Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 8, Episode 13 - Us Haggens - full transcript

To avenge the death of his twin brother Fergus, savvy plainsman Festus Haggen forms an initially uneasy alliance with Matt to track down his murderous uncle "Black Jack" Haggen.

(theme music playing)

(both guns fire)

ANNOUNCER: starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.


(horse whinnying)


Well, howdy.

Something I can do for you?

Is anybody else in
the house except you?

Huh, no... my
grandson is over there...

Hey, what are you gonna do?


(dog barking)

- (growling)
- Please, please, boy.

Don't bark, don't bark.

- (muffled whimpering)
- Shh.

- (dog whimpers quietly)
- Shh. Shh.

(horse galloping)


You stay here, Timmy.

(horse whinnying, dog growling)

Easy, easy, boy.

Come on, shh, easy, boy.

That's it. Easy.

(dog growling)

(muffled barking)

Easy, easy...

Don't let on, but there's
someone in the barn.

What makes you think that?

I heard a horse in there.

It ain't one of ours, either.

I can tell by the
way he's acting, too.

All right.

Stay here, Timmy.

All right, come out of there.

Get your hands in the air.

I was standing there studying

whether to just haul
off and shoot you

or talk first.

I'm kind of a slow thinker.

You didn't give me time
to make up my mind.

Timmy, come here.

You're the law, ain't you?

You're probably figuring
on trying to take me in

for killing that
feller in there,

and I ain't fixin' to let you,

'cause I didn't have a thing
in the world to do with it.

Timmy, you know this man?
Did you ever see him before?

No, sir, I haven't.

That ain't the man
that did the shooting.

When did you get here?

Oh, about a hour ago.

I couldn't raise nobody,

and I took a look in there
and seen what had happened.

That old feller in there, uh...

he kin of yor'n, was he?

My grandpa.

Ah, well, that's sure
too bad, sonny, I...

It's awful.


that man took the wagon.

Are you sure?

Well, it's gone.

Bit and the team, too.

Probably trying to
get a good head start

without anybody following him.

What are we gonna do, Marshal?


Doc will be here pretty soon.

We'll bury your grandpa

and then Doc will take
you over to your cousin's.

In the meantime,

maybe there's some chores
you can do around here.

Why don't you go milk your cow?

Boy get a pretty good
look at that feller, did he?

Good enough to identify him

from the bulletin
I got in the office.

Man was wanted in El Paso;
said he was heading for Dodge.

I guess he bypassed us.

He's heading for Wyoming.

What makes you so sure?

Well, that's the only
thing that makes sense

for a feller on the
run that-a way.

Once a man reaches
them badlands,

the best possum
hound in Missouri

couldn't smell him out.

Sounds like you know
that country pretty good.

Like my own ma's cooking.

Well, Marshal,

looks like you got
yourself a real bull to rassle.

You want me to
ride along with you?

Like I say, I know that country.

I could use a good man.

That'll do her, then.

I'll help you run him down
if it takes us a year to do it.

And I'll even shake on that.

All right.

Once a Haggen
shakes on something,

it's just like
swearing on the book.


Festus Haggen.

There's quite a
passel of us around.

Well, now, it just so happens

that the man on
that wanted poster

was named Haggen,
Black Jack Haggen.

He wouldn't be any
kin of yours, would he?

That's your feller,
all right, Marshal...

It's my uncle Jack.

I been a-trailin' him for
pert near two months now.

What are you tailing him for?

'Cause I aim to catch him

and put a bullet
through his head.

Might be a bigger joke
on the kinfolk, though,

if I was to help bring Uncle
Jack in to get him hung.


They'd just never get over it

if I was to do
a thing like that.

Well, let's go get him, Marshal.

(wry laugh)

All right, Festus.

First we got a man to bury.




Up here!

Stout as this water is,

we don't need no coffee in it.

(chuckles) Ah, it'll give
it a little color anyway.

You know, tomorrow morning,

we're gonna have to
backtrack that three miles

and take that other fork.

Marshal, there
just ain't no reason

for all this peering and
plodding and backtracking,

like I might have said before.

You did, several times.

Well, gol-dang it,
then I'll say it again.

What we'd ought to be
doing is heading due north.

When the wagon
tracks keep heading

further and further east, huh?

I told you,

they's 50 miles of
badlands right ahead of us.

Now, a horse can make
it easy, but a wagon can't,

and the minute he
gets around them,

he's gonna head right
straight back west.

Maybe, but it's
still just a guess.

Look, Marshal,

I know where he's a-headin',

and I know right where
he's gonna cross the Platte,

and I know the country
between here and there,

because I rode it
just two year ago

with-with my brother Jeff.

