Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 8, Episode 38 - The Quest for Asa Janin - full transcript

Convinced a convicted man is not guilty of murder, Matt goes on the road after a man who may be the real killer. Along the way, he meets up with a man who offers to help him in his quest, but who turns out to have his own reasons for finding the man Matt is hunting.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

They here already, Matt?

Yeah, stage just
pulled in, Dave.

Didn't waste no time, did they?

No, they didn't.

Well, now, you're about to
lose your number-one tenant.

Oh, excuse me, Louie,
number-two tenant.

Louie, you can go now.

Marshal, ain't this something?

Yes, sir, Marshal.

You take care, hear?

You, too.

Anything I can do.

Thanks, Louie.

Better start getting your
things together, Dave.

Ain't as though I'm
gonna need them, Matt.

You find somebody
who can use them.

All right.

I'm beholden to
you for all you done.

Well, afraid I didn't
do enough, Dave.

Well, so long as you
believed I didn't kill Lucy.

Well, you know that.

I just wish we could have
made a jury believe it.

Way things was, they
couldn't believe no other way.

They had to go on the evidence.

Your standing by me,
though, it meant a lot.

Well, I knew you longer and
better than they did, Dave.

I had the edge on them.


Who'd a figured it'd to
have all turned out like this

the time I met her
in the Long Branch?

Dave, do you have any
relatives or family or anything?

No, there's nobody.

Funny how things work out.

I wasn't even planning on
coming into town that night.

I truly loved Lucy.

I know you did, Dave.

First time I ever
thought of planting roots.

Oh, I'd never have hurt her.

And in time, I would have
gotten her to have me.

Marshal Dillon?

- Yeah?
- I'm from Hays City, Marshal.

I came for the prisoner.

There he is.

Ain't you taking a
chance with him?


Well, I'll play it a bit
safer, if it's all the same.

Seems kind of strange,
from what I heard about you.

I mean, leaving a killer
standing free like this.

There's your release.

Must be true...

folks saying you don't
believe he done it.

Well, the court did.

Enough to hang him, leastwise.

Let's go.


I want you to know that...

I know it's the law that's
turning me over to him,

not you.

The law says this has to be,

and I understand.

And I understand something else.

Wearing that badge
ain't the easiest...

but it's the right
man wearing it.

Thanks, Dave.


Hello, Kitty.

Well, what'd you do,
retire from the human race?

What do you mean?

Well, I haven't seen
much of you lately.

You haven't been
around the last few nights.

Yeah, I... I been busy.

Trying to find a way to
save Dave Ingalls' life, huh?

I'm afraid there's no
way I can do it, Kitty.

Matt, look, I-I know Dave
was a friend and all, but...

all the evidence
said he killed Lucy.

I know.

He was sweet on
her and jealous of her.

Everybody in town knew
it. Some people even say

that he was sore because
she wouldn't marry him.

Yeah. I know that, too.

And they were alone
when it happened.

Yeah, except for the one
that Dave said killed her.

Matt, you've done
everything you could

to prove that there
was somebody else.

But I couldn't do it.

Well, don't you think
you could believe that...

well, that maybe you're wrong,
and that Dave lied to you?

Well, it'd be easier, yeah.

Well, I think for your
own sake, you ought to.

I wish I could,
Kitty, but I just can't.

Look, I've got to get
going. I-I'll see you later.



Marshal... I'm drunk.

Yeah, I can see that, Louie.

Now, go on home, will you?

Can't, Marshal.

I've come to surrender myself.

Not this time, Louie.

I'm too busy.

You know why I'm drunk?

It's Dave.

I liked him.

You liked him, too.

Louie... I'm just too busy

to take care of you right now.

Now, run along, like I said.

You should have done
something for Dave.

You shouldn't have
let them take him away!

Oh, I see you been
in the sauce again.

- Hi, Matt.
- Doc.

No, thanks.

You should've been
giving some of this to Louie.

- Writing a letter, huh?
- Mm.



Matt, do you think it's
gonna do any good?

Well, it might if I
ever get it finished.

Doc, I'm trying to get it
on the afternoon stage.

Well, I...

I just come by to see if
you and Kitty might have...

supper with me.

I'll, uh... I'll be over at
Delmonico's about 7:00

if, uh...


They're gonna hang that
fella in about three days, Leroy,

and then it's gonna be too
late, it's gonna be too late.

Owen, listen, I
say it's too risky.


Leroy... come
morning, I am gonna be

the tallest man
west of St. Louis.

Yeah, well, you just better
ease up on that stuff first.

Lookie here.

Nary a single quiver.

Look, Owen, even with the
edge you think you've got,

I wouldn't face Matt Dillon.

Takes an awful steady hand

to hold a gun on a
man about set to kill you.

- Yeah, that's so.
- Mm-hmm.

