Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 8, Episode 15 - False Front - full transcript

A slick city reporter sets out to prove that even a milquetoast can pass for a feared gunfighter, if a few well-placed tidbits of rumor precede him.

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(both guns fire)

ANNOUNCER: starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

♪♪

♪♪

Well, good morning,
Marshal, good morning.

Good morning, Senator.

- How'd you sleep?
- Fine, thank you.

Marshal Dillon,
this is Paul Hill.

Real pleasure, Marshal.



Mr. Hill is a journalist.

He writes articles for
newspapers and magazines.

- Oh.
- Sit down, sit down.

- (bell dings twice)
- Well, about politics, Mr. Hill?

Oh, about anything
and everything, Marshal.

Whatever I think will
catch the public's eye.

He's a good man to know.

Have some coffee?

No, thanks. I had
some this morning.

Well, have you thought about

all the things we
talked about last night?

- Matter of fact I have, Senator.
- And?

I still don't agree with you.

Marshal, I asked Mr. Hill
to be present this morning



for a very good reason.

I want the public informed that
congress is working very hard,

as always, to save money
wherever and whenever it can.

I was hoping Mr. Hill
would be able to quote you

as agreeing with my
ideas on law enforcement

west of the Mississippi.

I see. The senator's told you

about his ideas,
has he, Mr. Hill?

Well, he seems to think

that United States Marshals
aren't much needed.

West of the Mississippi.

The budget of the Department
of Interior could be cut

by thousands of dollars

if we dropped U.S.
Marshals in the West.

I've already promised
Marshal Dillon that I'd personally

see to it that he have a good
job back East somewhere.

Why don't you take it?

It'd be a whole lot safer,
it seems to me, Marshal.

Yeah. Yeah, I expect it would.

From all the
information I've gathered,

I've come to one conclusion.

What's that, Senator?

All these ruffians,
these so-called bad men,

they're purely bluffs.
Most are fakes.

They somehow build up
big reputations up to a point

where they have
everyone scared of them.

Where nobody will call 'em
down, is that right, Marshal?

Senator, that may
be true in a few cases.

A few? Most of them, I'm told.

Anyway, these real
bad men, the real killers,

why not let 'em get
rid of each other?

Why spend good money on
U.S. Marshals to save them?

Well, because for one
reason, a lot of innocent people

may be killed along the way.

Well, can't make you
agree with me, I can see that.

Senator, why don't you
make a trip out to Dodge City?

Maybe you'd convince yourself.

Perhaps I shall,
perhaps I shall.

But I have a lot of business
here in Kansas City.

Sure. Well, I'm catching
the train this afternoon,

so I'll be going along,
unless there's anything else.

Oh, I think not.

I'm just sorry we don't
see eye to eye on this thing.

Well, you come out to Dodge,
Senator, maybe we will. Bye.

Good-bye.

- Marshal.
- Mr. Hill.

(bell dings twice)

(low chatter)

Your pleasure, sir?

- A shot of whiskey.
- Yes, sir.

You're not a city man, are you?

(chuckles): Nope.

Heading back out West soon?

Yeah.

Take me with you.

Well, miss, I, uh, I'm
afraid I'm a poor man.

Sorry to hear that.

So am I.

Well, you didn't get
very far, did you?

Far enough.

- The usual, Jack.
- Yes, sir.

You know, something, Marshal,
Senator McGovern likes you.

He does, huh?

That's what he told me.

Even if you don't
agree with him.

Pretty hard to agree with a man

who doesn't know what
he's talking about, Hill.

But you admitted that most
of these bad men are bluffs.

Very few, and those
that are don't last long.

Now why not? If a man's
bluff's good enough,

I should think everybody'd
stay out of his way.

You know, you ought to take
a trip out to Dodge yourself.

No, I'm serious, Marshal.

If a man is a good enough actor,

if he's got the whole
countryside believing

that nobody can
face him and live,

nobody but a crazy
man would face him.

Around here, maybe.

Oh, people are the
same everywhere.

It's like I say,

you ought to take
yourself a trip to Dodge.

I'd like to.

I'll show you around
if I'm still there.

Well, thanks.

- So long.
- So long, Marshal.

(woman sighs)

Big man, huh?

- But he's poor.
- (Hill chuckles)

Jack, give Rita a drink,
will you? Put it on my tab.

