?
You're not laughing now.

Look, mister, I was just
ribbing you this morning.

We do that to all
strangers here.

You get rid of your friend
and take that gun off.

Now wait a minute.
Archer told me all about it.

Can't you take a little ragging?

Ain't you gonna do it?

Why should I?

Go on, get a
gun... if you want to.

I don't use guns,
except for buffalo.

Then I guess you're
fresh out of luck,

'cause I ain't
fighting barehanded.

Oh, you dirty little coward.

You sniveling little
coward, you yellow-bellied...

You watch what
you're calling me.

I wonder what your
mother looked like.

Why you...

Hey, now, leave off.

- He stabbed him.
- Oh, let me through here.

I sure did.

Marshal, he-he stabbed him.

All right, some of you
men get him up to Doc's,

will you, right away?

All right, over here, you.

Go easy with him now.

There it is, Marshal.

Here's what he did it with.

If that Archer dies,

you're gonna hang
for this, mister,

and I'll be right
there watching you.

You the one that
started this row?

You're lying.

You come up and insulted
Archer something fierce.

Now, no man can
take that, Marshal.

Is your friend trying to
protect himself against this?

You might as well
tell him the truth.

There are plenty of witnesses.

Suppose you tell me, huh?

All right, so Archer
did draw his gun.

Don't mean he started it.

I heard a shot.

I didn't pull that knife

till after he fired
at me, Marshal.

He should have killed you.

Just too bad he missed.

Maybe you need a beating, too.

All right, that's enough.

You go along with your
partner. I'll take care of him.

You'd better, Marshal,
or I'll do it myself.

It was a case of self-defense,
Marshal, pure and simple.

I'm just gonna hold you

till I find out how
Archer makes out.

You can't.

Let's go.

Well, you know, a knife
sure is a wicked weapon,

ain't it, Mr. Dillon?

It is if you know how to
use it like Spadden does.

Yeah. You know, I don't
think that Archer's gonna die.

What are you gonna do with him?

I don't know. Turn
him loose, I guess.

You know, I'd just as
soon get shot by a six-gun

as I would to get
knifed to death.

It's kind of a beggar's
choice either way.

- Yeah?
- Marshal Dillon?


Right here. What
can I do for you?

I got some breakfast
here for Ben Spadden.

Can I leave it for him?

Well, he's already
had his breakfast.

Black coffee, that is.
That's all he said he wanted.

Who are you?

Well, I work for Mr. Spadden.

I'm his skinner.

He's a buffalo hunter, you know.

What's your name?


Well, Chester, you might as well
go turn Spadden loose, I guess.


Oh, you, uh... you
must think quite a lot

of that partner of yours to
bring him breakfast and all.

Well, he's kind of used to it.

I do all the cooking, too.

When we're out on
the prairie, I mean.

Is he gonna be tried, Marshal,
for what he did last night?

Are they gonna hang him?

Hello, Ben.

What do you want
with me, Marshal?

I'm turning you loose.

Well... About time.

That Archer isn't
gonna die, huh?

No, but he's gonna be
laid up for a long time.

Uh, that won't hurt him.
I believe this is mine.

Yeah, I want you to
take it and get out of town.


I can't hold you legally,

but I don't want you
hanging around Dodge.

Well, this whole town
thinks it's too good for me.

I expect maybe it is.

Well, now, Marshal, I can't
leave till I get my money.

What money is that?

For my buffalo hides.

The buyer is coming
into town to pay me.

I can't buy no
supplies till he does.

And when's he coming in?

Oh, sometime today.

All right, I'll give
you till 9:00 tonight.

I see you around
town after that,

you're gonna leave
whether you're ready or not.

Maybe. Maybe.

You will.

I brung you some breakfast, Ben.

There's hard eggs and bread
and some fried chicken even.

You eat it.

I got to get a drink.

Well, I just can't
understand Ritchie.

Being so good to a
fellow like that Spadden.

Well, Spadden probably
pays him pretty well, Chester.


When are we gonna
have breakfast anyway?

Well, any time. We can
go right now if you'd like to.

Well, let's go then. I'm
beginning to see visions.

You was mighty lucky, Ben.

How do you figure that, Ritchie?

I spent the night
in jail, didn't I?

Mm, but you got out.

No thanks to you.

Well, there was
nothing I could do.

I brung you your
breakfast, didn't I?

