Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 7, Episode 25 - The Widow - full transcript

A young officer is said to have been killed fighting the Kiowa, but his body has not been recovered. His widow, a young woman from an influential family, insists that he might not be dead and wants someone to take her to Indian country so that she can locate him or his body. She will not listen when politicians, Army officers, and Matt tell her that such a trip would be contrary to the treaty and dangerous. When a trapper with suspicious motives offers to be her escort to Indian country, Matt is concerned for her safety and follows behind them with a young Army officer whose head has been turned by the pretty young widow.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.



Who's there?

Uh... uh... it's me.

Well, who's me?

Uh... it's Chester, Doc.

Well, what are you doing?!



Well, you're making an awful
lot of noise for doing nothing.

Well, I don't feel
very good, Doc.

Well, I heard you
rattling the b...

What were you
doing with the bottles?

Oh, I was just looking there
to see if there was something

that could kind of help me.

What-what is that here?

Well, that's liniment.

Do you want a shot of that?

Well, what would it do for me?

You know, I wouldn't
have to know anything at all,

as far as you're concerned,
about being a doctor.


Well, because, all I'd have
to do is just fill up some bottles

with anything and line 'em
up and let you take your pick.

What in thunder's
wrong with you?

Well, Doc, it's
that same old thing.

Just every once in a while,

there's a kind of a-a sharp,
shooting pain, just, mm.

Yeah, well, you
probably swallowed a nail.

Oh, Doc now I'm sick, I
really am, and I need your help.

And there ain't no need
for you to talk like that.

Now, what do you
think it could be?

I think it could
probably be indigestion.

You think that's it?

Well, I was with you at dinner

last night at
Delmonico's, you know.


Well, you can't stuff food

into yourself like that
without paying for it.

You can't feel good the next...

Oh! There it is again.

Well, here.

Just, uh, take that,

and about two tablespoons
full of that every hour.

What is it?

Well, it's medicine.

Well, I know that it's medicine.

Well, that's all you have
to know. I'm a doctor.

Well, I thought if I'd
knowed what it was,

well, then, the next
time, if this come on...


Yes, I know, the
next time, then,

you wouldn't have
to come to me at all,

and that way, you
could save two dollars.

Two dollars? Just for that?

For that and my professional
knowledge and skill.

Well, I...

I guess I'll either have to
give it back to you, Doc,

or-or you can wait until payday,

or maybe I could
borrow it, and...

Chester, no.

Just take that, and
just go, get out of here.

Oh. Right now.

Sure do thank you, Doc.

I'll-I'll get to work
with this right away.

Oh... Miss Kitty.

Well, what's ailing you?

Oh, it's just them
shooting pains

that I get every
once in a while.

Doc gave me something for it.

Well, you take care of yourself.

I hope you feel better.

Oh, thanks a whole lot.

Hello, Kitty.


I just bumped into Chester.

Says he doesn't feel good.

- Oh.
- Is it serious?

Oh, yes, it
certainly is serious.

He-He's going to
be the death of me.


Did you, uh...?

You come up here by any chance

to invite me to dinner, maybe?

Well, that's a good idea,

but what I really came for was
to get some headache powders.

- Oh, you got a headache?
- Oh, no, I'm all right.

It's for one of the girls.

Whiskey and cowboys are
kind of hard on the constitution.

All right, there you are.

- Directions right on it.
- Thanks, Doc.

Now... how about the dinner?

Well, if you want
to come with me

while I drop these
off at the Long Branch,

then we can go
on to Delmonico's,

and I'll let you buy me dinner.

Well, now, you worked
that around pretty good.

- Mm-hmm.
- Let's go.

Well, hello there, honey.

You talking to me?

Why, you're the prettiest little
thing I seen in this town yet.

How about me and
you havin' a drink?

Well, I think you've had
just about enough already.

Let's go.

Well, now, hold on there.

- Take your hands off me!
- Well, I...

Did you hear what the lady said?

You get outta here!

Well, you're a little
wildcat, ain't you?

I like that.

Now here, never mind him.

Honey, he can't
cause us no trouble.

Come on, we're
gonna have a little fun.

Come on here, now.

Come on, honey, we're
gonna have a little fun...




What'd he do, Kitty?

He hit Doc.

Well, what'd he do then?