Yes, sir.

Better luck next time, honey.

Well, hello, Hill.

Hello, Heber. How's
your luck holding out?

Never better.

Won every hand in a six
hour poker game last night.

Every hand that
I played, that is.

You gamblers make us
working stiffs look like idiots.

You are idiots.

You don't have to convince me.

I'm on my way back
to work right now.

- See you around.
- Sure.

DRIVER: Huh!
Hyah! Hee! Hee! Hee!

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Whoa!

(excited chattering)

You all right, mister?

Yeah, I'm all right.

I'm awful sorry.

It's a good thing
you were there.

Yeah.

Thanks.

That's all right.

Hey, there, young fella.
That was pretty fast.

It's a good thing I seen it.

You're a natural; a
fella moves like that.

A natural for what?

Prizefighting.

It don't interest me.

How about gunfighting?

I never had a gun in my hand,

but I read plenty
about them fellas.

Is that so? Does
that interest you?

You bet. I'm going West,
too, one of these days.

I want to see some
of them gunfighters.

My name's Paul
Hill. What's yours?

Clay. Clay Tatum.

You, uh, work
regular for this outfit?

Going on two years now.

So I could find you
there if I needed you?

Sure. But what for?

I'll let you know, Clay...

if it works out.

Well, you might work hard,
but you sure don't work long.

Oh... there you are.

I'm thinking of giving it up.

Maybe you're not
such an idiot after all.

Why don't we just find out?

You got something in mind.

I sure have.

Here, we can talk over there.

(bell dings)

(bell dings twice)

All right, what's on your mind?

- Money.
- What?

Your money, Heber.
I want some of it.

Why, sure, Hill. Why
didn't you say so?

I'll gladly make you
a loan. How much?

No, no. No, loan.

I always understood
you were a man

who would bet on
anything, Heber.

Oh, a bet. Let's have it.

Have you ever been out West?

Kansas City is as far
west as I want to go.

Well, you know about
those gunmen out there.

You know the
one's that go around

waiting for somebody
to challenge them?

And they get challenged,
too. It's no life for a man

who's looking forward
to a happy old age.

Oh, I don't know.

Maybe they're just
a lot of big bluffs.

They way I hear,
they're no bluffs.

They're killing and getting
killed day and night out there.

Anyway, that's
what I want to bet on.

Now I've got $2,000
that says I can take a man

who has never had a gun
in his hand his whole life long

and send him out to a place
like, oh, say, Dodge City,

have him wear a gun
and act like a gunman,

and I'll bet you that he can
stay there two whole weeks

without getting killed.

You say a man that never
had a gun in his hand?

That's right. He
works for a grocer.

I'll introduce you to him.

It'd be suicide.

You tell him that. I'll
tell him what I think.

Let him make up his own mind.

Now what kind of fool
would go for such a trick?

A fool whose expenses
we'd pay and who could use,

let's say, $250 to boot.

But we'll let the loser pay
his expenses and wages.

I'll go for that.

Sounds like easy money to me.

Remember, our bet is about a
man who doesn't know how to shoot.

But acts as if he could.

And I'll be in Dodge, too.

I'll be there myself.

We just pretend we
don't know each other.

I'm betting a thousand
dollars this man is killed

within two weeks
after he hits Dodge.

And I'm betting he can
bluff his way right through it.

- You're on.
- (chuckles)

Hey, uh, I know you're not poor,

but isn't a thousand dollars
a lot of money for you?

Oh, you forget,
Heber, I'm a journalist.

Whichever way this goes,

I get a good
saleable story out of it.

(chuckles): Sure, sure.

DRIVER: Huh! Huh!

Whoa!

Can you tell me where the
Dodge House is, please?

Yeah. Down the
street to the left.

It's the best in town.

And what I hear, it's
the only one in town.

Oh, thank you.

(horseshoe clanking)

Uh, excuse me.

Thank you.

(pool balls clattering)

Oh... hello.

My name's Paul Hill.

I'm a stranger here in town.

You don't mind if
I watch, do you?

I guess it's all right.

Thank you.

Nice town you got here.

It ain't ours.

No, what I meant was, uh...

Well, you fellas get to
Dodge City often, do you, huh?

Once a year, with a trail herd.

Up from Texas, huh?

That's right.

Mighty interesting place, Texas.

