Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 7, Episode 10 - Indian Ford - full transcript

A man's daughter, taken over a year ago by some Indians, is spotted by a trapper. Matt and the Army pursue her to trade for her safe return. The situation gets more complicated when it's learned she has feelings for her captor and he for her.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.





Chester, doggone it, I
thought you were gonna be...

Well, old hoss.


Gabe Trumbull, is it really you?

It ain't my brother Ephraim!

By golly, Gabe, I haven't
seen you for so long

I thought they did you under.

They ain't made
meat out of me yet,

though they've tried it aplenty.

Well, what you doin' in Dodge?

Just as little as
I can, Marshal.

Soon as I fill my
sack with supplies

and wash the
alkali out of my veins

with some of them
Kentucky spirits,

I'll be headin' back out.

By golly, Gabe, I never
thought I'd see you

in a town the size of Dodge.

Well, I wouldn't be here
unless I had a reason.

I'd rather face a grizzly
bear or consort with heathen

or bed down with rattlesnakes.

What's on your mind?

Well, something I seen out
there on the prairie, Marshal.

I thought you ought to know.

A white girl
consortin' with Injuns.

A white girl?

Yeah, fair she
was, and purty, too.

Dressed like a Injun,

squawin' for a 'Rapaho buck.

Well, did you talk to her?

No. Me and the 'Rapahos
ain't been speakin'

since I lived a spell
with the Crows.

But I seen her, all right.

Now, Gabe, exactly
what'd she look like?

Well, like I say,
fair, light hair.

Uh, kind of small and
delicate, but hardy.

She was sawin'
away at the buffalo

like a real squaw, she was.

But purty.

Altogether a bonny female.

Small and delicate.

And fair, huh?

Would you say she's
about 20 years old?

Aye, thereabouts.

Mm-hmm. Where was this, Gabe?

About two days out, up
nigh to the Ladder Creek

in the Smoky Hill country.


Yeah, you know, that
could be Mary Tabor.

It sure enough sounds like her.

Mary Tabor?

Yeah, she's from
Dodge here, Gabe.

She was captured about a
year ago, up near Scott City.

The Indians attacked
a stagecoach up there.

They killed four men,
they took Mary captive.

And then no trace
of her since then.

And that was right up in
that Smoky Hill country, too.

Could be her.

This one ain't been captive
much longer than that

or she'd've lost more of
her looks than she has.

You mean she didn't look as
though she was mistreated?

Well, I didn't
see no sign of it.

And this buck sure
enough had an eye on her.

Maybe he softened things.


Well, I'd better get over
and tell her father about that.

Gabe, do you think you could
lead us back to the place?

Oh, no, not me.

I wasted too much time already.

Besides, it wouldn't do no good.

This was a hunting
party... They was travelin'.

Wouldn't be in the
same place by now.

Let the bluecoats find 'em.

Well, Gabe, thanks
for telling me.

Uh, you know, Marshal,

I got to thinkin' on them
Kentucky spirits and...

and here I am.

Well, Gabe, maybe I
could buy you a drink, huh?

Well, I won't say no to that.

This child's half dried out.

Let's go.

- Chester.
- Huh?

Hey, this is an old friend of
mine here, Gabe Trumbull.

- Hi, there.
- I'm gonna be riding out

to Henry Tabor's
in a few minutes.

Would you mind saddling
up a horse for me?

Oh, yeah, I'll do that.

Okay, fine.

Huh. By golly, he ain't hardly
got the bark off yet, has he?

Sure ain't.

Mary... Are you sure?

No, Henry, I'm not sure.

That's why I don't want you
to get your hopes too high.

But where? Where is she?

Well, she was seen

with some Arapahoes up
in the Smoky Hill country.

Now, Gabe Trumbull tells me that

she was a small sort of delicate
blonde girl about 20 years old.

Yeah, well, is she all right?

She's alive, that's the
most important thing.

Well, this is kind of
hitting me, Marshal.

I... I sort of reconciled myself
to it that she's gone forever.

