Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 8, Episode 7 - The Ditch - full transcript

A young woman who's heir to her father's land decides to carry out his plan to build a ditch that will impair her neighbors' access to water and perhaps trigger a range war.

(theme music playing)

(both guns fire)

ANNOUNCER: starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

(crickets chirping)

(horse sputters)


(woman sighs)

Want me to get you a drink of
water or something, Miss Susan?


No, thank you, Chester.
I don't want anything.

What's he doing in there?

It's been almost an hour.

Well, you got to leave
it to Doc, Miss Susan.

Whatever there is to
do, he'll know what it is,

and he'll do it.

I thought he was a
little better this morning.

He almost recognized me, but...

Well, your pa ain't as
young as he used to be.

40 years of
fighting the prairie.

Any odds, all comers,
no holds barred.

He built this ranch
out of nothing, Chester.

(clicks tongue)

Old Bart's a fighter, there's...
there's no question about that.

They don't make
men like him anymore.

He should've had
a son instead of me.


there's just something that...

medicine can't
do anything about,

and that's time.

Did he know I'd come home?

Well, I think he did, yes.

But he didn't say so, did he?

He didn't even come to.

(sobs softly)

(sobs softly)

What a waste.

To fight for a dream and...

to find a way to make it
come true, and then to...

and then to die
before it's fulfilled.

Miss Susan, if you're
talking about that ditch

that Old Bart was
fixing to build, well...

well, he couldn't have
finished that anyway.

The homesteaders
wouldn't have let him.

That'd be taking their
water away from them.

I don't see it that
way, Chester.

Daddy didn't know I'd come home,

and he's not gonna
know I'm doing this,

but I'm still gonna make
his dream come true.

I'm gonna go
ahead with that ditch.

Susan, uh, you've
been away quite a while.

Three years, isn't it?


Well, now, maybe some
things have happened here

that you just don't
know anything about.

Oh, yes, I do.

I know the squatters
are objecting.

Not squatters.

Homesteaders and farmers.

And "objecting" is a
little too mild a word.

I've got a perfect legal right

to tap into Bart's Creek
and to turn it onto the ranch.

Oh, I suppose so.

But, you know, when you
push people against the wall,

and-and threaten
to wipe them out,

legal rights and rulings don't
mean very much to them.

Susan, if you try
to finish that ditch,

be a lot of bloodshed.

The crew starts back to
work the day after the funeral.

(sobs softly)


(people chattering quietly)

Somebody you know?

Not by name.

Just by type.

Too clean to be a cowhand,
too restless to be a gambler.

Looks like a
professional gunman.

Well, I hope he's
drifting through.

(sighs) How are you?

Hello, Doc.

Sit down, Doc. You look tired.

I am, by golly.

Want some coffee?

That'll be fine.

How's Mr. Bart?

Well, he's gone.


It was just a matter
of time with him.

Well, how's Susan taking it?

Just about like you'd expect.

With her jaw set
and her fist clenched,

just like she takes everything.

Afraid that might mean
trouble for you, Matt.

She's determined to finish
that ditch Old Bart started.

What makes you think so?

Told me so, flat out.

Won't listen to any arguments.

Well, I always thought
that when Bart died,

that'd be the end of it.

You'd think so, wouldn't you?

But with her, I have a
feeling from what she said,

it's a guilt complex with her.

She can't forgive herself for
running away three years ago.

Mostly, she don't
forgive herself

for not coming home in time

for Bart to know
it before he died.

I think she feels like
she owes him something.

I'll tell you, I don't
like the sound of that.

This could be the start
of a range war, real easy.

Those farmers aren't
fighters by nature,

but they're plenty
desperate right now.

I'll tell you one thing.

If a range war
starts around here,

we're gonna wish we had
three doctors in this town.

(chickens clucking)

(birds chirping)

Well, anybody gonna
say anything, or not?

You gonna go on
swallowing your tongues

while your wells run dry
and your cattle lay dying?

What's it take to wake you up?!