Mighty interesting people, too.

You been there?

Have you heard of Clay Tatum
being down that way lately?

Who?

Clay Tatum. The
gunman, you know.

I never heard of no Clay Tatum.

You never heard of Clay Tatum?

I thought everybody had.

He's got the reputation
of a real killer.

That's all they were talking
about on the stage from Abilene,

was Clay Tatum.

Where's he from?

Nobody seems to know.

He, uh, moves around a lot.

Well, he's probably looking
for new men to try him.

It's like that with them
gunmen, you know.

They say he's
coming to Dodge City.

Well, here's one man
who's got no quarrel with him.

He can keep his reputation.

Well, I'll tell you, I
wouldn't even say hello

to a man like that,

less'n I had a
shotgun in my hands.

Couldn't agree with you more.

You fellas are absolutely
right on that one.

What'd you say
this fella's name is?

Clay Tatum.

Sounds like a terror to me.

Yeah, I think I'll
stay away from him.

What does he look like?

I've never seen him.

I've just heard about him.

Well, I wonder why
he's coming to Dodge?

Nobody seems to know.

At least, they don't tell me.

Marshal Dillon ain't too keen on
having gunmen around this town.

Yeah, but he generally
don't bother 'em...

unless they start
causing trouble.

Oh, there won't be any
trouble around Clay Tatum.

Nobody's going to
buck a man like that.

Well, I ain't, that's
for danged sure.

I'm looking forward to a
peaceful old age, myself.

Here, bartender.

Drinks all around, huh?

I'm buying.

- Great.
- Thank you kindly.

(coin clatters)

Matt?

DILLON: Yeah.

What are you doing back there?

Well, I was looking
after my prisoner, Doc.

What poor soul have
you got locked up now?

Well, he's a poor
little buffalo hunter.

Weighs about 280 pounds,

soaked up five gallons of
beer at the Lady Gay last night,

tipped over the bar and
kicked six men in the belly

before I got there.

(chuckles) Sounds
like a nice fella.

Yeah.

Why don't we have
some dinner, huh?

All right, fine.

Say, I've been wondering, Matt,
have you, uh, heard anything

about this Clay Tatum
everybody in town's talking about?

Just what I heard
at the Long Branch.

Don't you know
anything about him?

Nope, not a thing.

(door opens)

Hello, Marshal.

DILLON: Oh, Paul Hill.

- When'd you get to town?
- Yesterday.

I stopped by to see you,
too, but you must've gone out.

Oh, this is Doc Adams,
here. Paul Hill, Doc.

- How do you do?
- Real pleasure, Doctor.

He's a journalist
from Kansas City.

Oh. Gonna write up all the
savagery in Dodge, huh?

(laughs): Oh, no.

As a matter of fact,

I'm on my way to
Colorado, eventually.

Harper's wants some
articles about the gold miners.

How's Senator
McGovern these days?

Well, when I left Kansas City,

he was talking pretty
strong about coming out here

and seeing things for himself.

Well, I wish he would.

I didn't have much
success talking to him.

Oh, it isn't that, Marshal.

It's just that if he can
prove to the taxpayers

that he's saving them money,
that makes him a big hero.

We were just gonna
have something to eat.

Would you like to join us?

- Yeah, come on.
- Just my luck. I've finished,

but I will walk along
with you, if you say.

Fine.

(piano music playing,
indistinct chatter)

Yes, sir?

Give me a whiskey.

That'll be a quarter.

Quarter?

I thought it was only 20 cents.

Well, here it's a quarter.

All right.

Hello, stranger.

Hello.

You been in town long?

I just got here.

Uh-huh.

My name's Paul Hill.

Can I buy you a drink?

All right.

Two whiskeys, please, barkeep.

What's your name, stranger?

Clay Tatum.

Clay Tatum?!

Well, I sure have
heard a lot about you.

Everybody here's
heard a lot about you.

Well, this is a real honor,

to be drinking with Clay Tatum.

You know who
this is? Clay Tatum!

Is that so?

Well, you've heard of him.

Yeah, plenty.

Well, if you gentlemen
want another, let me know.

(Hill laughs)

(sighs)

(quietly): Don't act like
such a greenhorn, Clay.

You're a big man here already.

What'd I do?

All that business
about the quarter.

You should've offered to
shoot it out for the extra nickel.