Push you in the water
trough or something?

He did not, I tripped.

Are you all right, Kitty?

- I'm fine. How are you?
- Well, I'm fine.

Doc, what happened here, anyway?

When he wakes up,
why don't you ask him?

Kitty, I was taking you
to the Long Branch.

We need a drink.

What's your name?

Emil Peck.

I catch you in any more
trouble around here,

you're going to jail.

You got that?

Now beat it.

What kind of a character
would you call that, Marshal?

One with all the bark on, sure.

Well, I judge him
to be a wolfer.

- Can't be much of a living.
- How are you, Corporal?

Your wounds healing
up on you all right?

Fine. It's been four months.

Thank you.

Say, lookee there.

I wonder who she is.

Hiya, Matt.

Hello, Jim.

Jim, how was the trip?

Fine, thanks, Matt.

Say, who was that lady that
just came in on the coach?

Her name's Arthur.

Mrs. Frank Arthur.

Frank Arthur...

Oh, she's the wife of that
Captain who was killed

in the Kiowa massacre
a few months back.

I wonder why in the world
she came way out here?

I don't know.

- Mrs. Arthur.
- Colonel Ebert.

It's a pleasure to meet you.

I only regret the circumstances.

Yes, of course.

I can assure you everyone
here shares your loss.

Your husband was a fine
officer and a fine gentleman.

Yes, but he was a fool, too.

To have come all
the way out here

when he had a perfectly
safe post in Washington.

One I arranged myself.

Well, some men
aren't happy at a desk.

I'd say Captain Arthur
was a born field officer.

He was a great favorite here.

He was a favorite everywhere.

Too bad you didn't
come out with him.

I had wanted to, but
Frank wouldn't hear of it.

I can't tell whether he was
trying to spare me or himself.

I've had a letter from
your uncle, Senator Wilbo,

and another from
the Secretary of War.

Yes, I know.

They ask me to give you
every assistance possible,

but they don't say in
what way I'm to assist you.

Colonel... I've come
to find my husband.

But... Madame...

Officially, he's only missing.

Yes, but I thought
you understood.

Out here, that simply
means he's dead.

There was only one survivor

of that massacre
down in the Nations.

He saw it all.

He saw Captain
Arthur in the thick of it,

fighting for his life,

surrounded... and struck down.

Well, then, it's possible that
my husband was wounded,

or taken prisoner.

The Kiowa don't
usually take prisoners...

especially Army officers.

Well, then, perhaps
as a hostage.

Mrs. Arthur, you can pray

your husband died
on that battlefield.

If they took him,
he's no longer alive.

But there were no prisoners,
we're almost certain of that.

I'm sorry, but your
husband is dead.

Not officially.

No, not officially.

We can't close his file

until there is some
actual proof of death.

Now, Colonel,
that's why I'm here.

I'm not satisfied that
my husband is dead.

And I would like his
remains to take home

for the funeral I've prepared.


Yes, in Arlington
Cemetery in Washington.

With full military honors.

He's to have the
grave of a hero.

I see.

The only trouble
is, Mrs. Arthur,

we have no body to give you.

Well, then, we must find it.

Or him.

We've made a thorough
search for your husband.

I don't think
another is warranted.

Then I'll go myself.

No, I won't allow it.

Colonel Ebert...

must I remind you
of those letters?

And may I read to you

from the letter of
the Secretary of War?

"All assistance possible
consistent with your orders

and with due
consideration for her safety."

It's neither consistent
with my orders,

nor in the interest
of your safety,

for you or anyone else

to violate the treaty and
enter Indian Territory now.

I can't help you, Mrs. Arthur.

I'm sorry.

If you had written, I might
have saved you the long trip.

One day, perhaps,

someone will find the
remains of your husband.

If so, I'll do whatever I can.

Oh, Mrs. Arthur...

this is Corporal Jennings,
the man mentioned earlier...

the last to see
your husband alive.


Pleased to make your
acquaintance, ma'am.

If you'd like to question him...

Later, perhaps.


Of course. What
time? I'll have him here.

Would you allow the corporal
to come to see me at Dodge

at my hotel?

Why, yes, it could be arranged.

I'll have Major
Blackburn set it up.

Thank you.

She sure is a nice-looking
lady, isn't she, sir?

