Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 7, Episode 18 - Old Dan - full transcript

Beginning with Doc, who rescues him from a ditch, everyone wants to give amiable drunk Dan a chance, or a job, or both.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

Now let's see if you're
worth fighting for.

Don't, Luke! You
don't have to hurt.

Maybe I do.

You're not worth it, Gussie.

You are one waste of time.

You, stand up!

Let's see about you.

I ain't no different
than Gussie.

What's your name?


Well, you see? That's different
than Gussie right off, ain't it?

Now you stand
up like I told you!

Stand up!

Mae's sitting with me.

I mean to change that.

You done enough already.

I ain't even got started.

Everybody's here
to enjoy themselves.

Why don't you let up?

Well, I'm having a
good time. Ain't you?

Maybe you folks don't
know how to enjoy.

Well, I know how.

And if you'll just,
uh, step aside,

I'll learn Mae
how to enjoy, too.

All right, now go ahead.

Go ahead, draw your knife.

You know I don't carry one.

Well, then here, take mine.


All right, Luke, drop it.

Oh, now, now, now, Mr. Carson,
I ain't got no fight with you.

I have with you, Luke Petch.

You know I have.

No, sir.

You been pestering
around my Mary again.

Don't snivel and lie out
of it. I know you have.

You come around
again, I swear I'll kill you.

Lots of folks heard you
say that, Mr. Carson.

Never mind that.

You remember what I said.

Aah! Ow!

What's going on here?

They been ganging
up on me, Marshal.

Now that'd be worth watching.

You cut bad?

It'll mend.

He's been bullying
everybody, Marshal.

Aw, you ain't heard it all.

You better get over
and see the doc.

I drew my gun on him,
Marshal, and stopped a knifing.

And I threatened him.

I told him if he ever came
bothering my Mary again,

I'd kill him.

Now you let me handle
that part of it, Thede.

I mean it. I'll kill him.

He's not gonna bother
anybody for a while.

All right, let's go.

Come on, let's go.


Whoa! Whoa.

Come on now, old-timer.

Come on.

Who are you...?

Leave me alone...
ah... Leave me... no...

- Can I help...?
- Leave me alone...

Here now, you gotta...

you gotta give me
some help here, old boy.

Come on now.

All right, there you are.

Do you mind telling me
what kind of a place I'm in?

You're in my office,
and I'm a doctor.

This the best you can do?

It's the best thing
for you right now,

and a lot of it.

We're not getting off to
a very good beginning.

All right, suppose
we start all over again

by you telling me who you are.


Dan Witter.

Well, my name's Doc Adams.

What town's this, Doc?

Dodge City, Kansas.

I declare, I don't recollect
ever being here before.

Course, I can't
recollect being here now.

How'd I get up the stairs? Fly?

No, Marshal Dillon
carried you up here.

Oh, my.

Am I in trouble?

Oh, no. No, no.

Just with yourself, that's all.

Where'd you come from?

Wherever you found me.

Well, you fell out
of some bushes

on the old river road.

I ain't been particular
for this long time.

Look, Doc, why don't
you just give me a drink

and send me on?

You haven't had
anything to eat, Dan...

Not since I've known you...
I'm fixing you some breakfast.

- Why?
- Well, I told you.

Haven't had anything to eat.

You know I was drunk, don't you?

Of course, you understand,
I'm not proud of it.

Ain't ashamed, either.

It's just the way it is.

Well... kind of like my cooking.

I'm not proud of it, I'm
not ashamed of it either.

It's just the way it is.

Let me tell you about
me and eating, Doc.

My teeth ain't
much good anymore.

You don't have to chew whisky.

Well, Dan, you've, you've
made your point a couple of times.

Now I'm gonna
make mine just once.

I'm not gonna give
you anything to drink.

By golly, you mean
that, don't you?

By golly, I do.

Where is he now, Doc?

Well, he, he's in my
office sound asleep.

Better lock up all
your whisky then.

Well, I keep that in my bag,
and I got it right here with me.

You know, he's something.

He's just really something.

Wait'll you see him.

You'll see what I mean.

Oh, man.


- Hello, Kitty.
- Hello.

