Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 8, Episode 1 - The Search - full transcript

When stable hand Cale is found with paralyzed legs after his horse threw him, Matt goes for help on foot, unarmed, on the dangerous prairie.

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Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.


Well, Tate Gifford,
you old son of a gun.


My God, I sure miss
seeing you around here.

You looking fine.

I'm making out. Thank you.

I haven't been able
to get out your way

since your boy was took.

Mighty sorry.

Yeah. Yeah.

Well, I, uh...

I come for his horse, Hank.

Well, he's in mighty
good shape for you.

The only trouble is Cale
is out working him now.


Yes, young fella I
got to help me now.

He gives your horse a
good workout every morning.

A long time there, I...

I figured I couldn't bear
laying eyes on him again.

That is foolishness.

He's a good horse.

I can use him.

Well, Cale'll be
back within the hour.

I'll be in town that long.

- Stop by on my way to the ranch.
- Hey.

If you ever take a
notion to sell him,

why, Cale, he's took
an awful shine to him.

He'd be mighty interested.

I won't be selling
him now, Hank.


Hey. Hey, Chester, wake up.

- Mm?
- Wake up!



The lines are all tangled!

Ooh, let go of the
line, it's my toe!

Just-just look out of the way!

Oh, you're choking
the life out of it!

I'm gonna try and land this.



- Oh!
- Ooh.



What's the matter?

Well, I kept on telling
you it was my toe.

I had the line looped around it,

and when you kept
pulling the pole like that,

well, golly, you can
see what that there'd do.

You had the line
looped around your toe?


So's it'd wake me up, you know,

in case that something
got on my line.

Worked like a charm, didn't it?

Well, way that I was
dreaming of it, sure did.

You know, I was pulling
catfish out of there

faster than you
could bait my hook.

Caught a mess of frogs, too.

Well, I'm sure glad of that.

I just love frogs' legs.

Well, we got a
good plenty of 'em.

How about some coffee
to wash 'em down with?

Oh, yeah. Thanks a lot.

You-you know what you was doing?

You was frying potatoes
and fixing the biscuits.

Really? I thought I
was baiting the hooks.

Well, uh, y-you was.

You was doing just about
everything that you could

to-to be a help.

Come on, let's get on back.

Oh, well, here, let me
help you round up the place.

Well, that's all right.

I'll take care of this, and
you go get the horses.

Oh, well, Miss Kitty,

are you gonna just give up
on the fishing that-that quick?

Who's that?

Well, that looks
like Cale, isn't it?

By golly, it sure does.

Hey, Cale!


Well, he can't hear you.

I wonder where in
the thunder he's off to.

He's sure riding like the wind.

If he keeps that pace up,

he's gonna be in Colorado
before we get any breakfast.

Well, I just don't
understand it,

riding off this hour
of the morning.

Ain't a thing out west of here.


Tate, how are you?


How much work you figure a
horse needs every morning?

Well, I don't know. Why?

Three hours or so is
plenty, don't you think?

Well, I guess so.

What are you asking me for?

Hank Miller tells me this
young fella's a friend of yours.



Well, he was due back
hours ago with my horse.

Hank tells me you'll
vouch for him, this Cale.

Well, sure, I'll vouch for him.

I don't know where
he is right now.

Well, I think you better
find out where he is.

Hank ought to know.

Only, he doesn't.

Now, I came in for
my horse, Marshal,

and I want him.

This young friend of
yours ran off with him;

up to you to catch him.

All right.

Guess I better get on over
there and have a talk with Hank,

find out what this is all about.

Yeah, that's the
way it was, Marshal.

There was no note or nothing.

I know there
wouldn't be, though.

If Cale had had anything to
say, he'd have said it right out.

He just rode off like
he does every morning?

That's about the size of it.

The only difference is, this
morning he ain't come back.

Been asking around
town about this Cale.

Folks don't seem to
know much about him.

Well, he keeps
pretty much to himself.

Can't get anyone else
to claim him as a friend.

Just you two.

Well, he's a young fella, Tate;

he's got a lot of
things to learn,

but honesty isn't one of 'em.

Now, if I thought he'd
steal your horse, I'd tell you.

Yeah, there's no
question about that.