How steady you think
that marshal's gonna be

when I tell him I'm the
one that killed that girl

his friend's about to
hang for doing in, huh?

Well, Owen, number
one, you didn't kill that girl.

And number two, what
happens if he don't believe you?

Well, now, number one, a dead
man's confession is no good.

And number two, I think
he's gonna believe me

just long enough to make him
think about trying to wing me,

and that's just gonna
give me time enough

to get him right dead at center.

Mm-hmm. And then what, hm?

- And then...
- Mm.

And then Owen
Pardee is going to swing

a wide loop.

How many you figure is
gonna face down the man

who shot Marshal Matt Dillon?

Asa Janin might.

Yeah, well, he just
might think twice, too.

If he's mean...

If he's mean enough

to kill a woman that
walked away from him,

- he's just mean enough to try you.
- Yeah.

Well, I ain't gonna...

fret about that right now.

Let's go find ourselves
a marshal to kill.

Nah... no, no. No.

You find him.

I'll stand way over to
one side and watch.

Hey, mister.

You ain't paid
for that last drink.

That marshal makes his rounds

the way he has the
past couple of nights,

he'll be along here
any second now, Leroy.

Owen, listen to me.

They can hang you,
you think of that?

Not for a fair
fight, they won't.

He'll have his gun out,
and he'll be gut-shot.

Owen, does having a name
mean that much to you?

It means more than that to me.

I'm tired of being a nobody
people look at and never see.

But, Owen, what
if it don't work?

Now, look, Leroy, if
you're so all-fired scared,

- you get on back to that saloon!
- Owen, if you don't mind...


I'm gonna kill you, Marshal.

Well, that's been tried before.

Not by me.

Who are you?

Name's Owen Pardee.

I'm the one that
killed that girl

your friend's about
to hang for doing in.

Don't shoot me, Marshal!

- Get back here.
- It was Owen's doing.

Get back here.

Get up here.

Wasn't supposed to be this way.

And what's this about
your killing Lucy Firth?

Some of you men get him
up to Doc Adams right away.

Owen! Owen, tell him I
had nothing to do with it!


What are you gonna do, Marshal?

I'm gonna get some
answers out of you.

- But it was Owen! Owen...
- Just move.


Let's have it.

Marshal, it wasn't me
shot you, it was Owen.

But you were with him.

But I didn't...

I knew it wouldn't
work, I had a feeling

and I told him, but no.

He said he killed that girl.

No, Marshal, he
said that to shake you

so's your aim be off,
but he didn't kill her!

- It was one or the other of you.
- No, Marshal, he was lying!

- It was Asa Janin killed her!
- Who's Asa Janin?

Come on, who is he?

Me and Owen and some
others rode with him.

Where can I find him?

We was supposed to
meet him in Valeda, Texas.

Marshal, this piece of lace,

this Lucy?

She was his woman,
and she left him,

and he found her here in
Dodge and he killed her!

Marshal, you got to believe me.

Did you see him kill her?


But, Marshal, he said he did it.

He-he bragged on it.

He said... he said no woman
ever walked out on him before.

He even told us about
the one was with her.

Your friend.


All right.

Marshal, you do believe me?

What does this Janin look like?

He's a big man, and
he wears a patch.

Marshal, you couldn't
miss him for trying.

Get in there.

Marshal, do you believe...

Get in there.


Oh, there you are.

Thought I heard you got winged.

Can I have a look there?

Doc, I'm in an awful hurry.

Well, now, there's...
there's a thing

like blood poisoning, you know?

Sit down here.

Gonna have a look at it.

All right, but make it
as fast as you can, Doc.

Well, that's just a crease.

Well, I could
have told you that.

Well, just the same, I
want to clean it out for you.

Bandage it.

You'll have an awful
sore arm if I don't.

It stings a little.

You sure did a
good job on that fella

you sent over to the office.

What about him?


I heard there was two of 'em.

I've got the other one
locked up back here.

Doc, hurry up, will you?

What the thunder's your hurry?

Well, the first thing I
gotta do is get down

to the telegraph office and
send a wire to the governor.

Well, the telegraph
office is closed,

and Charlie Kruter is
over at the Long Branch.

Just saw him go in there.

What are you wiring
the governor about?

I found out who
killed Lucy Firth.

Well, who?

Not Dave?

No, sir.

Well, who was it?

Now, Doc, it's too long a story,

I haven't got time
to tell you right now.

- Look, do me a favor, will you?
- Sure.

Get somebody to
feed him for a few days

and keep an eye on him.

Sure, I'll do that.
But where you going?

Well, I'm going
to Valeda, Texas.

That's where this
killer's supposed to be.

Is there anything
else I can do for you?

Just tell Charlie to get
over to the telegraph office

as soon as he can.

By golly, I'm sure...

sure glad about Dave.