Well, what are you three up to?

Wait'll you hear about it.

About what?

Doc here's fixing
to take on a charge.

I never said anything like that.

Remember that old fellow

I was telling you
about, Dan Witter?

Yeah, what about him?

What he means,
Kitty, is I'm fixing

to kind of clean him up a little

and then maybe get him a job.

Well, I think that's
a wonderful idea.

That's kindly gonna be
a big job, ain't it, Doc?

Well, it probably will be,

but then I'm counting
on a little help.

You mean me?

Yeah, sure do.

What I want you to
do is just make sure

that he can never
get a drink in here.

I'll tell you something else.

If he could pay for all
he could drink in here,

by golly, you could retire.

He sounds like somebody
I've been looking for.

No, I'm serious
about it; I really am.

Now, I been to the Texas
Trails and the Oasis,

and they've promised me
they won't serve him a drink.

And my next stop's the Lady Gay,

and I want you to
promise the same thing.

Promise, I mean.

Well, you got it. I'll
give the word to Sam.

He won't get any
whisky in here either.

I don't see how he could
drink very much, Doc.

You saying he's so old and all.

Oh, well, that don't
make any difference.

He built like an ox. Ask Matt.

Pretty husky old
fellow, all right.

Now, Kitty, have to
be careful about him,

because if he comes in
here asking for a drink,

you're gonna have an awful
difficult time turning him down,

because, well, he's a charmer.

Well, I think I'll risk it, Doc.

I mean, uh, after all,

I'm exposed to
charming men all the time,

and I manage to survive.

Oh, well, thanks a
whole lot, Miss Kitty.

That looks nice on you.

Don't you think so, Doc?

Sure does. Fine.

It sure does.

Fits nice, too.

This brand-new?

Well, of course it's brand-new.

Everything in the store
is new; I just sell new.

How much is it?

Well, that's-that's
a good suit, Doc.

Well, I know it's a good
suit. Has it got a price?

That's a ten-dollar suit.

Well, I enjoyed it for a while.

He'll take it.

Well, that's fine.

You won't regret
that, Dan, no, sir.

Well, now, uh, somebody's
bound to regret it.

What does that mean?

It means he'll take it,
starting with the vest.

Well, I couldn't just
sell the vest, Doc.

You're gonna sell
the whole suit, Jonas,

but he can't afford anything
but the vest right now.

He'll just have to work
out the coat and pants.

- Work out?
- Yeah.

Oh, you don't
understand this either.

No, I sure don't.

Well, it's very simple:
You need a job,

you need somebody
to help you in the store.

Oh, well, now, Doc, I
don't know about that.

I do.

I didn't know you
had this in mind, Doc.

It'll do you both a lot of good.

And I'll consider it a personal
favor from both of you.

Well, I can use some help.

But, Doc, I...

Ben, now you can't be
waiting on customers

here in the store
with your hair like that.

Go on down to the barber
shop and get yourself a haircut.

Here, put your coat on, Dan.

Put it on.

There you go.

Seems like a nice fellow, Doc.

Well, he's a drunk.

He is?

Yeah, but I have a feeling we
might be able to change that.

Well, you know
him, Doc, I don't.

No, all I know is
what I think, Jonas.

Job and some friends, maybe,

might make all the
difference in the world.

One thing about it,

he won't be around
whisky here in the store.

I know it.

Appreciate it.

Thank you.

Mr. Jonas.

Well, Dan, you couldn't
have got a haircut so soon.

No, you sure didn't.

Mr. Jonas, you made
yourself an awful bad deal.

Why do you say that, Dan?

Well, uh, I'm a
drunk. I work at it.

I had an awful lot
of experience at it.

Well, Doc thinks
an awful lot of you.

I've known a hundred like him.

They're fine folks,

all trying to help old
Dan Witter quit whisky.

I guess I promised
'em all I'd give it up.

The fact that, when
I'm not drinking,

I'm mostly promising
good folks that I'll give it up.

I... I never do.

Well, you come
right out with it.

You're just as honest as can be.

I couldn't keep it a
secret if I wanted to.

I'm willing to take
a chance, Dan.


Well, for one thing, Doc's
favored me a lot of times

and for another, I like you.