Yeah. Let me see that.

That liquor made me hungry.

I sure had to
do a lot of talking

back there in the restaurant
to make 'em fix that for me.

Oh, you did fine,
Ritchie. You did fine.

'Course, I'd have
been in a bad mood

if I'd have gone
hungry, wouldn't I?


You're learning.

Just about what I'd expect.

So, they let you
out of jail, huh?


What did you say, mister?

I said you was a pig.

How'd you like a
knife in you, too?

I wouldn't try it.

I won't miss you like Archer.

You won't take that
gun off, either, will you?

Nope, but I sure
will draw it, mister.

You're as big a
coward as he was.

You half killed
him, you know that?


Maybe next time, I'll do it
all the way, and you, too.

Not likely.

That was a terrible
thing you did, Spadden.

You ought to be in a cage.

Some night I'm
gonna find you, mister,

and I'm gonna hurt you real bad.

I'll be watching for you.

I'd enjoy putting a
bullet in your belly.

Just any time,
Spadden. Any time at all.

He sure called you a
lot of bad names, Ben.


You ought to get yourself a gun.

What do I want a
gun for, Ritchie...

when I got this?

Yeah, but a man with a gun...

What about a man
with a gun, Ritchie?

What's he got that I ain't got?

Oh, nothing. Nothing at all.

And you remember it.

Say it, Ritchie.

I'll remember it.

That's better.

I need a drink.


You-you think you can make it
back to the Dodge House, Ben?

What do I want to go
to Dodge House for?

Your room. You got a
room at the Dodge House.

- Oh.
- Remember?

I got to get a drink.

Ain't you had enough?

Don't you tell me
I've had enough.

Well-well, they won't
serve you no more

back there in the Long Branch.

Then you go in there
and bring a bottle out here,

and I'll drink it out here.

Aw, Ben.

No, "Aw."

All right.

Now, go on.

He's as much a hog at drinking
as he is at eating, ain't he?

Let me at him!

Hey, find him a wallow.

That's what he's looking for.

Come on, Ben.

I'll get you back to the hotel.

You go get that whiskey!

Uh... I'll meet you in
that alley over there.

Sure, sure.

Oh, howdy, Mr. Dillon.

Everything quiet?

Yeah. Yeah, it is in there.

Well, seems to be all over town.

Well, Chester, you can
go on to bed if you want to.

No, no, no. I might
miss something.

About the only thing you'll miss

not going to bed around
here is just sleep, that's all.

Oh, I'll sleep better for it
when I do sleep, though,

knowing that I
didn't miss nothing

when I wasn't sleeping.

You know?

Yeah, well,

Chester, let's go over to
the Long Branch, shall we?

Yeah, all right. Get
a beer maybe, huh?

Oh. You get a beer if
you've got any money.

I'm broke.

Well, a beer... well, just
makes you sleepy anyway.

Help! Help, somebody!

Help! Help! Marshal,
in here. Hurry!

Over here, Marshal.

It's Spadden.

I-I come out of the
saloon looking for him.

Somebody must have stabbed him.

I think he's dead.

Mr. Dillon, looky there.

But that's his knife.

Somebody must have took it
off him and stabbed him with it.

He's not stabbed. He's drunk.

Well, what about the knife?

It's Jim Cornet.

I didn't see him laying there.

Is he drunk, too, Marshal?

No, he's dead.


He's stabbed in the back.

Oh, my goodness.

He must have got
knifed over there

and staggered this
far before he fell.

What are you trying
to say, Mr. Dillon?

That Spadden was
the one that done it?

It sure looks like it to me.

Well, Spadden was mighty drunk
when he come out of the saloon.

He sent me for
that bottle yonder

and told me to meet him here.

Well, was Cornet with
Spadden when you left him?

Not when I left him.

He and Cornet had a
little row beforehand.

Then Cornet went
into the saloon.

I don't know how he got here.

How long were you gone?

Not long.

It took a little while
for me to get waited on,

but I come right out again.

Well, you must have
been gone long enough

for Cornet to come out here,

and then Spadden
to get him into a fight.

Cornet's wearing a gun, too.

Spadden must have
tricked him somehow.

Yeah, he was always like that.

- What do you mean?
- Oh, nothing.

I was just thinking.

Spadden's like a different
man when he wants to move.

He's faster than
anything you ever seen.

