Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 8, Episode 26 - Anybody Can Kill a Marshal - full transcript

Two men want to rob the bank in Dodge, but are unwilling to try it while Matt lives. A man agrees to accept the job of killing the marshal, attaching some rather peculiar conditions to his acceptance.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

Been a long time

since I was hustled
out of a saloon.

Well, you'll just have
to hustle yourself out.

Nobody else has
got the strength.

Well, I can remember the days

when Dodge used to
be a wide-open town.

People didn't just sleep.

Do you mind if I say
something personal?

What's that?

Good night.

Good night, Miss Kitty.

Good night, Kitty.

I'll let you out, Marshal.

You, too, Sam?

Sam, lock it up tight.

Sure will. You
turning in, Marshal?

Ah, as soon as I get
through making my rounds.

- Good night.
- Good night.

Don't shoot,
Marshal! Don't shoot!

It's me, Louie, Louie.

Guess you heard the shooting.

Did you see anybody, Louie?

I don't see too good at night.

I'm right here,
though, if you need me.

Yeah, well, thanks, Louie.

That's good to know.

Who was it, Marshal?

Well, I'd give a lot to know
the answer to that one, Louie.

Bushwhackers, huh?

Well, did you get it done?

You never saw
the like of it, Lucas.

He come walking
into that back alley,

tall as a pine, and I
cut him down to a scrub.

You saw him dead?

Saw him fall.

Saw some crates
topple over on him.

Saw that before I rode off.

This is some day, Cleed.

I said I'd kill Matt Dillon.

Yeah, you said that right along.

That town's just
waiting for us now.

You know, they
ain't got locks enough

to put on that bank
if the marshal's dead.

How much you
figure is in it, Lucas?

$20,000, $20,000 easy.

There ain't no sense in
talking about it, is there?

No, no sense, no time.

Hello, Kitty.

You make me sick.

Well, what's the matter now?

I haven't even seen you today.

You keep stalking
around in the dead of night,

you won't be around to see me.

Oh, that. You heard
about that, huh?

Well, I wouldn't have

if I hadn't stumbled
over Louie Pheeters.

Well, now, you see,
uh, I wasn't alone.

Louie was with me.

I just don't understand men.

Kitty, if you don't, I
don't know who does.

It isn't brave, you know,
running around by yourself.

It's kind of stupid.

You ought to get
yourself some deputies.

You mean go running
around in a crowd?

Who's after you? Do you know?

Kitty, when a man's trying
to shoot you from ambush,

kind of hard to tell who he is.

He was riding a
horse; that's all I know.

Well, that means he'll
ride back and try it again.

Well, maybe he will.

You know he will.

Kitty, look, there's always
gonna be somebody.

That's just the way this job is,
and I can't run around and hide.

And believe me, there
isn't a crowd big enough

to get lost in if somebody
really wants to kill me.

You're very comforting.

You've known that all along.

But I don't have to like it.

You know, uh,

maybe what I need is
a... is a woman deputy.

I'll pass the word around.

Don't you want the job?

I told you, you make me sick.


Don't look like much
of a town, does it?

No, it ain't a place I'd
like to spend much time in.

Just enough time.

A couple turns?


- That can't be.
- Mm.

I cut him down, dead.

Looked tall as a pine to me.

I cut him down, I tell you.

Well, he got up.

I ain't gonna stand
for no goading.

If you think you can
do better, you do it.

Oh, just settle down, Cleed.

It stands to reason
somebody's got to do better.

Now, we'll just do a little
more thinking, that's all.

Barkeep, a bottle of whiskey.

A man pounds on the
bar, I move a little slower.

Don't you like business?

I don't like noise.

Well, just a matter
of trying again, Cleed.

I was as close to him
as here to that bar.

I most emptied my gun in him.

Keep your voice down.

I spun him around good.

Then that pile of crates
come crashing down on him.

Why ain't he dead?

He will be.

You just tell me how.

There's a right way
and a right time.

Now forget about it.