Nobody pushes you around.

Oh. I'll remember.

You better remember.

Well, it's been a real
pleasure meetin' you, Clay.

I'll see you around.

All right.

Guess who's here?

Clay Tatum.

- So we've heard.
- (Hill laughs)

Gentlemen, you know
who that is over there?

Clay Tatum. He
just got into town.

He's awful young, isn't he?

Yeah, and he's not apt
to get very much older.

That's kind of sad.

Well, when you...

think like he's just
another killer, I don't know.

His contribution to this world

is not gonna make too
many people mourn for him

when his number's up.

- Hello, Matt.
- What's up, Kitty?

Doc.

He's here.

Who's here?

Clay Tatum, that young
fella there at the bar.

That's Clay Tatum?

Yep.

Well, how long's
he been in town?

Yeah, I don't know about that.

It's the first time
he's been in here.

Is that so?

You Clay Tatum?

That's right, Marshal.

Well, everybody in Dodge
has been looking for you.

Is that so?

Where you from?

Nowhere. I keep moving around.

Any particular reason for that?

I'm not wanted, Marshal.

You can find out easy enough.

I already found that out.

Tatum, I'll tell you
something: I don't like gunmen.

Well, I ain't done no harm.

Not to you, anyway.

If you'd take some
advice from me,

you'll walk a straight line
while you're here in Dodge.

A real straight line.

What do you think?

You going to run
him out of town?

Well, I don't know, Kitty.

Kind of like to find
out what he's up to.

I think I'll just keep an
eye on him for a while.

Looking for Clay?

Yes.

He don't seem to be around much,

in the daytime, anyway.

No.

It's been ten days now, Hill.

Only four to go.

I know.

If you've been hiding him...

If you're hiding him during
the daytime, the bet's off.

I want that man
exposed day and night.

I wouldn't even get
my magazine article

out of this if I
hid him, would I?

Then where's he
been keeping himself?

I'm waiting for him
now, to find out.

(footsteps approaching)

Hill.

(liquid pouring)

Oh, that's pretty quick.

I can shoot it, too.

What?

I said, I can shoot it.

What do you mean,
you can shoot it?

Drawing fast don't
mean nothing, Hill.

Your gun might as well be empty

if you can't do nothing
with it once it's out.

Oh, so that's
where you've been...

learning how to shoot.

Most all day, every day.

Who's been teaching you?

CLAY: Nobody.

You sure?

Are you calling me a liar?

(chuckling): Hey, you
have changed some.

If you mean I don't feel
helpless no more, you're right.

Now look, Clay...

you've got a big
reputation around here,

you don't have to prove a thing.

I can prove it if I have to.

You'll get killed if you try.

We'll see.

Don't try it, Clay.

I know what I'm talking about.

All you have to
do is act the part.

I'm gonna get me some supper.

Listen, you get smart and
you're gonna get yourself killed.

You do what I tell you.

Because if you don't stay
in town, you don't get paid.

Give me a beer.

DAN: Sure.

Harry, look who's here.

- (coin clatters)
- There you go.

You, um...

you lookin' for a game, mister?

I'm only watching.

Well, you can, uh...

join us, if you like.

I would...

if I liked.

You're kind of unfriendly,
ain't you, mister?

Uh, Dan, that there's, uh...

Clay Tatum.

Oh. I've heard of you.

Did you hear that
I was unfriendly?

I'll tell you something, mister.

I ain't afraid of no man alive.

I don't carry no gun,

so I can't get shot unless
somebody wants to hang.

And if they beat
me over the head,

Marshal Dillon's the next
man they'll have to face.

Nobody's threatening you.

And I'll tell you
something else.

I've heard a lot about you,

but it's been all talk.

Meaning nobody around
here's seen you do anything.

And maybe you're
good with that gun.

Maybe you are a killer.

But it sure ain't been
proven around Dodge yet.

Well, maybe it's time I
showed you a thing or two.

Give me five of
them beers, will you?

(sets coin on counter)

All right.

Now, come on outside.

And you gentlemen
are invited, too.

What's going on?

Beats me.

Take that bench
over there, will you?

Thank you.

(gun chamber clicks)

You give the word, mister.

Now!

Hello, Marshal.

Four out of five.

That ain't so bad, is it?

You sober?