Do you have a picture of her?

Yes, I had a tintype made
about a year and a half ago.

Good. We'll show that to Gabe.

Well, then what, Marshal?

Well, the cavalry will have
to handle this thing, Henry.

And the Indians will
want some ransom.

You'll have to get together
a wagonload of goods.

Now, we'll find out from Gabe
what they'll need out there,

what'll tempt 'em most.

Yeah, fine, fine. Well,
we better get started.

Something may go wrong.

Henry, look, if she's been
alive out there all these months,

nothing's gonna happen
to her in the next few days.

Yeah, I guess I
am being foolish,

but I've given her up I guess

I know how you must feel.

Supposing it is her, Marshal?

What's it gonna be like for
her coming back here now?

What do you mean?

Well, you know how people are,

and her living with the
Indians all these months.

Nobody can blame
her for anything.

I know. But I was just thinking.

Now, Henry, she's
not back here yet.

We don't even know
for sure if it's her.

The first thing we're gonna
do is show the picture to Gabe.

If he identifies it,
we'll go out to the fort

and talk to the Colonel.

Yeah, well, you're right, yes.

Oh, I'll be glad to see her,
Marshal, no matter what.

Well, howdy, Miss Kitty.

Hello, Chester.
How about a beer?

Uh, well, no.

What's the matter with you?

Nothing. Why?

What, are you sick?

Well, no, I'm not sick.

Chester, has the
cavalry come yet?

No, but Mr. Tabor said that
they're due any minute now.

By golly, you ought
to see the pile of goods

he's got out there for ransom.

Well, it's, it's enough
to break the man.

You know he ain't rich.

She's his only
daughter, Chester.

Well, I know, but he
don't begrudge it none.

It's just that it seems
like a lot to be giving

them murdering savages is all.

Well, what do you mean?

You mean, you think it's
too much for just one girl?

Well, I didn't say that, no.

I suppose you have any idea
what she might be going through.

Well, now, I didn't mean
nothing by it, Miss Kitty.

It just seems to me that
you're just paying 'em

for their deviltry, that's all.

Kitty, we don't know exactly
what she's been going through.

You men.

- She's alive.
- Yeah.

That's more than you can say

- for the four men that were with her.
- Yeah.

They're the lucky
ones if you ask me.

Troop, dismount!

It's them, Mr. Dillon.
It's the cavalry.

Get this wagon loaded fast.

Captain Benter, you're
heading this patrol?

That's right.

I hadn't expected.
I thought, I thought

probably one of the lieutenants.

You think this is not important
enough for a captain, Mr. Tabor?

You know that
isn't what I think.

What do you mean?

I think you know what I mean.

It's Benter, Marshal.

Of all the officers the
Colonel could choose,

why would he pick the worst
Indian hater in the cavalry?

Because he's had the
most experience, Henry.

Even talks some Arapaho.

He's much better at killing
than he is negotiating.

He would much rather
wipe those Arapaho out

than trade with them.

It's dangerous having a
man like him in that command.

He's not gonna do anything

to jeopardize
Mary's safety, Henry.

What does he care about
her? She's only a girl.

She's not a soldier.
She's expendable.

Matt, I think I have
to agree with him.

You know his reputation
as an Indian hater,

and he's got a
hair-trigger temper.

Worst possible man for the job.

I agree with you, but you
know the Colonel out there.

If he decided on Benter, he's
not gonna change his mind.

There's nothing
can be done about it.

There is something
that can be done.

Matt, you're my friend.

You're Mary's friend,
she's my daughter.

I bought those goods.

I ought to be able
to pick the man

who's gonna turn 'em over.

Well, you'd be awful
good insurance in this case,

I'll tell you that.

Matt, you know as well as I do

her life is in
danger with Benter.

All right.

Thanks, Marshal.

Captain, if you'll hold
up just long enough

for Chester and I to
get our stuff together,

we'll be going along with ya.

You, Marshal? Why?

You wouldn't mind
having a couple extra guns

just in case of
trouble, would you?