We was looking
for Uncle Jack then,

to give him a message from Pa.

Festus, it's still the safer
bet to follow the wagon tracks.

All right,

we keep on like we been a-doin',

and he'll get to Wyoming,
take hisself a homestead

and have a crop growed
'fore we catch up with him.


Got any other
brothers besides Jeff?

Ain't got him no more.

How come?

(sighing): Well, old Jeff,

he rode out on his
own one morning

to earn hisself a
little spending money.

And I don't know, to this day,

what that stagecoach guard
had his shotgun loaded with,

but it sure did give
old Jeff a bad illness.

Just didn't even
hardly linger none,

you might say.

You the only honest Haggen?

Who said I was honest, Marshal?

Well, you did.

Leastwise, you said you
always keep your word

when you shake on it.

That's a different thing.

Coffee's done.

You want some?

- Here.
- Thanks.


Folks sure do get up
early around these parts.

Well, some folks have to
work for a living, you know.

That ain't part of the
Haggen nature... working.

Well, what is part of
the Haggen nature?

Oh, scrapping, clawing,

and scratching mostly.

You know, when I was born,

I had real big ears.

Me and Fergus both did.

Fergus? Who's that?

My twin brother.

He died... two months ago.

Two months ago?

Wouldn't that be
about the same time

you started tracking
down your uncle?


Yeah, that's right.

Well, anyway, when I was born,

I had them big ears.

Not that they ain't big now,

but they was bigger then.

Pa put me down on the ground

and he said, "Let's see if
he's gonna kick like a mule

or run like a rabbit."

What did you do?

I bit him, that's what I done.

Bit him right on the ankle.

Pa, he just like
to died laughing.

He said, "Well, that
young'un's a Haggen all right...

there ain't no
doubt about that."

You were, uh, born with
a full set of teeth, huh?

No, sir, Marshal.

If I was to tell you
that, I'd be lying.

Took me pert near a half hour

to grow a set of teeth.

You, uh... you Haggens are

a pretty close-knit
family, aren't you?

Just like bees at swarming time.

And yet here you
are, out on the prairie,

helping me track
down your own uncle.

I got reason.

Plenty of reason.

Could be.

If you are out here to help.

Just what do you mean by that?

Well, you tell me you
Haggens stick together,

and I believe you.

Maybe you're sticking together

by one of you staying behind

to help the other one get away.

That the way you got
it figured, Marshal?

Just a guess.

Turn around.

That wasn't real smart of you,

calling me that way,

with your back turned

and your gun over
there on that log.

Well, maybe it wasn't too
smart, but I guessed right.

You guessed wrong.

I told you when I
shook on something,

I'd stand by it.

Didn't I?

Could've changed your mind.

I could.

But I'm fixin' to
tell you when I do.

If I do.

All right, Festus,
that's fair enough.


better put that
back in your gun.

So that's it.

You took my firing pin out.

I knowed you had yourself a ace,

'cause you just don't size up

to do a fool thing like that.

Reckon I better
wrap myself around

a plate or two of them beans,

if we're gonna spend all day

crawling around on
our hands and knees.

We're not.

What are we gonna do?

We're heading north.


Could be, all right.

Could be another
one just like him.

Hills around here are
full of fellers on the run.

Only one way to find out.

You could scout around
here a little bit, Marshal,

and probably collect yourself
a whole belt full of scalps.

Now, Festus...

if this is your
Uncle Black Jack,

it's my job from here on in.

Why don't you stay
here with the horses?

Ride myself saddle-sore

and then miss
out on all the fun?

Well, you must
be joking, Marshal.

Now, Festus, listen to me:

I want to bring in a prisoner,

not a corpse, you know.

I'm not so sure that
that's what you got in mind.

Well, it sure is
what I got in mind,

the same thing as you have.

I've saw myself
plenty of shootings,

but I ain't ever seen a hanging

in my whole life.

All right. Let's go.


That's Dietzer's
wagon, all right.

Jack ought to be there.

Like I told you, it takes a
Haggen to catch a Haggen.

Well, you just let me do
the catching, now, Festus.

He's your setting duck, Marshal,

but I'm gonna circle
around in back,

just in case he
flies off the water.


just remember, I want
to take him alive if I can.

Hold it!

DILLON: Get your hands up.

Who are you?

You're under arrest.



Uncle Jack.


You better drop your gun now,

or I'm fixin' to shoot a hole

right straight
through your head.

You gone crazy?

The man said "under arrest."

You helping the law?

I'm helping myself.

Easy now, Festus.

You always been my
favorite nephew, and...