I'd have to be sober to
shoot like that, wouldn't I?

Well, you'd have to be drunk
to shoot on Front Street at all.

What's the matter with you?

I'm just showing these men

I can shoot, that's all.

DILLON: Are you dumb
or just being ornery?

I don't take to
insults, Marshal.

What's the matter with you?

You can't buck him.

Sure, you've got
a big reputation,

but Marshal Dillon's
is even bigger.

Of course, it's none of
my business, but, uh...

Clay, I ought to take
that gun away from you.

You take my gun, I'll be
in big trouble, Marshal.

All right, but next time
you'll be on your way.

Is that clear?

There won't be no more trouble.

They've seen what I can do.

(Hill clears throat)

Hill, just a minute.

Yes, Marshal?

What's your interest
in Clay Tatum?

Nothing in particular.

Outside of not wanting
to see anybody get shot.

Not even a gunman, I guess.

Ah, well, I'm thirsty, boys.

Anybody else?

Whiskey, barkeep.

You're a hard man to find.

It's better that way.

I'm thinking of
calling the bet off.

What?

I heard about Clay's exhibition
on Front Street yesterday.

So?

You've been teaching
him how to shoot.

I don't even know how myself.

He's been doing that on his own.

All right, but now nobody's
gonna challenge him.

Not after seeing him work.

It's funny.

I'm worried maybe they might.

More than ever now.

We don't agree on
anything, do we?

Look.

I bet he wouldn't get
shot, you bet he would.

Now, maybe you'd
like to switch around?

No, we made it this
way, we'll stick to it.

All right.

Two days to go.

See you around.

You bet you will.

Hi.

Oh, hello, Doc.

Well, do you mind
if I sit down here

and join the retired
elite for a few minutes?

Well, just 'cause a man's
doing a little thinking

doesn't mean he's retired.

Thinking? Well, guess
it wouldn't take me more

than about one guess to figure
what you were thinking about.

Oh, yeah? What's that?

Clay Tatum.

By golly, you're right.

You know, from what I've
heard of him and what I've seen,

he's... an odd sort of gunman,

a little different maybe.

Why do you say that?

Well, you know I was in the
Long Branch the night he came in.

He sure didn't scare
anybody that night.

He was mild as milk.

Now I understand he's
getting a little hard to please.

Well, he's walking a lot
straighter than he was.

That's for sure.

Remember this fella I
introduced you to, that Paul Hill?

Oh, that newspaperman
from back East?

Yeah.

Well, this change in
Clay seems to bother Hill.

Now, there's one
I can't figure out.

Hmm.

Well, uh, do you have to
figure it out this minute?

Well, no, not necessarily.

Um, could go in and
have a cup of coffee.

That's kind of what you
had in mind, wasn't it?

Yes, exactly.

(indistinct chatter)

Give me a whiskey.

Haven't seen Clay around.

Neither have I.

He can't get shot if
you're hiding him out, Hill.

I told you I haven't seen him.

Not all day.

Wish I hadn't
taken this fool bet.

Wait a minute.

Give me a whiskey.

- (bangs on bar)
- Come on, whiskey.

Who's the loudmouth?

Take it easy, Farril.

That there's Clay Tatum.

He don't look like
so much to me.

I'd like to hear
you tell him that.

You think I'm a-scared of him?

Of course not.

As long as you're here
and he's over there.

You know he's gonna get
his fool head blowed off?

You're Clay Tatum?

That's right.

Well, they say you're
a pretty hard man.

Well, they don't know.

Not around here.

Not yet.

Well, maybe I can fix that.

Now he's gonna get it.

Here's where I win my bet.

It's your play, mister.

You can save your life
if you walk out of here.

I can?

Well, then, I guess I better.

(scoffs)

(grunts)

(bullets clattering)

(Farril coughing)

I had that thousand
dollars right in my hand.

He'll never get shot now.

Nobody'll dare brace him.

Nobody.

Whoa-ho!

Have a good trip, Jim?

Not bad, Tom, not bad.

Well, Senator, I hope the
ride wasn't too rough for you.

Oh, fine, fine.

I don't think I jolted off
more than five or ten pounds.

You're a good sport, Senator.

Ah, well, I'll be a better
one after a hot bath

- and a nice cold beer.
- Yeah.

Now, if you'll direct
me to the Dodge House.