Lucas, I listen to you
about most things,

but you just don't know
nothing about this marshal.

Well, I know you missed him.

Wasn't only me.

I can count you five or
six men who tried for him.

Five of them are lying
stiff out in Boot Hill.

The other one ain't
got no right hand.

It only takes one time, Cleed.

A man can't be ambushed,
he can't be killed.

Now, that marshal is just a man.

He ain't no less and he
ain't no more than that.

Well, he might just be more.

He might be just more
than a man, Lucas.

Anybody can kill a marshal.

You go away.

Maybe you don't want him dead.

You didn't hear
nothing, you understand?

I heard.

It don't matter, but I heard.


that was a pretty odd
thing you just said, mister.

"Anybody can kill a marshal"?


Anybody can.

I can.

He's crazy.

What do you got
against the marshal?


I never laid eyes on him,

but I'll kill him... for money.

How much money?



That's a lot of money.

That's my price.

In advance.

How about $200?

I told you $200.

Well, $200 before
and $200 after?

I said before.

I haven't changed my mind.

Uh, so it's gotta be your
way or no way at all, is that it?

You can do it yourself.
It won't cost you a cent.

How much money you got?

Nothing for him.

Think it through, Cleed.

He does the job, and it
won't be us they're looking for.

But if I can't do it, he can't.

Yeah, but just look at him.

You know, he just don't care.

We give him a little money,
he takes all the chance.

Yeah, but if he don't
do it, we're out $200.

Something about him, though.

I think he'll do it.

And once he does, and
there's no law in this town,

a woman could rob that bank.

Wouldn't have to
stop there, either.

What's $200 against
maybe $20,000 cash?

You don't know us, and we
don't know you, understand?

That's true enough.

When you gonna do it?


Why not tonight?

Tonight's mine.

I'll do it tomorrow.

We don't want to see
or hear of you again.

You won't.


- Oh, hello.
- Hello.

Is there something
I can do for you?

I want some cigars, a suit
of clothes and an envelope.

Cigars and suit of
clothes and envelope.

Oh, and a gun. I want a gun.

Well, that's kind of a odd
assortment of things, mister.

They're my needs.

Can we get started?

Oh, some cigars and a
suit of clothes and envelope.

And a gun.

Oh, yes, and a gun, huh?

What do you say we
start with a suit first, huh?

Just step over to the rack here.

Now if it's wear
you're looking for...

Don't matter the wear. This one.

Well, if that's your size.

- Don't matter the size.
- Yes.

Yeah, well, I'll help
you on with this.

It might be right for you.

Yeah, see?

Now... Oh, yes! Oh,
that'll just take a little fitting,

but take it in a little bit
here and a little bit there...

we'll shorten the sleeves.

I ain't long on time.
Can I try on the pants?

Oh, yes. Yes, you can.



Uh, if you try 'em
on back there.

You never know when a
lady will come in the store.

Say, is there any special
kind of a gun you want?


Well, if you could tell me
what you mean to use it for...

For shooting.


It's a good enough fit.

I'll take it.

Do I get any money back?

I was just figuring right
now to see if you do.


Thank you.

Well, by golly, you do
get some money back.

You want to check my figures?

Right to the penny.

Well, sir, I want to thank
you for your trade, sir.

You, uh, got a nice
place of business here.

All right, break it
up. That's enough.

You can cut it out or you
can spend the night in jail.

Make up your mind.

Ain't your fight, Marshal.

I'm making it my fight.

Now go on, get out
of here, both of you.

I'll see him again, Marshal.

You make it in some other town.

All right, folks, break it
up. Go on. Fight's over.

Marshal, you took
care of that fight good.

I guess maybe they just get
tired of beating on each other.

It's kind of dangerous.

Do you have a family?

No, no family.

Well, you took care
of that fight real good.



Bottle of whiskey.

You think we could
get to know each other?

That's a good start.

You want to sit down?


I ought to call you
something, I guess.

I'll be right here.