I feel mighty sorry
for her, don't you?

Sorry, Corporal?

I suppose so.

Well, what are
you up to, Chester?

Well, I was gonna darn
these socks, Mr. Dillon,

but I just don't think
that they're worth it.

Looks to me like you
better buy some new ones.

Well, I think you're right.

I guess I can work
on these long handles,

get them fixed
up for the winter.

You're rushing the season
there a little, aren't you?

There was a nip in the
air this morning, Mr. Dillon.

Won't be long.

Oh. How do you do, ma'am?

How do you do?

- Marshal Dillon?
- Yes, Mrs. Arthur?

- You know who I am?
- Well, just about everybody

in Dodge has heard
about your being here.

And I've heard
about you, Marshal.

Do you know that they say that
you know more about the Indians

down in the territory than
anyone else in Dodge.

And you are a
United States marshal,

and you could go
down there if you wish.

If there's good reason to.

I think there's a good reason.

I'd like you to take
me there, Marshal.

I'd like to find my husband.

You know where that
ambush took place?

Mrs. Arthur, this is
a job for the army.

Colonel Ebert
refused to take me.

He said something
about a treaty.

He claims that my
husband is dead.

And I say if he's dead
then there's some proof,

there's something
that we can find.

Well, I hate to tell you this,
but I agree with Colonel Ebert.

Your husband's been
gone for over four months.

I don't think there's
a chance he's alive.

How do you know that?
How can you all be so sure?

Suppose... suppose
he's not dead.

Suppose he's
being held a prisoner

or he's sick or
he's wounded or...

I'm sorry, Marshal.

Chester, maybe she'd
like a cup of coffee.

No, thank you, Marshal.

Actually, I...

suppose I know
that you're right.

He's dead.

It's just that I don't
want him to lie out there

in some nameless grave.

I want to give him a
heroes burial in Arlington.

Please help me, Marshal.

Well, if the army hasn't
been able to find him, I...

I don't suppose
it would be proper

to offer a United
States marshal money?

No, it wouldn't.

And you won't do
anything to help me?

Mrs. Arthur, maybe
you don't realize it,

but going down there
is against the law.

It is?

Yes, and my job is to
enforce the law, not break it.

It's very admirable, I'm sure.

Well, I guess that you
was right, Mr. Dillon,

but it seemed like you
was kind of hard on her.

Have you ever stopped to think
what she might find down there?

Well, it just could be
that he might be alive.

The Indians don't take army
officers prisoner, Chester.

Maybe it's better if
she never finds out

what happened to her husband.

I'm going to Delmonico's.

I'm gonna have the special.

How's your jaw?

It's pretty sore.

Maybe you better have soup.

Well, I should say not. I
want some of that steak there.

- Hello.
- Hello, Matt.

Sit down.

Joe, guess I'll have a steak.

How're you feeling?

I'm feeling fine, fine.

At least he can talk.

I certainly hope you jarred
his teeth some, though.

Well, I think Kitty had him

pretty well softened
up when I got there.

Oh, say, didn't I
see that Mrs. Arthur

going into your
office a while ago?

- Yeah.
- Offered you money to take her down there

and find her husband, huh?

That's about it.

I don't understand it.

She's offering
all kinds of money

for anybody who'll
take her down there.

A kind of a reward for
her husband, dead or alive.

Preferably alive, we presume.


Hello, Marshal.

Hello, Corporal.

You were with him
on that dreadful day.

Yes, ma'am.

It was just a routine
patrol down there.

The captain had 16
of us troopers with him.

We knew there'd been trouble,

but we hadn't any idea these
renegades were close by.

Yes, but you said you saw him

in the thick of the
fighting, surrounded?

Yes, ma'am.

He was always in
the thick of things.

He was a great
soldier, Mrs. Arthur.

We all thought a lot of him.

I'm sure you did, as I did.

But you said you
saw him struck down?

Yes, ma'am.


Do I have to say?


It was a lance, ma'am.

In the back.

It went clean through.

Then you're sure
that he was killed.

I don't see how he
could have lived after that.

Because then they
all closed in and...

No, he's dead all right.

I'm sorry.

Thank you for
telling me, Corporal.

You're very kind.

Tell me, what is
your name again?

It's Jennings, ma'am.