Oh, just walk on
down the street, there.

You can't miss it.

I'll have somebody
bring your bag over.

Thank you very much.

(sighs)

Marshal Dillon.

Well, Senator McGovern.

So, you got here after all.

Oh, I can only stay
a couple of days.

Well, that's not very long.

I'll tell you the
truth, Marshal.

I don't expect to
learn a thing here.

I only came so that I can say
I've really taken a look around.

Senator, you're a stubborn
man, but you're an honest one.

Honest enough to say I
don't think you're very busy.

Is this the way you spend your
days... hanging around the hotel?

Well, sometimes, you
know, we have to wait

for trouble to start.

Mm, well, we'll see.

Glad to show you around
town any time you're ready.

Uh, no thanks, I prefer to
take a look around myself.

Things seem peaceful
enough, I must say.

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

All right.

Mister?

Never mind.

Hello, stranger.

My name's Nick Heber.

I'm a gambler.

You're new around
here, aren't you?

Well, it's my first
time in Dodge.

Good, good, I think you're
just the man I'm looking for.

Now look, mister, I
ain't exactly a greenhorn.

I ain't looking to gamble none.

But for two dollars, I'm broke.

How'd you like to earn
a hundred dollars fast?

Well, I could use the money.

I ain't so sure about the work.

Oh, there's nothing to it if
you got the stomach for it.

And I think you have.

Somebody cheated
you out of some money

and you want him
killed, is that it?

Yeah.

Yeah, that's it.

Well, go on.

Well, look, tonight
inside there,

you and I will be waiting,

not together, but so as I can
signal when our man arrives

so you'll know him.

You step up, goad
him into a fight.

Make him go for his gun.

Is he a gunman?

Nah, he's a young kid...
He never killed anybody.

The way he wears his gun,
he's got everybody buffaloed.

You could make it
look like self-defense.

(laughs): Well, what if it
don't work out that way?

Look, I want him dead.

If you have to run, your
horse'll be waiting right here.

And where you gonna be?

I'll block the door
so you can get away.

By the time anybody
knows what's happened,

you'll be out there
in the night, traveling.

(laughs)

And how am I gonna get
my money... write you a letter?

Nah, I'll give you the money
tonight before we go inside.

(sighs)

Pueblo's only a few days' ride.

A man could have
himself a lot of fun there

with a hundred
dollars in his pocket.

All right, I'll do it.

I'll see you at 8:00
tonight in that alley there.

Bring the money.

Don't worry about that.

(piano playing,
indistinct chatter)

(cylinder clicking)

♪♪

Doctor Adams.

Well, Senator, how are you?

Fine, fine, thank
you. How are you?

Just fine. I knew you'd be by
the Long Branch eventually.

I guess you plan to see about
every place in Dodge, huh?

My duty, Doctor, my duty.

I suppose so. Oh,
Senator, Miss Kitty Russell.

Kitty, Senator McGovern.

How do you do, Miss Russell?

It's an honor to have
you here, Senator.

First drink's on the
house. What'll it be?

Well, thank you
kindly, Miss Kitty.

A little whiskey
ought to be warming.

Sam.

CLAY: Give me a whiskey.

Whiskey.

Say, you Clay Tatum?

Sorry.

Well, what'd you push me for?

I didn't push you.

You seen him, he pushed me.

(piano stops playing)

- You're a liar!
- (gunfire)

SAM: Miss Kitty! Doc!

DOC: Senator?

Is he hurt bad, Doc?

He's all right. He caught
one in the shoulder, Matt.

DILLON: Who did it?

It was a wild
one from that fella

laying there on the floor.

I want to get him
up to the office.

Senator, come on now.

Take it easy.

DILLON: I'll be along as
soon as I can, Senator.

All right, who shot him?

I killed him, Marshal.
Self-defense.

Kitty?

Sure looked like it to me, Matt.

He threw whiskey in his
face and drew his gun,

and Clay shot him.

All right, it's self-defense.
I can't arrest you.

But you're through
in Dodge, Tatum.

The man tried to
kill me, Marshal.

I never even seen him before.

You go do your killing or get
shot yourself somewhere else.

I want you out by morning.

Now, look, Marshal...

I'd have thrown you
out a long time ago,

but I didn't think
you were worth it.

You had me fooled.

Now get on your way.