This is a new suit of clothes.

It's perfectly beautiful.

First one I ever had.


It isn't bad. It really isn't.

You get a new suit,
someone ought to know.

Take in that sky, Cleed.

Stretching out over
the whole world.

Makes everything
seem kind of small.

I have seen skies before.

Might just well look at the sky.

Ain't nothing else
to do but set it out.

I ain't any good at setting.

I gotta be doing.

Nothing for you to do.

Waiting's easy enough...

if there's something
worth waiting for.

And the marshal will
be dead tomorrow.

Oh, something'll happen.
Something'll go wrong.

That little man's
gonna get the job done.

You're gonna see that.

I give him one
chance. That's all.

That's all he needs.

Lucas, it ain't right
you being so content.

Now, I stood close
to that marshal,

as close as that tree,

and I shot him,
only he didn't die.

He didn't even get hit!

You got to stop
thinking about it.

That's all past now.

It's like you threw
water on that fire.

Just like you stood right
over it and poured water on it.

It didn't go out. It just
kept right on burning.

Now, there ain't nothing
special about that fire.

There ain't nothing
special about the marshal.

You put enough bullets
in him, and he's gonna die.

Hey, just about done.

We could drink to an old friend.

To an old friend.

- Old friend.
- Mm.

You fixing to spend all
your time with him, Molly?

He hasn't asked me to.

Well, how long you gonna be?

I want to see you.

As long as the gentleman wants.

That's how long I'm going to be.

Just a couple of minutes more.

I could've called you Molly.

Ah, it doesn't matter.

Can you write?

Like my name?

Or someone else's.

Oh, sure, I can write that much.

Put on it

"Miss Betsy Burgess."



Then put

"Pretty Prairie, Kansas."

"Pretty Prairie...



Well, I thank you very much.

Pleased to have made
your acquaintance, Molly.

I-I kind of hoped
you'd cheer up some.

You earned better than that.

Did you say "gentleman"?

That's right.

I said "gentleman."

About him.



You all right?

Not as bad off as he is.

Why'd you try to kill me?

You don't even know me.

Any of you men know him?

All right, get him up to Doc's.

Somebody better
get you up there, too.

Come on.


Hi, Quint.

How you feeling?

I don't know.

Where's Doc?

Well, he's back there
with that other fella.

Oh, yeah.

I'd sure like to know who he is.

Well, I guess he's the same
fella that tried to ambush you.


I wouldn't be in
too big a hurry.

Uh, Doc took a couple
of bullets out of your leg.

What did he do, take them
out of there with a shovel?

Yeah, that's right.

Why don't you go ahead
and flop around on that table,

maybe you can manage to fall
off there and break your other leg.

Then you'll be in good shape.

How is he, Doc?

He's dead.



Oh. Did he say anything at all?

Nope. Here.

I went through his
coat and everything.

I thought maybe we ought
to try and find out who he is.

"Miss Betsy Burgess,
Pretty Prairie, Kansas."

Just turn it over.

An "X"? What does that mean?

I figure a marshal ought
to be able to figure that out.

That's, uh, an awful
heavy envelope.

Now, there's a
law against opening

other people's mail, you know.

Well, who said anything
about opening it?

Quint, do me a favor, will you?

Keep your ears open around town.

See if you can find out
anything about that fella.

Well, I always
was a good listener.

I'll, uh, check in later.

No hurry, Quint, he's
gonna be here quite a while.

Oh, don't pay any
attention to him.

He doesn't know
what he's talking about.

Well, I see you two are
gonna get along fine, Doc.

Oh, yeah, I'm
looking forward to it.

Why don't you just go on
now and lay back down there

like I told you to?

Doc, you know,

that fella couldn't have
had anything against me.

Somebody must've
paid him to do this.

Well, he don't look
like a killer to me.

No, but he sure looked like
he could use the money all right.

Well, he didn't have any
money on him unless...


Unless that's what's making
this envelope so heavy.