Johnny Jennings.


Johnny, would you do me a favor?

Why, sure, anything I can.

Well, I would like to
go where it happened.

Could you take me there?

Well, Mrs. Arthur, I can't.

The colonel wouldn't allow it.

You needn't worry
about the colonel.

I have a great deal of
influence in Washington.

My uncle is a senator,

and my friend is
secretary of war.

But against orders? Desert?

You needn't do that.

You could take a
leave of absence.

I promise you, you'll
have no trouble.

I-I just couldn't do it.

I'm sorry, Mrs. Arthur.

Are you afraid to go
back there, Johnny?

No ma'am, not to go
there, but against orders?

I couldn't take a
chance like that.

Not even for money?

A thousand dollars,
two thousand?

You could name your price.

No, ma'am.

I wouldn't take money.

I didn't think you would.

What then can I offer you?

Why, Mrs. Arthur?

I know you won't find
your husband alive.

Then I have to find him dead.

I loved him.

Can't any of you
understand that?

Yes, of course.

Well, then I have to find him

even if it means that
I find that I'm alone.


Mrs. Arthur.

I'm sorry, Johnny.

You're very nice.

I like you.

You're much too good just
to be a corporal in the cavalry.

I'm sure we could find
something better than that for you,

in Washington.

You've been a
great comfort to me.

More than anyone else has been.

And I've needed
someone to talk to.

Oh, Johnny, can't
you please help me.



What are we thinking of?

I don't even know if...

I don't know if Frank...

Don't you see,
I've got to find out.

Will you please take me there?

Let me think about it.

I'll come back later.




Hello, Corporal.


I didn't know you
were a drinking man.

I'm not breaking any law, am I?

No, I guess not

unless you're wanted back
out at the fort or something.

That's no worry of yours, is it?

Tell me something
just out of curiosity,

what is the penalty for
desertion in the army now?

I don't know exactly.

In my day, it was
the firing squad.

But of course, that
was during the war.

I suppose now it's only five,
maybe ten years hard labor

or something like that, huh?

I don't know what
you're getting at, Marshal.

You think I'm absent
without leave or something?

Well, no, of course not.

Freddy, bring me
a glass, will you?

Coming right up, Marshal.

Mind if I join you?

No, go ahead.

Well, that Captain Arthur's
wife was by to see me today.

Finally found out what
she's doing in Dodge.

Wants to go down
to the Indian nations

and find her husband's body.

Must be pretty anxious, too.

She's offering
anybody a lot of money

who will take her down there.

Want another one?

No, thanks.

Where you going,
back out to the fort?


You don't have
to worry, Marshal.

Mrs. Arthur.

Have you changed
your mind, Marshal?

I'm afraid not.

I was just going out.

Mrs. Arthur, I understand
you're trying to get somebody

to take you down to the Nations.

I told you once,
that's against the law.

- So you did.
- Mrs. Arthur,

I don't want you to
try to go down there.

Sir, I do whatever I find
necessary for me to do.

My conscience has always
been guide enough for me.

And I do not fear
United States Marshals.

Yes, I know.

You have friends in Washington.

I wouldn't count
on them this time.

And I'll tell you
something else.

I just saw Corporal Jennings.

He's headed
back out to the fort.

I don't think he's
gonna help you either.

Mrs. Arthur.

You are Mrs. Arthur, ain't you?

Who are you?

Emil Peck.

You want to go down to
Lance Creek, I'm your man.

You know the exact place?

To the very tree.

- How do you know?
- Best way possible.

Heard it direct from the Kiowas.

I can take you
right to the place.

No danger, either.

They know me.

When can we leave?

Nothing keeping me.

If you give me some
money, on account,

I'll get the horses
and some grub.

We can leave
tonight, after dark,

so that no one will see us.

Mr. Dillon, you like
a little more coffee?

No. No, thanks, Chester.

Marshal! Oh, Marshal!

What is it, Howard?

It's that Mrs. Arthur.

I've been watching out
like you asked me to.

So, this morning, when she
didn't come down for breakfast,

I got suspicious.

And I went up to her room.

She's skipped out.

Bed wasn't even
slept in last night.

- All right. Thanks, Howard.
- Sure, Marshal.

I warned her to
stay out of there.