I'd say there was
some question about it.

I got to get back to the ranch.

But I want that horse, Marshal.

And I don't care how far
you got to ride to get him!

Come on.


Never heard Tate
talk like that before.

Well, he's been keeping his
grief quiet a long time, Hank.

He's just yelling
a little, that's all.

Yeah, reckon so.

You know, Marshal, I'm worried
something's happened to Cale.


Wish he'd tell somebody what's
on his mind once in a while.

He can't do that;
that's just his way.

It's just gonna
cost me a long ride.

You going after him?

I guess I'll have to.

Which way did he leave
town, do you know?

Well, uh, I think he went west.

Yes, I know he
did; he went west.

All right, I'll see
you later, Hank.

Well, morning, Mr. Dillon.

Well, wondered when you
were gonna show up, Chester.

Oh, I tell you, that
early morning air

out there on the river

really whips up
a man's appetite.

I ate two catfish
breakfasts this morning.

You mean to say you and Kitty

actually caught some
catfish out there?

No, no.

Well, Miss Kitty almost
did, except she didn't see

how the line was
wrapped around my big toe.

So she invited me

and treated me to
two catfish breakfasts

at Delmonico's.

Well, good. You ought
to be wide awake, then,

ready to take over here for me.


You coming or going?

I'm going.

Cale rode out onto the
prairie with Tate Gifford's horse,

and nobody seems
to be able to find him.

I'm going out and look for him.

Well, you might as
well forget about that.

You ain't gonna catch
Cale, not this morning.

Oh, did you see him out there?

Yeah, when we was out
there on the riverbank,

he went past us like
we was just standing still.

Course, which we
was, at the time.

Standing still.

He was just
riding like the wind.

Was he headed west?

Just like there was a
prairie fire behind him.

You want me to ride
with you, Mr. Dillon?


You'd better stay here

and keep an eye
on things, Chester.

I'll sure do it.

I'll keep my eyes wide open.





Thank you, Marshal.

Well, I looked him over.

I guess he's all right.

He seems to be.

How come he left his saddle?

I don't know, but if I
find Cale, I'll ask him.

Saw the horse alone.

Oh, you think he's hurt?

I think there's a
good chance of it.

I wouldn't ride out
in this wind, Matt.

There's a storm on it somewhere.

Well, I know, but there
isn't much daylight left.

I don't have much choice.

Wait till morning.

I'll go with you.

Morning's a long way
off if the boy's hurt.

Which way you going?

Well, I found the
horse west of here.

Well, Matt, there's...
there's nothing out that way.

Cale is.


Where you been?

Oh, I just been
out riding around.

How'd you get
yourself in a fix like this?

Didn't take much doing.

You sure took your
sweet time getting here.

What'd you do, drag
yourself down here?

Anyone knows me
knows I hate to walk.

Did your horse spook you?

Friendly little rattlesnake.

Been as tall as you
if it'd have stood up

and fought like a man.

How come you dragged yourself?

Can't you walk?


You don't seem to
have any broken bones.

I've been lying here all
day thinking how lucky I am.

Try to move 'em now.

They won't listen to me.

Maybe they'll listen to you.

Do they hurt?

I don't feel a thing.

Try to move 'em, just once.

I can't even feel
my boots on me.

Then we better make camp
and start back tomorrow.

You think I'll be able to
swing over a horse tomorrow?

If you can't, I'll make a
travois and haul you back.

Right now, we'd better
get you into some cover.

Easy now!

You cold?

I've been warmer.

Well, I got it all over you.

Only half of me feels cold.

You better keep your
legs wrapped up good

in that blanket now.

So Mr. Gifford is bound I
was stealing his horse, huh?


Well, it's what's in his mind
against what was in mine.

I sure wouldn't want
to be the lawman

to decide the right of it.

What were you doing
out here, anyway?


Well, you must've been
headed somewhere.

I was.

Puttin' on a show,
old nature is.

Yeah, she can let up
anytime, far as I'm concerned.

I knew an old woman once,

said Kansas had the
best weather in the world.

When Kansas wanted to.

Why don't you try and get
yourself some sleep now.

You think we'll be able to
find your horse in the morning?

Oh, I... I think we'll
find him all right.