You think I can't
handle this, Marshal?

Hardly that, Captain.

Let's just say I've got an itch
and I want to get out of Dodge.

You want some excitement.
All right, come along.

I can give it to you.

That's what I figured.

What'd you say, Marshal?


Fresh killed.

Yeah, we're getting close.

They're supposed to be camped
somewhere along Ladder Creek.

Maybe I'd better ride on
out and scout ahead, sir.

It won't be necessary, Sergeant.

Arapahos, too.

They caught us in a bad place.

What do we do now, sir?

Tell them to lead
us in to their camp.




Pretty good sized village.

We expect to be
outnumbered, Marshal.

Does it bother you?

No, they look
peaceful enough to me.

We'll make camp
here on this knoll.

Use your saddles for breastwork.

I want every other man
on guard at all times.

You know, Captain,

the Arapahos usually
don't give you much trouble.

What's the matter
with you, Marshal?

They took the girl, didn't
they? That's trouble enough.

Just let's make sure we
don't push them into anything.

I guess you haven't
fought Indians like I have.

Well, you may get
your chance yet.

Anyway, we're gonna
be ready for them.

Here comes their chief.

I rejoice that these eyes have
found you once again, neiha.

And I that my eyes
see you again, neisana.

Do the bluecoats bring
goods for the Arapaho?

Well, something
like that, neisana.

Would you sit down
and smoke with us?

Let's not bother
with that nonsense.

- Look, you're holding a white gi...
- Captain,

it's common courtesy to sit
down and smoke with them.

I don't need to be
courteous, Marshal.

These people aren't my friends.

Now look, you're holding
a white girl prisoner here.

A white woman?

Don't try to deny it.

We know she's here.

I did not say she is not.

But you think my
people took her.

I don't care who took her.

Right now, I want her
back, do you understand?

That is not for me to decide.

I did not pay the
five horses for her.

Wait a minute!

Where're you going?

I do not talk without smoking.

I do not like it.

- Come back here!
- Oh, hold on.

Just let him go.

I'll ride down there and
have a smoke with him.

Who do you think
you are, Marshal?

I'm in command here.

I'm not arguing that
with you, Benter.

He's an old friend.

It won't do any harm to go
down and have a smoke with him.

Do as you like, but
see that we get the girl.

That's what we came here for.

I do not like that
bluecoat, neiha.

He will do no harm, Lone Eagle.

I am not sure.

Neisana, before we smoke,

I'd like to see the girl.

Have no fear; she is well.

It isn't that.

I'd just like to talk
to her, that's all.

If you wish to talk to her,

she is in the lodge
of Spotted Wolf.

This one will show you.

Hello, Mary.

Marshal Dillon.

Mary, we've... we've
come to take you home.

Mary, you... you're
sure looking fine.

You... you look just fine.

Y-You're the first
white man I've seen.

I... I-I feel ashamed somehow.

No need for that, Mary.

I'm an old friend, remember?

It seems like another
world, seeing you.

I know, but it's over now, Mary.

You're going back home.

Am I, Marshal?

You're going back to your
father and your friends.

Well, you-you think
it'll be that easy?

After a year with the Indians?

They're all back there,
waiting for you, Mary.


I've seen how they look
at women who come back.

I've seen them.

God help me, I...

I looked at some of those
women that same way myself once.

I know what I was thinking.

The ones that count
won't think anything, Mary.

They'll just be glad
to have you back.

My father, will he be glad?

There's a wagonload of
ransom out there, Mary.

He strapped himself
to get those things

so he could have you back.

Did he do that
because he wanted to

or because he had to,

because he was ashamed not to?


Well, he did that because he
loves you and he wants you back.

You're going home, Mary.

You know, at first that
was all I could think of.

I used to watch all day

and lie awake
at night, listening,

praying for the
sound of the cavalry,


Then gradually,
I gave up hoping,

and later, it didn't matter.

And now I...

I don't know,
Marshal, I don't know.

Guess it, uh,

must have been pretty
hard on you, Mary.