Now what happens
is on her own head.

You mean you won't even
send a squad after her?

I'd have to send a whole
regiment, if I sent one man.

Even that wouldn't be enough.

No, I can't take the chance.

This is her own crazy doing.

No responsibility
of mine or yours.

You know, Colonel,
it isn't just the Indians

out there that bother me.

It's that man she went out
there with... that Emil Peck.

Look, Marshal, maybe you
can slip in and out of there

without attracting attention,
but not a troop of cavalry.

It's up to you.

I'll show you on the
map exactly where it is.

You can do a whole lot
better than that, Colonel.

You can send a man along
who can take me right there...

Corporal Jennings.

I can't order him to go with
you into that kind of danger.

Especially after what he's
been through down there.

I know you can't order him,

but you can ask
him, couldn't you?

All right.

But if he goes, he goes
as a soldier on leave

and out of uniform.

I'll send for him.

Of course, you can
still refuse, Corporal.

Nobody will think
anything about it.

Understand, Corporal,
you don't have to go.

In fact, I'd rather you didn't.

The marshal will find
the place without you.

At least it'll be a
little faster with you.

Every minute counts, for her.

I said I'd go, sir.

Can I get down
and rest a minute?

Suit yourself.

It's your picnic.


How much further is it?

Oh, it's a little piece yet.

Well, how much further?
An hour? Two hours?

We might not get
there before dark.

We've been moving pretty slow.

Why? Because of me?

Well, we needn't. Let's go.

What's that stream down there?

I don't recall the name.

I haven't been down
this way for quite a while.

And all these little streams
get to look pretty much alike.

Are you sure you know
where you're going?

Course I know where I'm going.

What are you worried about?

All right, let's go.


Come on!


They're still heading
the same way.

Either he doesn't
know where he's going,

or he's deliberately
taking her roundabout.

That's what I'm afraid of.

What do you mean?

He just brought her
along for the money.

Once he's got his hands on
that, she's excess baggage

and a witness
against him, to boot.

You think he'll kill her?

He'll do anything to her an
Indian would, and maybe worse.

Not only that, but
if he gets caught,

he can make it look
like it was Indians.

And nobody could
prove different.

Look, we could
cut straight across

to Lance Creek,
save a lot of time.

Ah, he may not even be
taking her that way, Corporal.

She wouldn't
know the difference.

We better stay to
the trail. Come on.

You still worried?

I don't think you even
know where Lance Creek is.

What if I didn't?

What'd you do
about it, kick me out?

Tie a can to me?

You think you could find your
way back to Dodge without me?

What is it?

Nothing, I guess.

By the way, you didn't leave
nothing valuable back there

in that hotel room, did you?


Just a suitcase
and some clothes.

But you brought the
money like I told you?

Didn't leave that, did you?

What if I did?

But I told you.

I don't want to have
to go back there.

That marshal'll
be looking for me.

I told you!

Don't worry, I brought it.

But just what I
promised you, no more.

You don't trust me.

No, I don't, Mr. Peck.

You got a gun.

You don't think
I'd be fool enough

to come out here with
you without one, do you?

Oh, now you, you
got me all wrong, lady.

You think I'd bring you out
here to rob you or something?

You think I don't know
where that burying place is?

Well, I'll just show you.

I was only playing
a little joke, that's all.

Just playing a little joke.

Playing a little joke?

What does that mean?

Why, we're right here.

This is where it is.

You can see the
graves right over there.

Crosses and all.

Under the bank, if
you'd care to look.

You still don't
trust me, do you?

Here... I'm just gonna
give you my gun.

There you are now.

You go on over
there, see for yourself.

Hold it.

Now drop the ax.

Go on, drop it!

He never intended
to take me, did he?

Well, just close enough

so it'd look like he
was taking you there.

In case they ever
found your body.

We are close then?

It's not far.

Maybe an hour.

We're gonna be
leaving here at dawn.

If we're lucky, we'll
get out of the Nations

before the Indians
find out we been here.

It's funny, his killing me
isn't what worried me.

I never thought of that.

Better get some sleep.



What is it, Mady?

I would have waited for you.

He told me that
you weren't coming.

What did he tell you about me?

It wasn't that.

I just couldn't desert, Mady.

You're Army, you
ought to know that.