You're no man of
taste, Mr. Jonas.

Well, ain't nothing to
tempt you around here, Dan.

I don't sell whisky.

Nothing here to tempt me?

Vanilla extract?

In a pinch.

I've been in that pinch.

You got a locked drawer,

you'd better put all the
extracts you got in it.

Anybody asks for extract,

you tell 'em I handle
that end of the business.

You want to hand it to me, Dan?



Mr. Dillon, would you
scratch right there?

Chester, what's the
matter with you, anyway?

It's this doggone underwear.

You remember I
sent away for that

that was guaranteed not to itch?

I don't remember, but I'll
sure be glad when it gets here.

Well, I'm wearing
one of 'em now!

Ooh! There...

Marshal, Chester.

Hello, Lem.

I hear you got
Luke here, Marshal.

I come for him.

Yeah. Would you
get him out, Chester?

Hope he didn't hurt
no one bad this time.

Well, not bad enough
for a formal complaint.

But he will sometime, Lem.

Thede Carson swore
to kill him. I heard that.

Well, you better see

that he stays away
from Thede's daughter.

Not much I can do
to see about Luke.

I'll have my gun, Marshal.

And my knife.

I want you to stay clear
of Dodge for a while, Luke.

Did you hear me?

I heard you fine.

I'm clearing out all the way.

Out of Dodge and off the ranch.

I ain't coming home
with you, old man.

I'm short of help.
You know that.

Seems like you've always
been short of something.

Short of brains, mostly.

Sorry, Lem.

Thank you, Marshal.


Whisky. A bottle.

Coming up.

I'm sorry, Dan.

That's just the way it is.

I got busy, Miss Kitty.

I just didn't notice who it was.

That's all right, Sam.

I'm old enough to drink, if
that's what's worrying you.

Now you'd never make me
believe that in a million years.

Well, you just bring me
another bottle, Miss Kitty,

and I'll show you that I am.

I tell you what.

Let's go sit at the table
and you can drink with me.

I'm old enough for that, too.

All the ladies in Dodge as
pretty as you are, Miss Kitty?

No, I'm the prettiest.

I'm the best-looking man.

You know that, don't you?

Hands down, you're
the best-looking man.

First bartender I ever saw
that had no pride in his work.

Miss Kitty, why is it

that the prettiest woman in
town is always the meanest?

Well, it wasn't hard for
me; I was born mean.

It's been a black week for me.

People have been so
good and kind and decent.

It's too much for ol'
Dan Witter to bear.

Well, maybe things'll
be worse next week,

and then you'll feel better.

You know, when I
get this suit paid for,

I might marry you.

I'll be waiting.

Ah! I just said "might."

Don't you go counting on it.

You ever been married, Dan?

No, not me.

I always like women too
much and not too long.

You know, this time last week,

I was the happiest
man in the world.

Had me three full
bottles of whisky,

had me a gully all to myself.

I could call my soul my own.

Hmm, that sounds
like every man's dream.

Look at me now.

All neat and clean.

Done a week's work,
earned a week's pay.

Why don't I buy us a drink
to celebrate my sobriety?

You're a real city slicker, Dan.

And I'm just a
poor country girl.

Well, we-we could
drink to that, too.

Why don't you buy Doc a drink?

He's the one that
started all this.

You know, Miss Kitty, you are
the meanest woman in town.

Worst kind of mean.

Now don't you
grieve, Miss Kitty.

I still might marry you.

Thank you.

That ribbon sure is an
eye-catcher, Mrs. Bales.

Pretty thing.

It's a bit of color.

Well, it's
foolishness, that's all.

The beans and the coffee...

That's what I'll take, Mr. Dan.

Little bit of foolishness
goes a long way, Mrs. Bales.

Oh, Mr. Dan, you shouldn't!

I make it a point of doing
something I shouldn't

about once a week,
and it sure feels good.

Why, Roney, I declare,
we're both shameful.

Thank you.

Was that Mrs. Bales
laughing that way?

Sure wasn't me.

Well, she's been trading
with me five years,

and I never heard her laugh.

Well, maybe I'm
funnier than you.