Well, Matt,

if he was hired to shoot you,

it sure looks like you've
killed the only man

who could tell you
anything about it.


You know who's dead, don't you?

The little nobody.

He didn't shoot the marshal?

Sure he did.

Right in the leg.

Folks that seen it
say he limps a little bit,

but he's doing
just fine, thank you.

Now, you just settle a little
and tell me the rest you know.

Oh, it was might fancy, Lucas.

Our little hired killer,
he rode him down

right there on Front Street.

The marshal was walking.

Our fella rode right up to
him and fired point-blank.

And all he could
hit was his leg.

Well, now, he was
hit, that's something.

You're dying mighty
hard on this, Lucas.

I tell you, there ain't
nobody can kill that man.

Oh, you're gone loco, Cleed.

Well, that might be.

I sure feel real spooked.

You just get over
feeling spooked.

He was born, he'll die.

I don't know that... I don't
know that he was born.

He could've just come
up full-growed one day.

- It makes me sick.
- Well, you're making me sick.

You're whimpering
around here like a woman.

You know it, too, don't you?

That marshal's
gonna live forever.

Don't you never say that again.

Ain't it about your turn?

Everybody else has took a try.

I was just coming to that.

I'm gonna kill
him for you, Cleed.

I'm gonna kill him
to shut your mouth.

Hello, Moss.

Oh, hello, Marshal.

Oh, how's your leg?

Oh, it's a little bit gimpy.

That's all right, I don't plan
on doing much walking on it.

Here, let me help you.

Oh, that's all right,
I can manage.

Well, I figured
I'd find you here,

getting ready to do
something foolish.

By golly, you must
be part hunting hound.

You figure he shouldn't
do it, Doc, huh?

Well, I told him he shouldn't
and of course I knew he would.

A little ride isn't gonna
hurt me, you know.

Well, you're gonna find
out about that right away.

And you're gonna find
out about it the second

you get up on that horse.

All right, I'll let you know.

All right, how does
it feel to be right?

Oh, I'm used to being right.

How's it feel to be stubborn?

I'm used to it.

I suppose you're stubborn
enough that you're gonna ride all

the way over to Pretty Prairie
and deliver that letter, huh?

I have to... It's the
only link I've got.

Did it ever occur to you,

you might just be
riding into a trap?


Nothing else I can do.

You want me to get
your buggy, Doc?

Oh, no, no.

No, I just came over
here for the exercise.



Hello, miss.

Are you, uh, Betsy Burgess?

Yes. Who-who are you?

My name's Matt Dillon...
I'm the United States Marshal

from over Dodge City way.


I, uh, kind of like to
talk to you for a minute.

May I come in?

Y-Yes, of course, p-please do.

Thank you.

Your folks at home?

Oh, oh, I only got
Papa and he hires out.

Oh, it's all right if
you sit down, please.

Well, thank you.

You, uh, you walk real
good without a crutch.


Well, Betsy, I
guess this is for you.

For me?

Oh, it must be from Painter.

It's been a long time
since I heard from him.

All that money.

H-how much is it?

Let's see.

It's $250.


Th-That's a lot, isn't it?

Sure is.

Well, he said he'd do it.

He just most promised
he would, but...

but I never dreamed...

Papa told me I
shouldn't count on it.

Count on what?

Didn't he tell you?


Oh, well, well...

Painter used to live
near here, you know.

And... and ever since
I was, oh, a little girl,

we've been friends.

Papa and... and Painter and me.

Painter ain't got
nobody but us, you know.

He said my leg could be fixed,

and that all it took was money.

He said one day there'd
be enough money.

Oh, isn't he the nicest man?

Yes, I guess he sure enough was.

Oh, and here I been
so worried about him.

Papa says he's sick
and that I shouldn't count

on seeing him again.

Oh, tell me, where is he?

Well, Betsy...

your pa was right.

Painter was awful sick, and...

well, I hate to
tell you this, but...

he's dead, Betsy.


I'm awful sorry.


He... he was thinking of
me, though, wasn't he?