Sure hope I didn't
startle you none.

Oh, I saw your
campfire from out a ways,

but this being Indian country,

I thought it could be Comanches.

But I smelled the coffee
and I knew different.

You alone?


Well, why don't you step down?

The coffee's hot.

Thank you.

Getting too dark
to ride, anyway.

You sure are a long
way from anywhere.


Nothing like a hot cup of coffee

when there's a bite in the air.

You a lawman?


Yeah, I guess neither one of
us have much to worry about.

I do a little sheriffin' up
in Tulamee, Colorado.

Name is Ward Macklin.


I'm Matt Dillon.

Dodge City?


Looks like both of us are
quite a ways from home.

Hey, you're kind of
out of your jurisdiction

down here, aren't you?

Oh, I ain't on
business, Marshal.

Tulamee don't need my hand much.

Pretty quiet little town.

I take off now and then,

just roam about.

I suppose you're
out on business?


Well, I had a pretty
long ride today.

I was about to turn in.

You mind if I bed
down here with you?

I don't see any reason why not.


Which way you heading?


So am I.

All right if I ride with you?

Well, it's Indian country.

Might be a good idea.

Thanks again.

- Good night.
- Good night.


What's the matter,
can't you sleep?

Oh, I...

little restless.

It's gonna be daybreak
in about an hour, anyway.

We got to heat the coffee.


Well, I suppose as long as
it's gonna get light, anyway...

might as well break camp.


Hold up, Marshal, will you?

Think my cinch is loose.

Where do you figure we are?

Must be in Texas by now.


We must have traveled
further than I thought.

Yeah, we've been pushing them
pretty hard the past few hours.

We covered a lot of ground.

Marshal, you don't mind

if I ride on with
you a ways further?

I mean, I got nowhere in
particular to go, anyway.

No, long as you can keep up.




That's sure what it
looks like, all right.

They died hard.

And a long way from nowhere.

Well, nothing we
can do for them now.

Except to bury 'em.

Well, let's get on with it.

Get out of here.

Lookie here.

Doesn't seem to have it.

Well, you got to
check it all over,

see if it's got any
sores on the...

It looks clean enough.

You get down.
I'll hand it to you.

If I haven't forgotten...

Now be careful with it.

Here, let me.

What do you suppose
is wrong with him?

I don't know.

Could be one of two things.

Either he's hungry,
or needs changing.

We'll check that out first.

See if you can't find a
nice, big, clean cloth.

Might have to boil it.
Make sure it's clean.

Well, go on.



It's all right.



It's a lonely place
to die, isn't it?

All dying's lonely, Marshal.

Can't even mark their graves.
Don't know their names.

Guess we've done
all we can for 'em then.

Yeah, I guess so.

You ever been married, Marshal?

No, I'm afraid not.

It's a great life with
the right woman.

Were you married then?

I had a son, just a
little older than this one.

Both are dead now.

Oh, I'm sorry.

It's all right.

It's been a little while.

I sometimes keep wondering if
the missing them will ever pass.

I'll get the horses.




Oh, oh, oh...



Now, be careful
with him, you hear?

Now, if that ain't
a sight to be seen.

Excuse me.

You the sheriff here?

Now, if I ain't, they're
paying the wrong man.

Is, uh, that there
what it sounds like?

We found him about 15
miles north of here, Sheriff.

Well, ain't nothing
out there but nothing.

There's a couple
of graves there now.

The baby's family.

Oh. Starts him out kind
of low on the pole, don't it?

We were hoping
there was somebody

around town be able
to take care of him.

Well, I suppose so.

He ain't been fed
in quite a while.

Well, I tell you what.

Down at the end of the street,

turn to your right,
third house down.

Tell the wife I'll
be home directly.

I'll be right back.

You know, the older a
man gets, it seems like

the harder these
dad-blame sniffles hang on.

- You want some coffee?
- No. No, thanks.

That's sure too bad
about that young'un's kin.

What happened?


No, don't worry. The
baby doesn't have it.

Oh, yeah.

Well, I don't reckon you'd
be bringing that down on us.

What's your name?

Name's Matt Dillon.

I'm the marshal
over in Dodge City.

Mine's Hank Colridge.

You've ridden a pretty
fair distance, Marshal.

I'm headed for Valeda.

Ever been there before?

No, I never have. What
can you tell me about it?

Just don't go riding into that
place wearing that badge.

Makes folks there kind of itchy.

They may use it for a target.

See, that, uh, Valeda's
a real sink hole.

Lawmen ain't too
common a sight there.

And, uh, for sure, you
wouldn't be exactly welcome.

How far is it?

It's about a
three-hour ride, south.

Thanks for the advice.

Hey, uh, if I thought
it'd do any good,

I'd give you some more advice.

What's that?

You and that deputy of yours

keep a close watch
on each others' backs.