I just bought myself some
horehound candy and some ribbon.

You can put it down to
peculiar tastes of an old man.

Put it in the cash drawer.

Uh, Dan, you mind
locking up for me tonight?

No... No, Jonas, I don't mind.

Uh... now, this
is the front door,

and this is the
back, and this is...

That ain't important.

And this is the cash drawer.

You sure you want me to do it?

I'm sure. Count it a favor.

Good night.




Forgot I... I
locked you already.

♪ This is for the front door ♪

♪ This is for the back door... ♪

♪ This is for the
bottle drawer... ♪

♪ This is... ♪

Oh, mercy.

If I get down there, I...

I'm afraid I won't
be able to get up.

Now, you stay right...

where you are, you...

Good evening, sir.

Come over, I'll buy you a drink.

- Oh, morning, Doc.
- Good morning.

You're up early.

No, I'm out late.

Oh, what's the matter?

Did you have yourself
a night on the town?

Yes... Yeah, I got
into a lot of devilment.

Cap Theis's wife had twins.

Cap got so excited, he
got drunk on hard cider,

fell downstairs
and broke his leg.

Yep, I laughed all night long.

Well, it's kind of
quiet around here, too.

- What about you...?
- Marshal, I need hel...

- Oh, Doc, I'm glad you're here.
- What's the matter?

Oh, it's Dan. He's down
on the floor in my store,

and I can't get in.

Is he breathing, Doc?

Yeah. He's breathing.

And he's drunk.

On that?!

Vanilla extract.

You told me that was locked up.

Well, it was, Doc.

He helped me put it in the
locked cupboard himself,

and-and he warned me
that he'd drink it in a pinch,

but Doc, I was so sure that...

Well, I trusted him,

I wanted him to
know it, and I, uh...

I gave him the keys
to lock up last night.

What do you want to do, Doc?

We got to get him
up to the office.

The office?

Well, yeah.

- Come on, Dan.
- Come on.

No. No!

Well, Dan, I'm...

I'm going down to Delmonico's
and get a bite to eat.

Pot of soup over
there on the stove

and some coffee when
you get around to it.

Guess there's no sense
in me saying I'm sorry.

I am.

No. Go on and say it if
it'll make you feel better.

You should have just
pushed me back in the brush

and then left me.

Yeah, you're sorry for
everyone, including yourself.

Yeah, mostly myself.

I drank the darn stuff.

I told you it'd be like this.

Yeah. Are you gonna start that

about me sending you
on your way, is that it?

Yeah, I'm considering it, yeah.

Well, just save
that till the next time.

Won't forget what you did, Doc.

Dan, you don't owe
me anything at all,

if that's what's working on you.

But Jonas... you
owe him something.

Over and above
the vanilla extract.

Have some of this
cake, Doc. Real good.

No, thanks.

You got no appetite.

You still thinking
about Dan Witter?


Well, I'll-I'll admit

he's an awful nice
feller, you know.

Till he ain't.

Well... he needs
help, and by golly,

I think he's
worth it. I still do.

Well, I don't know what kind of
help he's gonna get around here

after what he
done over at Jonas'.

I don't think anybody's
gonna give him another job.

They just kind
of give up on him.

Yeah, it's too bad.

Doc, you've know
men like Dan, so have I.

It's awful hard for
'em to beat that liquor.

What do you mean? You're
giving up on him, too, huh?

Well, no. Wouldn't
say that, Doc.

I'm getting kind of
tired of carrying him up

to your office,
though, I'll tell you that.

Well, I didn't mean

that, uh, everybody'd
really give up on him,

or even that they should.

I just... well, you
got to hide everything

short of coal oil
when he's around.

He's only got one weakness.

It's all that... Well, it...

It sure is a whopper, but
it's the only one he's got.

Wouldn't it be something if...
if you could cut it out of him,

or... or patch it
up or something?

Wouldn't that be real
doctoring, though?

Wouldn't it?

You make better coffee
than Chester does.

You sure that's where
you want to move?

It's gonna be
easier than I thought.

Marshal. Doc.

Lem, how are you?

Marshal, you got a minute?


I'm getting awful
desperate for help.