Fergus come home.

You didn't aim for
him to, but he did.

And he could still
talk, just a little bit.

Now drop the gun.

All right.

Move out a little bit

and give me some elbow room.

Get over against
that wagon wheel.


Why don't we just string
him up right now, Marshal?

It'd sure save
us a lot of trouble.

'Cause he's going back
to Dodge to stand trial.

Well, he'll talk a jury
out of it, sure as sin.

Get your other hand behind you.

FESTUS: You don't
know him, Marshal.

When he gets going,

he's smoother'n the
nose on a newborn calf.

Hey, if we don't get
that bleedin' stopped,

you ain't gonna be
taking nobody no place.

I know it.

Well, go get some
hot water, girl!

Don't just stand
there like a ninny!

Better see if she's got
another gun in there.

(rifle thuds in distance)

She done had some
hot water, the nitwit.

No guns, though.

Don't look like
they been here long,

from the looks of things.

I'm gonna have to cut
that sleeve, Marshal,

to get at it.

All right. Hold it.

Stay away from him.

You're pretty young
to be traipsing around

with a killer, aren't you?

It ain't none of your business.

And he ain't a killer.

Just went to that farmhouse
to get us some food

and a couple of horses.

When he got there,

he already found that
fellow laying there dead.

It so happens there was a
witness to that killing, miss.

You're lying.

That's just the
way he said it'd be

if we didn't get away.

The law's always
been down on him,

making things up about him.

See what I told you, Marshal?

He's really smooth.

I ain't got time for turncoats,


and them that don't stick
by their own flesh and blood.

He ever happen to tell you

he's wanted for
three other murders?

That bullet's lodged right in
there agin the bone, Marshal.

It's... it's gonna take a
sawbone to get it out.

You got a real bad wing on you.

By about tomorrow morning,

you ain't gonna be
doing much flying.

I guess you'll
have to do it for me.

I wonder what your
pa would say now,

if he knew he'd raised a boy

that turned agin his
own flesh and blood.

You been mouthing
off for ten minutes.

Now shut up and eat.

"Real Haggens," he used to say,

"like three peas in a pod:

Festus, Uncle Jack and Fergus."

You shut up about Fergus.

Can't you get it
through your thick head?

He told me what you done to him.

He was lying.

I'm fixin' to kill you, right
where you're standing.


You open your
mouth one more time...

One word, that's all.

I loved that boy
like a June morning.

And you went and got him killed.

Led him into a trap,
and got him shot...

Shot bad, with his leg broke.

And then, when
your horse went lame,

the posse was
right on your tail.

Remember what you said
to him then, Uncle Jack?

'Tweren't like that.

You told him a lame horse

and a no-good kid with
a gimp leg go together.

So you made him
swap horses with you.

Left him to get caught and hung,

or to die on the trail
while you got away.

No, you're wrong.

But he fooled you, Uncle Jack.

He swore he'd live to walk
through his own front door,

and he pert near made her.

He crawled halfway across
the front yard when I found him.

Then he told me everything,
right before he died.

I thought Fergus
got away, I swear.

You say his name one more time,

and I'm gonna empty this
gun right into your big belly.

Go on, say it one more time!

Festus, leave him for the law.

Who'd-a thought, when I
used to watch you growing up,

that we'd ever be
together like this?

Can't be sure of
anything in this world.

I never would've thought a
boy with as much get up and go

as you had,
kowtowing to the law;

doing chores for a
one-arm marshal.

I ain't did no chores
for him, that I know of.

I remember when
you was six years old

and I bought you that pair
of boots, up from Jalisco.

Genuine French
leather, they was.

First pair of boots
you ever owned.

Why, you was so proud of them,

you wouldn't even take
'em off to go to bed at night.

Ah, boots is just boots,
and that is a long time ago.

"Gonna grow up to be
just like old Uncle Jack."

That's what you
used to tell everybody.

I never was real
smart when I was a kid.

Now... here you are,
taking old Uncle Jack in

to get him hung.

(Festus chuckles)

Yeah, that's sure
what I'm doing, all right.

For sure.

Now... that marshal, uh...

he ain't in very good shape
to take care of himself.

You can get his gun
away from him easy.

You just forget
about the marshal.

I done give him my word.

A man's word don't mean nothing

unless'n it's given
to his own kind!

Get up in there, Blue!

You're a Haggen boy,

and Haggens is always
taking care of their own!

Yeah, and some
Haggens talk too much.

You wouldn't have
to do him no harm.

Just thump him a little,
and ride off, you and me.

What about the gal?

JACK: Leave her.

They's plenty of girls down
there in the panhandle.