Oh, it's hard, Marshal, but...

There are other things here.

Good things.

Well, you mean then
they treated you all right?

How about this Spotted
Wolf? Did he, uh...

Oh, no, no.

Well, but, uh, he
bought you, didn't he?

Aren't you his slave?

No, Marshal.

Oh, it-it was a
Cheyenne war party

that attacked the stage
and killed all those men.

They made me travel with them.

It seemed like forever,

and then after a while,
we ran into some Arapahos,

and they sold me
to Spotted Wolf.

For five horses.

He valued me.

He still does.

Well, your father
values you, too, Mary.

He sold everything
he's got to get you back.

Look, uh...

You know, we got
some new clothes for you

out in the wagon there.

Your father thought of that.

When do we leave?

Well, you'll have to spend
one more night here, Mary.

We can't make the
transfer until morning.

But then you'll be safe
and on your way home.

It's hard to believe.

Spotted Wolf.

This is Marshal Dillon.

He's come to take me back home.


She is mine.

We did not come to
steal her, Spotted Wolf.

We came to make fair trade.

We've brought many goods.


I will not sell her.

She stays here.

I'll be back later, Mary.

All right, ten bags of sugar.

That's all there
is in the wagon.

There's nothing more to offer.

What do you say?

I cannot answer.

He must say.


What's the matter with him?

Does he understand
we've offered him a fortune?

He understands.

Well, what does he want?

It's only a girl.

He only paid a
few horses for her,

and we've offered goods
worth ten times that.

He does not want the goods.

He wants nothing.

The girl must stay here.

Now, wait a minute!

He has paid for her.
She belongs to him!

- Now look here!
- Benter...

let me talk, will ya?

All right, go ahead if you
can get any sense of out 'em.


the white man's law
does not allow slavery.

But this is Indian country.
It has always been so here.

It can be so no longer.

The white girl must be
returned to her people.

Now, we brought goods
to make the loss easier,

but we did not come to buy her.

Even without the goods,

the girl must be
returned to her home.

Otherwise, there will be
trouble for the Arapaho.

No! She stay!

Wait a minute.

Let him go. It is
better this way.

You want guns to hunt with?

- How many?
- Ten.

All right, 20.
That's all I've got.

And the bullet?

Yes. But none of it till
you turn over the girl.

And if there are any tricks,

you and your people
will pay for it in blood.

I promise you that.

There will be no trick.

All right, I'm holding
you responsible.

And I want no trouble
from Spotted Wolf. Agreed?

I have already given my word.

All right, we'll be ready at
dawn to make the transfer...

out there on that hill.

You coming?

I'll be along in a minute.

Neisana, do you think you
can deal with Spotted Wolf?

It will not be easy.

Maybe I can help.

Maybe if you and I talk to him.

And what would neiha
say that would help?

Let me try.

Come. We will go to his lodge.

Spotted Wolf... where is he?

He is gone.

He take horse and ride away.

And the white girl?

She is gone, too.

- Wait.
- I've got to get her back and fast.

It is a duty my people must do.

You do not trust me?

All right, Neisana,
I'll trust ya.

Then do not tell Chief Bluecoat.

I will have her safely back.

If she's not back by
morning, I'll have to tell him.

She will be here.

Come on! Hurry it up!

We haven't got forever.

Everything in one pile,
except the ammunition boxes.

Put 'em in the back there.

And open those boxes

just in case we need
some extra ammunition.

You're expecting
trouble, are you, Captain?

I said just in
case. It's possible.

We've got to be ready
to fight our way out.

You think we could?

We could. And we could
teach 'em a good lesson, too.

Hit 'em when
they don't expect it.

Shoot 'em down
and burn the village.

You do that and you'll
never see Mary Tabor again.

I'm in command here, Marshal,

and I'll do whatever I
think the situation demands.

And I'll report it.

If you're still alive.

Here they come.

Sergeant, get ready to move out.

- Neiha.
- Neisana.

I have brought the white girl.