Oh, your boy didn't
come back, huh?

Well, I don't give
much thought to Luke.

Around or not, he
never turned a hand.

Moss Grimmick says you
know someone needs work.

Didn't give him a name. He
just said he was a heavy drinker.

Oh, well, you must
mean Dan Witter.

Yeah, must have been.

Well, Moss is
putting it kind of mild.

Where do I find him?

Well, he... probably
up to my office,

but, uh... I want to tell
you something, Lem.

When he... when he
gets a sniff of the stuff,

he-he drinks till he drops.

Moss said he was
a friend of yours.

Well, he is, he is that,
but, uh, so are you.

You got a right to know that.

He ain't sickly?

Oh, gosh, no. Anything but.

He's as strong as a bear.

If he wasn't,
whiskey'd killed him.

Well, I don't keep whiskey.

He gets any out there,
he'll have to make it.

Well, I wouldn't
count that out, either.

Well, can I go talk to him?

Well, sure. I'll-I'll
take you up there.


Matt, we'll-we'll
finish that later.

- All right.
- Marshal.

All right, Lem.

Well, this is it.

This don't look
much worse than I do.

You funning me?


I-I was just wondering.

Everybody says you're comical.

I am sometimes. I wasn't then.


Well, I'm not.

Not what?

Well, I'm... I'm not comical.

Yeah. Never was...

Never was a hand to laugh.

Do you mind if I
do now and again?

Oh, no, no, no, no.

I'll take care of 'em.

Oh, much obliged.



Now, I sure ain't gonna
mind having someone around.

Sure hope not.

No, sir.




Horse liniment.

Well, there's no mistaking it.

I've been known to try
most everything in my time.


More than once.

You know, Lem, I'm
dry from the shoes up,

but I ain't even thinking
about drinking horse liniment.

You ain't smiling?

His foreleg mending?

Oh, it's mending fine.

Yeah, he'll be nimble enough

to chase the mares
again in a few days.

Ah. Ah, I sure wouldn't
know this was my barn.

Well, it'll be easier to
keep since it's in order.

Same way with the
yard, just everything.

You work good, Dan.

Well, I'm trying.

I'm gonna keep on trying.

You understand
that I've tried before.

Well, I'm getting
all the better of it.

Now, I want you
to know I know that.

You keep on Lem, you and me is
gonna have ourselves a good cry.

You fish ever?

Yeah, long time ago.

There's a slough up
yonder got some bass in it.

We might, uh... we might
go devil 'em sometime.

Yeah, sure might.

Be with you in just a minute.

Oh, there's no hurry.

All I want is a
little vanilla extract.

Well, Dan Witter.

How are you?

I'm sober. How are you?

I'm sober, too.

Oh, Dan.

Ah, ah, don't-don't stop
a hardworking ranch hand

from paying his just debts.

Well, no, but that's
too much for the extract.

Oh... I had a way to
go on that ten-dollar suit.

I figure that ought to
take care of the coat

and the rest of the pants.

Well, I guess, you
want to do it this way, I,

I don't mind telling you,
it makes me feel good.

Yeah, that fancy suit...

I don't stand to wear it
again till they lay me out.

I'll be one of the most stylish
stiffs you ever saw, won't I?

You say the
doggonedest things, Dan.

Guess I do, don't I?

Well, I'll be seeing you later.

You gonna see Doc
while you're in town?

No, Lem and me's got a
lot of woodcutting to do.

If you see Doc, tell
him I'll look him up

- next time I'm in town.
- Sure will.

Many thanks.

You know, Lem, you
and me wouldn't even earn

our own keep in a logging camp.

I got someone on the
other end of this saw.

I don't ask for more than that.

I'm glad to see
you, too, old man.

Don't get no idea
of staying, Luke.

I'm tired.

You're not welcome here.

He always says
something like that to me,

then wonders why
I don't stay home.

Who are you?

Dan Witter.

Oh, you moved in on Pa, did you?

Dan works here.

Well, now, works here.

- Stable my horse.
- Now, Luke...

It's all right,
Lem, I don't mind.

You show some respect, hear?

You keep reminding me.

Thede Carson gets
wind you're in town,

he'll come gunning for you.