Why, we could live
good down there.

I could show you ways
of living down there

that you ain't never heard of.

Why don't you just show
me the back of your head?

Them jaws of yours are
flapping to wore me plumb out.

Well, think about it.

For a Haggen boy,
you're on the wrong side.

You mean I'm on the wrong end...

of this wagon.

What's your name?



April Clomley.

Then why don't you just
move over a month or two, April,

and let me sit down?

Tired old bones of
mine need a little rest.

I hope your bones rot.

(Festus chuckles)

Well, I don't think

they's quite as bad
off as all that, but...

Hey, hold it!

Pull up that team!

You move this wagon just
six inches, and I'll drag you

the rest of the way to
Dodge on the end of a rope.

I hate to say this, Marshal,
but I've helped bury men

that looked better
than you do right now.

I don't doubt it.

I thought it might not
stiffen up on me so bad

if I stayed in the saddle,

but it hasn't
worked out that way.

Like I told you, that bullet's
right in there agin the bone.

It's bound to give
you a lot of misery

'fore you're through.

It already is.

I think I'll ride the
wagon for a while.

All right.

(crickets chirping)

(coyote howls in distance)

(coyote howls in distance)

You be quiet.


(groans quietly)

(both grunting)

Jack, no!

(both grunting)

(April screams)

(horse whinnying)

(April screams)

- (horse whinnies)
- What's all the ruckus about?!

I thought you were
supposed to be on guard.

Well, I... The water
bucket was empty,

and I went to...

I checked on him,
though, Marshal,

and I'd have swore
he was sound asleep.

Her, too.

Otherwise, I wouldn't
have went at all.

All right, the
handshake still goes?

Well, of course it does.

You been letting all
this talk of his get to you?

Oh, no!

I-I wouldn't believe
him on a stack of Bibles.

Why, if I'd have had
any notion at all that he...

All right, forget
it. No harm done.

Throw some water on him,

and then get him handcuffed
to that wagon wheel.

That's where he's gonna
stay for the rest of the trip.

He'll have to eat
the best way he can.

How long you known Haggen?

Couple of weeks.

Where'd you meet him?

Oh, he come through.

Just come riding through.

Through where?

West Texas, where
my pa has a farm.

If you can call it a farm.

You just rode off with
him when he left, huh?

This is gonna hurt a little bit.


Yes, I went with him.

So would anybody, if they'd
had the kind of life I'd had.

You know, he's wanted

for at least three murders
and probably more.

You're saying so
don't make it so.

And your refusing
to face the facts

doesn't change the facts either.

Maybe you just don't
want to know about him.

No, I don't.

You wasn't born in
a wagon, was you?

And growed up in a
dirt hut with a sod floor?

Worked till you almost dropped,
and then was slapped silly

by your pa every time
you opened your mouth?

Are you trying to tell me
that that's the right kind of life?

There's other right kinds of
life besides that, you know.

Maybe so, but I made myself
a promise a long time ago:

that if anybody ever
looked at me halfway decent,

then I'd be his slave.

And he did.

He treated me just like I
was as good as anybody else.

You didn't need a man
like him to tell you that.

You may be right.

He probably was a wild one.

He might have even done

some of them things
you said he done.

But I still hope he
gets loose from you.

And if he does,
I'm going with him.

'Cause I made myself
a bargain, Marshal.

No use talking to her, Marshal.

Ain't got the sense
she was borned with.

Who are you to put in?

Traitor to his own
flesh and blood.

You better do yourself
some tall thinking, young lady,

while you still got a chance.

What she gonna
use to think with?

Ain't got a brain in her head.

Kind of pretty,
though, isn't she?

Yeah... if you like that kind.

Fool kid.

Well, at least the horses'll get

a decent feed for a change.

That old man run a real
good spread, didn't he?

(grunting in pain): Yeah.

Yeah, he worked real hard on it.

Him and his grandson both.

What about the boy's folks?

What happened to them?

Died off of small pox
a couple years ago.

(clicks tongue)

Well, this time tomorrow,

we'd ought to be in
Dodge, things go right.

I sure hope so.

You aiming to leave me
chained to this wheel all night?

That's right.

How do you expect a body to eat?

I tell you what.

Let him have one
hand free to eat with.

Keep the other
hand cuffed to that...

that wheel.

Keep an eye on him real
close 'cause he knows this

is his last chance to escape.

He ain't got no chance, Marshal.

I don't figure you're gonna
want me for an enemy,

once I get clear of this thing.

You ain't getting clear.

Now, they ain't
nobody gonna hang

your old Uncle
Jack, you know that.

We're betting they do.