Two will deliver her to the
wagon, and two will accept her.

It is agreed?


You touch nothing till we're
out of sight, do you hear?

I keep my word.

Good-bye, Neisana. Thank you.

Benter, Chester and I
will stay behind for the girl.

We'll meet you on up ahead.

Chester, you drive
the wagon, will you?

Yes, sir.

Good, once they get
their hands on those guns,

anything could happen.

We'll be ready for 'em.

Mount up! Move out!

Spotted Wolf... I'm sorry.

You won't punish him
for this? You'll let him go?

After you are gone. Take her.

Come on, Mary.




Hello, Miss Tabor.

Glad to see you're all right.

Patrol, move out!


Saw something wrong, Sergeant?

I thought I saw
something, Marshal.

- Where?
- Right over there.

Just a movement.

Rest your horses!

Trooper MacDonald,
take over the wagon.

Golly, Mr. Dillon,

I've got a creepy feeling that
somebody's been watching us.

Well, maybe we're all just
a little bit jumpy, Chester.

I don't know. I'll sure be
glad to get back to Dodge.

We're getting
closer all the time.

Yeah, and father
away from them Indians.

Unless they're following us.


It was an Indian, wasn't it?

Yes, sir, you want me to
go out and scout around?

No, we stay together
and keep going.

Okay, sir, it's clear!

Make camp in the
clearing across the creek.

In the open where we
can see the approaches.

Graze the horses
under guard till dark.

It'll bring 'em in and
picking 'em close.

Double the guard all night.

I want every man
alert and ready to fight.

What do you make of it, Marshal?

Well, I don't know.

They could just be just
keeping us under observation

until we leave their
hunting grounds.

Why would they do that?

I don't know. Why don't
I take the sergeant here

and scout around a little bit?
Maybe we can find something.

Go ahead.

See what you can find.

Sergeant, let's scout

down along the other
side of the creek bed here.

Brought his horse down to water.

He's ahead of us.

Must've figured we'd
have to camp here.

Yeah, it's the
only water around.

And it'd be a fine
place to attack us.

There's only one
Indian, Sergeant.

Well, sure. A scout.

Well, maybe, but we've
only seen one so far.

Yeah, you're right.

One rider, one horse print.

What do you think
it's all about, Marshal?

I'm not sure.

He's probably
watching us right now.

Yeah, let's get back to camp.

Somewhere up there
probably, in the brush.

We might take him by surprise,
surround him and capture him.

I wouldn't count on it.

I wouldn't either,

but that means he
can go off after dark

and bring the rest
of them in on us.

If that's what he's here for.

Why else would he be here?

I don't know,

but there's somebody who might.


Mary Tabor.

What are you trying
to say, Marshal?

That the Indian is
in love with the girl?

Could be something like that.

Then that shows how much
you know about Indians,

They don't have any
more feelings than a dog.

Is that so?

Of course it is.

They wouldn't know
how to love a woman.

They use 'em like
animals, that's all.

That's why he hated to lose her.

Well, Mary says that
he treated her pretty well.

You believe that?


Then you are a fool.

He'd like to have
her back, all right,

but no Indian is gonna
commit suicide over a woman.

You're pretty sure of that, huh?

- Of course I am.
- All right,

then you got nothing
to worry about...

you can call off your guards.

You're the one who
thinks he's alone.

I'm going to be
ready for a fight.

And any Indian who shows
his face around here...

Lovesick or no...
Is a dead Indian.

Uh, Miss Tabor, supper's
gonna be ready pretty soon now.

Is there anything I can
do for you before then?

No. No, thank you.



Tell me something, Mary:

uh, what kind of a
man was Spotted Wolf?

Well, why do you
ask that, Marshal?

Oh, just curious, that's all.

Uh, he was a good man.

Kind and gentle.

He treated you
well, then, did he?

Just like the
rest of his family.

Oh, he was married, then...
he had children and all?



Seems to me most of
those Arapaho braves

have more than
one wife, don't they?

What are you thinking, Marshal?