I sure didn't mind
you stopping by.

Any sign of him?

No, not a sign.

I can't blame the
horse, I suppose.

We'd have run off if we could.

Well, I got to find
him, that's for sure.

I'll scout around.

Look, the meantime...

you better take this.

I haven't killed that
many folks lately.

Well, there's a lot
of killers out here...

Wild animals,
Indians, renegades.

How's your leg feeling?

I have to look to
know they're there.

Well, the rest won't do you
any harm, that's for sure.

Now tell me one thing: were
you headed for some farm

out this way yesterday,
or something?

No, sir, I wasn't.

You don't know anybody
that lives out this way?

You know, right about now,

we can use any kind
of help we can get.

Oh, I understand
that pretty good.

I'll be back as soon as I can.



You've got to draw the water.

And even then, it tastes foul.

Oh, good morning, ma'am.

I don't bother with the water.

I drink this.

Why don't you.

No, thanks. Your husband home?

No, he sure ain't.

Why don't you come on
in, and I'll tell you all about it.

Well, thanks, ma'am,
but I'm in kind of a hurry.

See, I was camped down
by the river last night...

Oh, that's a shame.

And my horse ran
off in that storm.

I've been looking
for him all morning.

Right now, I'm looking for
any horse that'll carry me.

You ain't the
least bit flattering.

Do you have a horse, ma'am?

Mostly, I've got time.

Yes, but do you have a horse?

Well, now, he rode
off on something.

Seems to me, there
used to be more than one.

I can't tell last time I
looked in the corral.

Well, if you don't mind,

I'll just have a
little look around.

We'll both go.

It's a long trip to the corral.

My name's Ess.

Ess Cutler.

Now that we're
gonna be so friendly.

Mrs. Cutler, do you happen
to have a bridle of any kind

for that horse?

Oh, well, now,

that's gonna take a
trip down to the barn.

Things just got to
be used to keep good.

Same with people.

If they ain't treated right,
they dry up and pull apart, too.

Got to have some
kind of a lead rope.

You're planning
to take my horse?

Well, I'd like to take him,
ma'am, but I'll bring him back.

And I'll pay you for him, too.

I don't want money.

What good is it to me here?

You just... spend a little time.

Talk to me.

Something in my barn
interest you, stranger?

It's me he wants, Sam.

Why, I've had the
devil's own time with him.

Well, Mr. Cutler, that's
not exactly the way it was.

That's the way it always is.

Ain't it, Ess?

Any man this side
of the mountains.

Come to get you every time I go.

It could happen, you know.

You could be cleaning these.

Hey, Mr. Cutler, look...

I know.

Every time I go off,
Ess gets to that jug

and gets to dreaming.

You're a marshal?

Yeah, out of Dodge City.

You're a ways from home.

Well, my horse ran off,

and I got a friend that's
hurt pretty bad back at camp.


No, he fell off his horse,
and he can't move his legs.

You need a wagon and team.

Well, that's what
I need, all right.

You saw what we got.

That swayback
won't pull or carry.

This one here
ain't a sight better.

Anyway, I can't spare it.

Anybody else live out this way?


There's a cabin out
west about two miles.

Ain't got no folks.

Don't know any other place.

Well, much obliged.

Smallpox, Marshal.

Took all three
of 'em last spring.

So long.



Over here!

Uh, I need some help here.

Well, well, it can't
be, can it, Arnie?

Couldn't be two like him.

He some kind of friend of yours?

He ain't no kind
of friend, Coot.

What are you men talking about?

We're trail hands.

We visited you in
Dodge a time or two.

Last time, you
run us out of town.

Boy, some kind of lawman.

He ain't even armed.

You right sure
you don't recollect

Frank and me, Marshal Dillon?

I'm afraid I don't have time.

Look, I got a man
that's hurt down here.

I need help.

And now you're just strolling

around the prairie out
here, looking for help, huh?

My horse ran off in
the storm last night.

So you want us to
help you take this man

back to your tacky
little jail, do you?

He's not a prisoner.

You know, I can't
get over it, Arnie.

He looks a lot smaller
once he's outside of Dodge.

Without his gun,
why, he's nothing at all.

Tell you what, Marshal.