Me and Fergus.


after supper, I want you
to put on that pretty dress

I bought you in Cimarron.

Go to work on Festus.

What do you mean?

Don't ask what I mean

like some nilly schoolgirl.

Do whatever you got
to do to get him working

on our side.

Oh, I can't, Jack.

You can and you will.

Once they get me to
Dodge, they got enough

on me to hang me
three times over.


Please, April?

Well, what are
you doing out here?

What do you want?

Just to talk.

What about?


What do you got
that thing on for?

I just felt like it, that's all.

You like it?


Ten to one, he stole it
off of some dance hall gal.

No, he didn't... he bought
it for me in Cimarron.

Well, then he stole
the money to buy it with.

Festus, what have
you got it in so for him?

Because he killed my brother.

Or just the same as killed him.

Well, I made myself a bargain,

and I can't stand the thought
of him getting hung either.

I don't see how you could,

seeing as he's your
own flesh and blood.

Well, do you think
I like the idea?

It ain't my fault 'cause
they want him for murder.

They ain't nothin' I
can do about it, neither.

Then help him get away.


I don't mean give him a gun.

Just... just give him a horse.

He don't mean no harm
to you and the marshal.

All he wants to do is get away.

Of course all he
wants to do is get away.

Then give him a horse.


Are you sure you
don't mean two horses?

So you can ride off together
to the promised land?

Just the two of
you, hand in hand?

Why, Festus, you're jealous.

Because of you?


You better stay in
out of that hot sun.

I wasn't going with him.

Honest, I'd much
rather stay here with you.

Well, who asked you to?

Now, if that's what you
come out here for, forget it.

Ten to one, he sent
you out here anyhow.

If you want to talk,
go on out there

in the corral and
talk to them horses.

They got about the same
amount of brains you got.


(whispering): You had all
night... what's the trouble?

They watched me
all night, like hawks.

Yeah, but he's gonna
miss them keys soon.

You seem awful
anxious to get rid of me.

It's your last chance, Jack.

I know that.

Well, go on and take the horses.

They're saddled behind the barn.

Take both of them, so
you can't be followed.

Why don't you go on
about your business

before they suspect something?

All right, figure it
out yourself then.

Well, ain't you gonna say good
morning to your old Uncle Jack?


You're, uh, you're
gonna be sorry

that you didn't get in
on the winning side.

Getting hung ain't winning.

Well, lookie here, will you?

Old Uncle Jack's did it again.

The man ain't born
yet that can take me.

Jack, take them horses
and get out of here.

Shut up.

So, you was gonna watch
'em hang me, was you?

Well, you ain't fit
to be a Haggen.

Just like that milksop
brother of yours.

Your pa would be
the first one to say so.

You ain't gonna
watch them hang me

because you ain't
gonna live that long.


Put up your hands.

Go on! Put 'em up!

Now, come down off of there.

Don't try to do
nothing, Marshal.

You can try one thing.

You can unbuckle
that gun belt and drop it.

Real easy.

Now, move aside, Festus.

Kin come last.

(shouts, groans)

(April sobbing)



Anybody let an arm
like this go for three days

ought to have his head examined.

Well, you're right, Doc.

Man like that ought
to have a keeper.

I'm not joking about it.

You could have lost
this arm, you know.

But it's gonna be all right,
that's what you're saying?

Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

I think it will be all right.

But you know whoever
cleaned out that wound

did an awful good job.

Who was it?

That young lady over there.

Put the team in
the livery stable.

DILLON: Thanks, Festus.

Doctor, them fellers you
sent come and got the...

come and got him.

Yeah, well, they'll
take care of him.

Marshal, uh...

what are you aiming
to do about her?

DILLON: Well, I don't know.

Are you fixin' to
throw her in jail?

Well, I don't like to do that.

I don't want her to
leave town, though.

Well, I'll be glad
to look out after her,

and try to find
her a place to stay,

and then I could bring her

over to your office tomorrow,

right after the funeral.

The funeral?

Yes, sir.

Uncle Jack was a Haggen.

I see.

All right, Festus.

Why don't you take
her on down the street

to Ma Smalley's boardinghouse.

Maybe she can put
her up for the night.

Yes, sir.

She's just a green kid, Marshal.

She didn't know no better.

She's real good at heart.

DILLON: Festus, what about you?

What are you gonna do?

Well, I just don't rightly know.

I ain't a Haggen
no more, I reckon,

after what I did.

I'm just gonna have to...

do a little thinking.

(crickets chirping)


Well, he's really at the
crossroads, ain't he?


Wonder which
way he's gonna turn.

I don't know, Doc.

She hasn't told him yet.