Yeah, well, he was fast
enough tonight, that's for sure.

Chester, you better go
on and get some help.

I'll wait here for you.

Yes, sir.

I guess he's really in trouble
this time, ain't he, Marshal?

We'll find out soon enough.

There's a new circuit
judge coming in Monday.

Marshal Dillon?

Yes, sir.

You've already
given your evidence,

and I have your
report right here.

But I must ask you again.

Just how drunk
was the defendant?

I mean, how long before
he sobered up enough

to move around, be active?

Oh, it was all
night, Your Honor.

He didn't wake up
till the next morning.

You said he had to
be carried to the jail.

He couldn't even crawl.

He was passed out cold.

And he's still accused
of killing a man

just a few minutes
prior to being out cold.

I know it, Your Honor.

Of course, it's possible that
he could have done that to...

as the last thing he did
just before he passed out.

Yes, I... I suppose.

What really concerns me here

is the lack of
witness to the crime.

You, Ritchie?

Yes, sir.

You're the closest thing
to a witness we have.

Yes, sir.

But you didn't see anything?

Well, no, sir.

Uh, when I come
back with the bottle,

I found Spadden laying
there, like I said, Judge.

I thought he was the
one who got stabbed.

Because of the
knife lying nearby?

Yes, sir.


wouldn't it have been
possible for somebody

to have stabbed that man Cornet,

and then tossed the knife down
near Spadden as he ran off?

Well, I don't know, Judge.

Like I said, I wasn't there.

I know you weren't there.

What I'm saying,

if it was Spadden
who did the stabbing,

how did he get clear over
behind that rain barrel?

Well... well, Spadden
could have stabbed him

and then fallen down,

while Cornet staggered
over to the rain barrel before

he fell.

I suppose.

He-he... he must
have fallen hard, too,

'cause he hit his head an
awful whack on the wall.

Well, I...

I don't think any of
that matters very much.

What we have here is a lot
of circumstantial evidence.

The victim was
supposed to be stabbed

by a man who was
too drunk to walk.

And there was no witness.

I'm not gonna hang anybody
on evidence as flimsy as that.

Case dismissed.

I told you, I didn't
do it, Marshal.

Now, maybe you believe me, huh?

Well, I still think he
could have done it.

He could have stabbed him,

and then staggered
back before he fell.

Let's go, huh?

You know, Mr. Dillon,
it ain't your fault

that Spadden got off
the way that he did.

Oh, it's not what's
bothering me, Chester.

What is it?

There's something
about this whole thing

that just doesn't add up.

Yeah. Well,
they're leaving town.

They went down to the wagon shed

to get their
belongings together.

You know, the
thing that worries me,

or the thing that bothers
me, thing I can't understand is

that Ritchie's staying
with Spadden like he does.

He beats him up and
knocks him around,

treats him like a
slave half the time.

Chester, you know something?

We're gonna take a
walk down to that barn

and have one more
talk with those two.

Come on.

Well, there's their wagon.

I don't see them
no place, though.

What are you
doing here, Marshal?

Just came over to talk to you.

Now, look, Marshal,

maybe you didn't
hear that judge straight.

He set me free.

You got no right bothering me.

Where's Ritchie?

Ritchie? I sent
him down the street

for a bottle of liquor.

Well, I got a right
to celebrate, ain't I?

Kind of getting packed, huh?

Well, you told me to
get out of town, Marshal.

What you got in there?

Now, look, Marshal, you
leave me be, you hear?

Get out of my way.

It's Ritchie.

He had it coming, Marshal.

You know, it was
Ritchie stabbed Cornet.

He tried to put it on me.

I started knowing it
this afternoon at the trial,

so I brung him down
here and beat it out of him.

He went into the
Long Branch that night

and told Cornet I was
out dead drunk in the alley.

Cornet come out to
take advantage of me.

Ritchie stabbed him.

He had it coming.

You're going to jail, Spadden.

Wait a minute, Marshal.
You ain't gonna take me.

Maybe you shoot me, but
I still get this knife in you.

I don't die easy.

Uh-huh. That's how you
kept him slaving for you, isn't?

Cutting on him, beating him.

That's where all those
marks came from, huh?

That's right, Marshal.

Drop it!

- Oh! I...
- Drop it.

Oh! I...

Cut you, didn't I, Marshal?

Why don't you shoot me?

Get up.

All right, get going.