(piano playing)

HILL: Who is it?

Marshal Dillon.

It's late, Marshal.

I'll, uh, I'll stop by your
office in the morning.

Hill, I want to talk
to you right now.

I'm in bed, Marshal.

It'll have to wait
till tomorrow.

(doorknob rattling)

You didn't need to do that.

Who's he?

Nick Heber, a friend of mine.

We were just having
a little talk, that's all.

We didn't want
to be interrupted.

Where you from?

Kansas City.

What is it you
want here, Marshal?

You know, ever since
that little shooting exhibition

on Front Street the other
day, I've been curious

as to what your connection
is with Clay Tatum.

I'm a journalist. What would
I have to do with a gunman?

Any gunman?

How do you make your living?

I do a little gambling
every now and then.

You doing some
writing here, are you?

Uh, yes, uh...

Now you got no
business, Marshal.

That's private...

"A good actor is all it takes.
A man who can fool people

"into believing nobody
can outdraw him.

"If he plays his
role well enough,

"he's as safe as though
he were home in bed,

"for who's going to call out a
man reputed to have shot down

a score of killers?"

All right, I wrote the article.

There's no law against that.

I thought you said you didn't
have anything to do with gunmen?

I don't have anything
to do with Indians, either,

but I wrote an article
about them once.

You know, when Clay
Tatum first got to this town,

he was a little
short on confidence,

but he had a big reputation.

Maybe you're
responsible for that, huh?

Oh, you're talking
crazy, Marshal.

I can't prove it, but if that's
your game, you're finished.

Clay Tatum's on his way
out of town in the morning.

If you'll take my advice,
you'll do the same thing.

(door closes)

What'd you have to
leave that stuff around for?

Ah, he was already
plenty suspicious

or he wouldn't
have been up here.

And he's run Clay out of town.

I meant to tell you,
Heber, I saw Clay earlier.

He's going to find some
excuse to stay in town until noon.

Otherwise, I told him no money.

And noon tomorrow
sees our bet out.

Mm-hmm. You can pay
off now if you'd rather.

Make things a whole lot easier.

I'll pay off when I
see Clay still alive

at noon and not before.

Good night.

♪♪

♪♪

(gunshot)

- Well, Senator.
- Marshal.

Doc Adams told
me I'd find you here.

Yes, against his orders.

Told me to stay in bed,
but I don't like staying in bed.

I don't like
getting shot either.

It's like I tried to tell you
in Kansas City, Senator.

These gunmen don't just
shoot each other, you know.

You were lucky.

I'm beginning to believe you.

HILL: Marshal.

Oh, excuse me, Senator.

Morning, Hill.

Morning, sir. Marshal,
could I see you for a minute?

Excuse me.

Well?

Nick Heber's after me.
He's threatened to kill me.

Kill you? Why?

Well, I wouldn't
pay off on a bet.

Now you know that Clay
Tatum was killed last night.

- Yeah.
- And I know that Heber did it.

Your bet was
over Clay, is that it?

Yeah, and then Heber
went and killed him!

- Heber.
- Hello.

Hill here tells me
you're trying to kill him.

He's the biggest
liar I ever met.

He also said you killed
Clay Tatum last night.

He's doing a lot
of talking, isn't he?

Makes a lot of sense.

Marshal, you don't
have proof of anything.

Now why don't you let me be?

Heber...

(gunshot)

Didn't I tell you?! Didn't
I tell you, Marshal?!

I was right. You see?

What's going on here?

Just another gunman, Senator.

Well, he-he doesn't
look like one.

Senator, they come
every which way.

Now, where do you
think you're going?

Well, I'm going up to
pack my stuff, Marshal.

I'm gonna get the first stage
I can back to Kansas City.

I'm sorry to
disappoint you, Mr. Hill,

but you're going to jail.

Going to jail? What for?

There's a circuit judge coming
through here in about a week.

I think he'd like to
hear this whole story.

And being as it was your idea,

I just think I'll let
you tell it to him.

Well, wait a
minute! I don't see...!

Why don't you help
your friend there?

(sighs): I'm convinced, Marshal.

It took some doing,
but you convinced me.

How about having
dinner with me tonight

and maybe you can help me find

another way to save
money for the department?

(chuckles): Be glad to.

All right, let's go.

I'll stop by and pick you up.