But you're here now.

Right. On leave, by permission.

Then you won't be deserting
if you take me tomorrow.

I... I don't think the
Marshal would allow it.

Johnny, what harm can it do?

We're so close.

And I'll find out
now, once and for all.

Don't you see?
There's no other way.

I'll... I'll never know.

I'll... I'll never be free.

Please... Please.

I don't know.

I'll talk to the Marshal, Mady.

Maybe I can persuade him.

Maybe you can.

Mady... Goodnight, Corporal.

All saddled, ready to go.

Marshal... I been thinking.

Why couldn't we go
by way of Lance Creek?

We could cut straight
up from there to Dodge,

and it might not
take any longer.

Because we couldn't stop
to do any looking anyway,

- so what's the difference?
- But maybe we'll find...

Johnny, we're in danger
every minute we're down here.

And especially her.

She's not afraid of danger.

Neither am I.

Look, if you won't go,
she and I are going.

Now, Johnny, you listen to me.

Get the Marshal's gun, Johnny.

Oh, now, Mady, this is wrong.

Are you a man or aren't you?

I told you, you wouldn't
get into any trouble over this.

Get the Marshal's gun.

Marshal, I didn't
want anything like this.

Will you just, please,
tell us we can go?

I can tell you one thing,

you're wasting your time on
somebody that isn't worth it.

And there's nothing that you
can do to stop us, Marshal.

I'm gonna tell you, just once,

put that gun down.



There's too many
of them to fight.

We couldn't possibly fight 'em.

Put that gun away.

Go on.


It's good to see
you again, my friend.


I, too, am glad.

My friend come here any time.

Not others.

There is treaty.

I know, Little Bear.

The others... they're with me.

Under my protection.


Well, the woman,
she's traveled a long way

to find something
of her husband.

Where he died.


At Lance Creek.

Her man, soldier?

Big fight.

Many die.

Kiowa, too.

I know.

But she's traveled far, all
the way from Washington.

Little Bear...

Please, let us go to that place.

Even if he was a soldier,
he-he was my husband.

I take you there.

Better so.

- Paba-ido.
- Paba-ido.

Is this the place?

It was right
over there I fell...

hid... saw it all.

Are these the graves
of the other men?

Only now that I'm here, it's
not like I thought it would be.

I don't quite know
where to start.

I guess we should start to
look for clues or something.

Bluecoats came
there... Kiowa there.

When here... Big fight.

Little Bear, were
you... in the fight?

Came soon after.

Well, what happened
to the Captain?

Ask him...

Little Bear, the... the
chief of the soldiers...

was her husband.

Very brave man.

Very great warrior.

You be proud.

Well, I know that,

but where did you bury his body?

If you came after the fighting,
then you must have seen him.

That one not buried here.

I know that.

Now, please, tell me where.

Another place.

Very good.

Do not fear.

Tell me where!

Not tell.

You must tell me where.

I'm his wife.

I've come all this
way just to find him.

I've come from
Washington, the government.

I just want to bring him back

to give him a burial
with much honor.

Mrs. Arthur...

Indians don't allow a body
to be moved once it's buried.

He's got to bring me there.

I can't have come all this way
and not get to see his grave.

You've got to bring
me there! Please.



They've given him
an Indian burial.

Wrapped in a chief's blanket.

Do you know what
that means, Mrs. Arthur?

It means he was buried
with honors by his enemy.

Do you want more of a
hero's grave than that?

- I want to see him.
- That's as far as you can go.

Don't you see, I've
got to have proof.

I've got to bring back a ring, a
watch, something, anything...

Everything depends on this.

Don't you see, I-I haven't
got anything after this trip.

Everything's being held up,
his will, his insurance, everything.

My family has influence,

but they're poor, and
he's rich, he's rich!

Just a minute, Marshal.

You don't understand.

Yeah, I think I understand.

I understand that you're
willing to come out here

and break an Indian treaty,

ruin that young corporal's life,

maybe get a few other
people killed into the bargain.

You said you were poor
and your husband was rich.

Well, you were
right, Mrs. Arthur.

Your husband had
dignity and respect.

That's something you can't buy.

Don't worry, Mrs. Arthur,
you'll get your money back.

We'll testify that
your husband's dead.


All right, let's go, Corporal.