Don't you fret yourself
about that now, old man.

Ain't you ever seen
a saddlebag before?

Yeah, yeah, I've
seen about everything.

Well, there's nothing
special about this one.

Excepting it's got
some whiskey in it.

You drink whiskey?

No, no, not anymore.

Yeah, but you used to.

Yeah, yeah, I used to.

I'll feed your horse.

Well, look, there's, uh, there's
been some of this drunk up,

but I, I got a couple of
bottles ain't been opened yet.

I'll see you at suppertime, Dan.


Dan, Dan, that you?

I come to call you.

Supper's ready.

There's a time to go, Lem.

I don't see that.

I-I thought you'd
found a place here.

Oh, it ain't the place.

I-I just roll along.

That's, that's my way.

And your boy's home now.

Luke won't stay.

I won't let him and
he don't want to.

You mustn't mind him, Dan.

Kids don't bother me.

I worked you too hard.

Oh, 'tain't that, now.

I began to feel
easy with you, Dan.

I... well, I ain't had a
friend this long time.

You afraid of your boy, Lem?

I'm through feeling for him.

He won't set here more than
a day or so 'fore he's off again.

Got now so I don't
mind his going anymore;

it's his coming back.

You need me to stay, Lem?

Yes, sir, yes, sir, I do, I...

Supper's likely cold now.

I'll be along.


You better get to bed, Luke.

You're leaving at sunup.

You ever been around
quality folks, Dan?

Yeah, I've seen the
worst along with the best.

Yes, sir, men of quality...

'fore they light a cigar,

I seen 'em sort of roll it
around easy in their brandy.

You got any brandy, old man?

You know I ain't.

Seems like I'm gonna
have to use whiskey, then.

Course, I should have
done this 'fore I lighted up.

You gonna swill on that
bottle, you take it outside.

What, you don't
want a drink, old man?

I'll bet Dan does.

There you are, Dan.

That's mean, Luke,
that's ugly mean.

Ah, you sit down.

You're a devil, you
got all hell in you.

I'm favoring you, hired man,

offering to drink with you,
treating you like family.

You know just what
you're doing, don't you?

Sure, and you're dry
and you're choking for it.

- You leave him alone, Luke, you...
- Oh, shut up.

Luke, Luke!


You don't want
me, you want this.

- Dan.
- Dan, what's happened to you?

I'm drunk, Doc.

Well, drunk's the least of it.

Wait a minute, how'd
you get like this?

I don't know who's
dead and who ain't.

What are you
talking about... Dead?

Both of 'em... they're lying
there... blood or whiskey.

It's just awful.

What, Lem's place?

Let's get out there.

Help him out of here, Matt.

Come on, Dan, easy.

All right, come on.

Come here.

Luke's dead.

What about Lem?

Well, he's alive,
Matt, but just barely.

Get my bag, will you?

All right.

Is there any whiskey left?

You know there ain't.

Well, Dan, you about ready to
tell me what happened in there?

You can't see what happened?

I want to know who did it and
I want to know how it started.

Whiskey, Marshal,
whiskey started it.

Oh, Matt, Dan... come here.


Hello, Lem.

It was Luke's doing, Marshal.

He come home ugly mean,

crowing, pouring his
whiskey around everywhere.

I ain't never seen
him that bad before.

It was me killed him, Marshal.

Don't go out like that,
Lem, don't go out lying.

'Twas me that killed him,
Marshal, Lem knows it.

Tell 'em the truth, Lem.

You are a fool, Dan Witter.

I was just trying to give
you another chance.

You can't blame Dan, Marshal.

The way Luke was, any man
alive would have killed him.

I wanted to, I...

Marshal, did you just
hear what Lem said?

He was trying to save me,
trying to give me another chance.


Yeah, I heard him, Dan...

and at the trial I'll remember.

I'll see that the
judge knows, too.

Thanks, Marshal.

I'm awful sorry, Dan.

I know you are, Doc.

I want to thank you for
all you-you've tried to do.

You know, as long
as I can remember,

somebody has always been
willing to give me another chance.

Only trouble is, I... I
never gave myself one.

It's no good.

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