You're in need of a horse,

and Coot here would be
more than willing to give you his

if you can take
it away from him.

What do you say, Coot?

I like the idea.

Now, look...

This won't take
very long, Marshal.

Come on, Coot.

Hold it, Arnie!

I said, hold it.

You want to get us hung
for shooting a U.S. Marshal?

Come on.

Don't say we didn't
help you, Marshal.

We didn't kill you.

You tie that horse
there like that, mister?

Sure, he's my horse.

I'm afraid he's mine.

Now wait a minute.

I found him running
loose on the prairie.

He didn't seem to
belong to anybody.

A saddle on him.

That ought to tell
you something.

Looks like you did everything
but nail him to the tree here.

Now, those marks on him he
made on himself trying to get loose.

You feed him? Did you
give him any water at all?

When I get ready, I'll
feed him and water him.

I'm afraid you've had your
last chance at that, mister.


Had quite a time getting
you back today, son.





It's all right now.

I'm gonna take you home.


Tate, I'm sure glad to see you.

I about gave up on finding you.

He's hurt that bad?

I don't even know how bad.

Couldn't get you out of my mind.

I had to come.

Owed it to you, I guess.

Well, you're here; that's
all that counts with me.

I tell you, I'd like to take
him back to your ranch,

if you don't mind, and then
ride down into town and get Doc.


I guess that's all right.


Give me a hand
with him, will you?


The boy's room's closed off.

Don't put him in there.

My room, just on ahead.

His head's burning up and
the rest of him's freezing.

Tate, you're gonna
have to stay here

and keep an eye on him till
I get back with Doc Adams.

Well, ain't easy for me,
Matt, sit by a hurt boy.

I know it isn't, Tate.

Not easy for him
being hurt either.

Don't you die on me, boy.

Don't you dare to.

Doc can tell us something.

Come out and say something.

Well, he'll say something

as soon as he's got
something to say, Tate.

We shouldn't have
brought him here, Matt.

It's too close.

Too much the same.

I'm sorry about that, Tate.

We'll move him
as soon as we can.

This boy... he's-he's
about 20, isn't he?

Just about.

Has he got any folks?

He never said.

W-Where's he from?

He never said that either.

Well, he talks, don't he?

Yeah, he talks. He tells
you what he wants to.


He's quiet, like my boy.

Tate, stop it.

I just said that...

Look, I know this
is hard on you,

but you're making it harder.

Cale's got nothing
to do with your boy.

He's different altogether.

Yeah, he sure is.

He's alive.

Matt, I don't know.

I just... I just don't know.

You mean, he's gonna die?

Well, I mean, I don't know.

Broke his fever and the chills.

I think they were from
shock and exposure mostly.

Those legs.

Well, Doc, I checked him over;

I couldn't seem to find
any broken bones at all.

No, there's no broken
bones, nowhere.

It's just that those legs,

there's no feeling
in 'em at all.

They're cold, no circulation.

You know, I think that
when that horse threw him,

he just must have landed
right smack on his spine.

Maybe those nerves are
just all pinched together

in there or something.

There anything you
can do for him at all?

Well, I'm doing the only
thing I know how to do, is heat.

I just figure that maybe if I
keep heat on there constantly,

the nerves just
might relax a little.

I don't know.

Sure would be encouraging

if there were some
feeling in those legs.

Tate, like you to keep

that fire in the stove
going real good,

because, well,
anything that'll heat...

Bricks, flatirons,
anything at all...

I want 'em kept hot.

Doc, uh, I think Tate
here would like us

to bring Cale back into town.

Well, it's... it's out
of the question.

Cale's gonna be here
quite a while, and so am I.

Maybe we just ought

to get something
straight here right now.

There's no room here
at all for any of us to think

about anything or
anybody but Cale.

Well, Matt, long as
you're doing nothing,

you... you can
fill the wood box.

- Doc?
- Huh?

Oh, Matt.

Must have dozed off, huh?

Yeah, it's morning.

It is? Is that 6:00?

Yeah, I got to be
heading back to town.

Chester sent word out there's
been some big ruckus in there,

and a lot of people are in jail.

Well, okay. You
go on back to town.

Tate and I can
handle everything here.