You bet he was.


look, uh...

I'm going to have
to go now, Betsy.


Oh, will your leg
get better, too?

Sure, it'll be fine.

Well, I... I'm glad you came.

So am I, Betsy.




Well, he lost a nail.

There's a rock under his shoe.

I'd think he'd favor it.

Yeah, we were
quite a pair out there,

both of us limping around.

It was worth the
trip, wasn't it?

I guess so.

If a fella was hired to kill me,

I'd take a rough ride
to find out about it.

Well, I'm satisfied that
Painter was paid to do it,

and I know why he
wanted the money.

You just don't know who
wants you dead that much.

Good chance I never will know.

What are you
going to do about it?

Well, first I'm going home
to get a few hours' sleep.

Then I'll start
looking into it again.

I'll see you later, Quint.


Funny, ain't it?

That marshal not
being around today?

Well, I looked for him.

I asked what questions I could.

He'll be back in
Dodge by tomorrow.

You went in there to kill him...

he just wasn't
there to be killed.

You twist that into
something, do you?

You've got to kill him...

to shut my mouth.

Y-You said that, Lucas.

You know what I
ought to do, don't you?

I ought to go it
alone from here on

and leave you
talking into a bottle.

You're feared of
it, too, ain't you?

Like me.

There ain't no fear about it.

You ought to admit it, Lucas.

That marshal just...
just ain't-ain't...

ain't never gonna be killed.

No shame in admittin' that.

You calling me
afraid to try for him?

Now ain't you?


Tomorrow, I'll show you.

Now I'm goin' to sleep and
I don't want no more talk.

Hello, Molly.

I couldn't be in any trouble,
Marshal, I just came to work.

No, I just want to ask you a
few questions about a man.

They're all bums.

Well, Molly, this one was...

as I understand it, you spent

most of your time with him,

oh, two, three
nights ago in here.

The name was Painter.

Is that all there is to it?

Well, that's all I know.

Hmm... I don't know
anyone named Painter.

Of course, I don't
always catch their names.


Was he-was he kind
of a-a strange fellow?

Sort of a... a sad man?

Yeah, that sounds like him.

Oh, yes.

Well, he-he bought
a bottle of whiskey.

He had a new suit.

The first brand-new
suit he ever owned.

Well, what else can you
tell me about him, Molly?

He couldn't read or write.

I wrote on an envelope for him.

Well, did he... did he talk
to anybody else in here,

or did he mention
any other names?


No, he hardly talked to me.

He just wanted
someone to sit with.

He couldn't be in
any trouble, Marshal.

No anymore, he's not.

He's dead.


I guess that was it, huh?

I guess he knew that
he was gonna die.

Well, I don't know about that.

I had to shoot him.

He tried to kill me.

Oh, no.

Not only that,

but I think that somebody
hired him to do it.

Well, then, maybe
you won't believe

what I'm going to
tell you, Marshal.

What's that?

He was decent.

I know.

He was a gentleman.

Thanks, Molly.


Why can't you die?

I said, why can't you die?!

You hear me, Marshal?

I said, why can't you die?

I've got a right to know.

If I could just see
it happen once...

I'd believe!

You've tried
before, haven't you?

I told him...

I don't know how many times.

He wouldn't believe me.

I told him...

ain't nobody can
kill that marshal.

I told him.

Who is he? What's his name?

You go find old Lucas, Marshal.

Tell him...

Cleed was right.

We couldn't...

buy you dead...

we couldn't...

shoot you dead.

He'll... he's gonna
have to believe me...


ain't he?

Where is he?


You know him?

Just that he wanted
to kill me, that's all.

Well, everybody
wants you dead...

Nobody gets the job done.

If only I knew who he was,
or why he wanted to do it.

You looking for somebody?

Yeah, I guess so.

I don't know who he
is or what he looks like.

Could be in any
window, behind any door.

Well... I guess there's a lot
of men that'd like to kill me.

One of them's named Lucas.