Well, just, uh...

wondering if maybe he
didn't consider that, uh,

maybe you'd be
his wife, one day?

Oh, I couldn't say.

You think that's him
out there, don't you?


I think you do, too.

Well, why?

Why would he follow me?

I was hoping you
could tell me that.

I... I don't know.

I don't even know
for sure it's him.

Hmm, but, Mary,
if it is him out there,

why would he
follow you all this way

if you were nothing more than
just another woman to him?

Maybe because I'm different,

because I'm white.

You really think that's
the reason, do you?

No. Not really.

We got along,
Spotted Wolf and I.

I worked hard and
he demanded a lot,

but I think maybe it was because
he wanted to show the others

that not all white
women are useless.

They believe that, you know.

Mm-hmm, so you worked hard
and made him proud of you and all.

I tried.

And he was?

I think so.

Then I wonder why he
didn't make you his wife.

He was going to.

Well, okay, I won't
bother you anymore.

Marshal, if that is Spotted
Wolf out there somewhere,

what do you think he'll do?

He'll probably try
to sneak in here

and get you, don't you think?

And they'll stop him.

It's their job to bring
you back, Mary.

But you mustn't
let them hurt him.

It's kinda hard to tell
about a man, Mary.

Maybe that if he can't have you,
he won't want anybody else to.

But they mustn't hurt him.

Promise me you won't let them.

Now, let's don't worry about it.

Maybe he won't
even try to come in.

Maybe he'll know that he
doesn't stand a chance here.

Let's hope so.

On your feet!

Check the picket line.

I'm going down by the creek.

Mr. Dillon?


You hear that dove's cooin'.


But it ain't dawn yet.

Mr. Dillon.

Quiet, Chester.

I don't want
anybody to get hurt.

Look, I'm going
out there after her.

You follow me up in
a couple of minutes.

And keep a sharp eye out.



No! No, Spotted Wolf! No!

Please! He's my friend.

Might just try
to get her back...

Drop that dagger.

Drop it or you're a dead Indian.

Well, Mary?

You just had to come
out here, did you?

I had to talk to him.
I... I had to warn him.

I was afraid if I didn't come,

he'd do something
foolish and... and be killed.

Is that the only reason?

What difference does it make?

It might make a
lot of difference.

Well, it's just that...

he could've treated
me like a slave,

but instead, he courted me.

Oh, I was frightened
at first, but then...

then later, I wasn't frightened.

It was beautiful.

I suppose it's hard
to believe, isn't it?

No. No, it isn't.

Well, I'm not ashamed.

Mary, when you
came out here tonight,

you knew that if he ever
got his hands on you,

he would never let you go again.


I guess I did.

All right, what do
you want to do?

You mean you'd let
me go if I wanted to?

Well, if I kept you from it,

it'd be something
you'd regret all your life.

I'm afraid that's a decision

you're going to have
to make yourself.

Spotted Wolf?

There he is!

Get him!

No! No, run, Spotted Wolf!

- I'll only slow you down!
- Benter, hold your fire!

All done, ma'am.

I'm awful sorry.

He had that knife in his hand...

I understand, Sergeant.

He must've been crazy.

Well, anyways,
it's all over now.

Nothing more to fear.

Whole thing'll be
forgotten about before long.

Will it?

Well, I... I only
meant... You know.

I know, Sergeant.

I'm sorry.

Well, Mary, I... I
brought you this.

It's his medicine bag.

Thought you
might like to have it.

Oh, Mary, I'm sorry. I...

Wish there was
something I could say.

He loved me so.

Come on, we... we
have to get started now.

Allow me.

Mary... Mary, I'm a soldier.

I'm not much for apologies.

How could you apologize
for being what you are?

Forward, ho!

Well, we got Mary
all right, Mr. Dillon.

You know, I feel like things

couldn't have gone
much worse for her.


You know, some of the men
are already calling this place

Spotted Wolf Crossing.

Think that name'll stick?

Well, it's a good name, Chester.

And he was a good man.