How is he?

Well, at 5:30, he was just
the same as he was at 4:30.

And just about
the same right now.

He wake up at all?

No, I don't want him to wake up.

I gave him something
to make him sleep.

If he wakes up, he'll just
ask a lot of foolish questions,

and all I'd have for
him is foolish answers.

Yeah, I got a hunch

this whole thing's been
pretty hard on Tate.

Well, I know it is.

I was with Tate's
boy when he died.

But let me tell you
something, Matt, Tate didn't die.

And this is part of living.

Anything I can get
you from town, Doc?

No, nothing.

Not unless you can arrange
for some kind of a miracle.

Who are you?

Why... you're awake.

Who are you?

I-I'm Tate Gifford.

But I-I better go get Doc.

The man with the horse.


How is he, all right?

Well, yeah, he's fine.

He's a good little
horse, all right,

but he sure bounced
me on my tail.

Well, I-I better go get Doc.

Well... hear you
had a good sleep.

Well, it wouldn't have
been a good sleep

if I'd known you
were tending me.

How about trying to sit up?

Why not?

Well, let's give it a try.

Well, now, you gonna do
it or you want me to do it?

Hey, what do you got
under here with me, anyway,

a campfire?

- You feel something?
- Yeah, I feel something.


Right smack on my tail.

Well, now just leave it alone.

That's it. Say, by
gosh, that is hot.

Well, you're trying to bake me!

That's right.

Oh, no. No, leave these be.

Just a minute now.

Hey! Oh, well, you got some
kind of mean streak today?

You felt that, huh?

Feel that, too?

Yes, sir, I felt it.

Why don't you just swing
those legs off the bed.

I don't know about that.

Well, I don't know
about it either.

Why don't you just do it.

Um, you want to lean
on me, boy, you can.

I'll do it on my own.

Wiggle your toes.

Feel a kind of a tingle?

Kind of.

All right... you can stand up

any time you think
you're man enough.

I always forget what
a little runt you are.

Well, I can put you on your
rear right back in that bed

any time I want to,
and don't you forget it.

Someday he's gonna tell us

what tribe he learned
that medicine from.

Put on your pants;
you look awful.

Well, now, you wouldn't trust
me with another horse, huh?

You think you can
get up on that all right?

I'll make it.

Well, Tate, circuit
judge will probably be by

in a couple of days.

I don't know about that, Matt.

Were you stealing that horse?

No, sir.

You sure took
him a long way off.

Had a long way to go.

Mind telling me where
you were bound?

Yes, sir, I mind.

He's got a right to know, Cale.

No, he's just got a right
to know about his horse.

I took him, and I would
have brought him back.

But I'll take that blame, and
you can have me punished.

But as to where I was going,
well, that's my business.

That's my right.

That's kind of interesting,
the way he puts it.

I think we'll just forget
about any charges, Matt.

All right, if that's
what you want to do.

Mr. Gifford, thank you.

Oh, uh, Hank tells me
you'd like to buy that horse.

Oh, well, I'd
like to, all right,

but I'm just a little short
on money right now.

I could use help here.

We could put a price on
him, you could work it off.

I'll have to think about that.

We'd have to have
an understanding.

Well, what kind of
an understanding?

You just lost your
boy, isn't that right?


Well, now I work
good, Mr. Gifford.

Maybe we'd get along real fine.

But I'd just be working for you.

I wouldn't be making
up for your boy.

Well, we could have
that understanding.

You think it over.

Yes, sir, I will.

Well, thanks for the help, Tate.

Well... you and
Doc and... and him,

I guess maybe I owe you a-a lot.

So long.



You, uh, you remember
that Kerry family

broke the axle on their wagon?

Well, the ones who are
moving out to Colorado?

Yeah. What about 'em?

Well, Mr. Miller and
me, we fixed that axle.

And Mr. Kerry paid me for it.

Only, he paid me too much.

Next thing I knew,

they're on their
way to Colorado.

What are you trying to tell
me, that you rode out here

just to pay them their
money back? Is that it?

Well, moving out there
and starting a new home,

they're gonna need their money.

I see.

Seeing as I caused
you so much trouble,

I figured you had
a right to know.

Yeah, thanks.