Even without wearing that badge,

uh, some of them folks
can sure smell a lawman.

Thanks, Sheriff.


That's funny.

Leaving his deputy.

Welcome to Valeda.

Not often we see
a new face in town.


Give me a beer.

No tengo cerveza,
pero tengo whiskey.

All right.

Oh, I beg your pardon,

but that's, uh, my
friend's place at the bar.

And that's my place.

Manolo, pour here first.

The stranger don't mind waiting.

Do you, stranger?

What did I do that for?


The odds aren't
very good, amigo.

Thanks for the welcome.

We'll be seeing
each other again.

That's likely.

Yeah, that's more than likely.

I sure didn't think I
was needed that much.

What are you doing here?

Well, it was the
way I was headed

when we got run out of Bromley.

Let's take a table.

I'll get a bottle.
It'll look better.

A bottle and a couple glasses.

Tell Asa Janin we're here.

Janin, señor?

You just tell Janin
that a couple of friends

of Leroy and Owen
Pardee are waiting for him.

This stuff'll probably
burn holes in your boots.

All right, let's have it.

Have it?

You followed me down here. Why?

Why don't we just say

that we were traveling
in the same direction?

You mean to tell me,
you were in Dodge

at the time I killed Pardee?

That's right.

How come you didn't
tell me about it before?

I was gonna tell you, but...

There's your man... Asa Janin.

What do you know
about Asa Janin?

Look, you want to get
him out of here, don't you?

You're gonna need my help.

You can ask all the
questions you want to later.

Here he comes.

I understand you've
been looking for me.

You Janin?

That's right.

Sit down.

Manolo tells me your
friends of Pardee's.

Where is he?

He's on Boot Hill
back in Dodge City.


And there's a gun
pointed right at your belly.

You make one move,
I'll kill you right here.

Who are you?

I don't think names would
mean anything to you.

What do you want?

We're taking you out of here.

You're what?

Back to Hays City.

That'll take some doing.

No, it won't.

'Cause you're gonna
come along nice and easy.

Am I?

I got a lot of friends in here.

All I got to do is call out.

Go ahead.

Get on that horse.

You leaving town?

That's right.

It's time we finish
what's been started.

It's finished, as far
as I'm concerned.

Come, now, man, you
know that's not true.

Look, there's no need for this.

Ah, but there is.

I may never see you again.

That way I'd never
know for sure.

All right, move.

Come on, move!

Well, fine, then, Sheriff,
you'll get those wires off

as soon as the telegraph
office opens, right?

Yup. One to the
warden in Hays City

- and one to the governor.
- Thanks again.

Hey, Sheriff, how's
the baby doing?

He's doing fine.

Take good care of him, hear?

Have a good trip to Hays.




I'm sorry, Marshal.

I'm not gonna let you
take him back to Hays City.

What are you talking about?

I'm gonna kill him.

Kill him? What for?

He's the one that
murdered my wife and son.

Oh, I've looked for him
for a long time, Matt.

A long time.

I've lived only to find him.

With him dead, maybe I can
start remembering my family again.

I see.

That's why you
followed me all this time.

I was following Pardee
and the other one,

but you changed
that in Dodge City.

Ward, you can't do this.

For one thing, he's
the proof I need

to keep an innocent
man from being hung.

Sorry, Matt.

Ward, you've been a lawman
all your life... you can't do it.

He's gonna get hung as soon
as he gets to Hays City anyway,

you know that.

My wife and son...

I'm not gonna let you do it.

I'm gonna do it, Matt,
even if I have to kill you.

You can ride away
now, if you want.

I'm not gonna do that.

Well, as long as you're
gonna shoot me...

why don't you shoot
me in the back?



How does it feel, Marshal?

I'll be standing on this
leg at your hanging.

Well, I'm getting tired.

Be sure and wake me early, huh?



Maybe next time, Marshal.

There isn't gonna be
any next time. Move.


Now, get back over there.

Don't you worry about me
sleeping any more tonight.



Hello, Marshal.

Well, we got Janin locked up.

- How's your leg?
- Oh, it's fine.

Fine. The doctor said
it's gonna be all right.

Say, I'd like to go
and see Dave Ingalls.

Uh, sit down, Marshal.

Well, no, thanks, not right now.

I'd like to see Dave first
and tell him about Janin,

that he's gonna be a free man.

Well, is something wrong?

Dave Ingalls is dead.


He was killed trying to escape.

It happened before your
first telegram ever came.

I... I tried to contact you.

There's nothing
I can say, I know.

No one was to blame.

There was nothing
to be done, except...

try to stop him.


I want you to know...

I know it's the law that's
turning me over to him,

not you.

The law says this has to be,

and I understand.

And I understand something else.

Wearing that badge
ain't the easiest...

but it's the right
man wearing it.