Now, Trent, no
need to get all upset.

We're all awake.

Well, you don't look it!

Well, maybe we
just don't believe in

troubling trouble till
trouble troubles us.

It's troubling you already.

Listen, them crews went
back to work this morning.

In three months’ time, or less,
they're gonna connect through.

They're gonna turn the
course of that stream,

and there won't be enough
water over here to wet your big toe!

She may give up and
drop the whole thing.

She won't!

Why do we want
to declare war now?

Susan Bart's
already declared war.

I'm just asking you
to defend yourselves.

Reckon we'll
wait a while, Trent.

See how things work out first.

Yeah? Well, you
go ahead and wait.

You just go ahead and
wait; in six months’ time,

not one of our farms are
gonna be worth a plug nickel,

unless you stand
and fight right now!

Sorry, Trent.

What's it take to
make you see that?

(tools clanging)

(people chattering)

Hyah! Hyah!

(chattering continues)

You know, we could
start another section,

put about 20 more men
around the bend there.

It'd speed things up.

Uh, Gonzales can't get any more.

He's tried everywhere.

(Susan sighs)

The sooner we connect
through to that creek,

the less chance of
trouble with squatters.

I figure they're
mostly talk, Miss Bart.

Hope you're right.

Look at there.

Well, the law has finally
honored us with his presence.

Susan, how are you?

I'm fine, thanks, Marshal.

Oh, have you met my
foreman, Hank Davis?

Davis, how are you?

Fine, Marshal.

I was sorry to hear
about your father, Susan.

What's on your mind, Matt?

I imagine you can
guess, can't you?

Mm-hmm. You came here
with a lot of good advice

about how I should give up
this work and forget all about it

just because some squatters
down on the flats don't approve.

Well, that's one
way of putting it.

A pack of Johnny-come-latelies

who never had the nerve
to come to the frontier

until Dad and men like him
made-made it safe for them.

Now they want to take over.

They don't want
to take over, Susan.

They don't want to
die of thirst, either.

Then they'd better move on.

They had their day in court.

If you'd like to
see the papers...

No, I don't have
to see the papers.

I don't question
your legal rights.

Then what's there to talk about?

With you, everything begins
and ends with the law, doesn't it?

Three years ago, as I remember,

you made quite a
speech about the law.

How bringing it to the frontier

was worth a man's whole
life and everything in him.

How it didn't leave
any place for a woman.

Susan, you got the biggest
ranch in Ford County.

What more do you want?

A ranch has got to grow,
like anything else, or it dies.

Anything wrong with that?


Where's it coming from?

It's coming from up in
the hills there somewhere.

Want us to go after
them, Miss Bart?

- Yes!
- Now, just hold on a minute.

I don't want any killing
here on either side.

I'll handle this.

If you'd handled things right,
it wouldn't have happened.

It seems to me that the law's
job is to keep trespassers off,

not tell me how to run my ranch.

Señora, please.

Miss Bart, the men quit.

They will not work.

Oh, but you can't quit!

We not come here to be killed.

You won't be, I promise you.

Go back to work.

You and your men will be
protected, I promise you.

If the law won't do it, I will.

The best protection
money can buy.

With hired guns?

Call them guards, to
protect private property.

I think I'm within my rights.

You may be within
your rights, Susan,

but you're also a
hardheaded little fool.

Go back to work, please.



How are you, Matt?



Wind kind of failing
you today, is it?

Yeah, most days. (laughs)

Dry farming's a poor
way to make a living, Matt.

How's your ma?

Oh, she's tougher than a boot.

Harder she works,
the younger she gets.

Well, that's a pretty
nice rifle you got here.

Yeah, well, I don't
have much use for it,

except for varmints.

You know that, uh, horse
of yours got a loose shoe?

Oh, yeah.

Well, I'll have to look
after that after a while.

I picked up his track down
in the wash, couple of miles.

Well, I was riding, uh,
up there a while back.

Didn't hear some rifle
shots back in there, did you?

Near where they're
digging that ditch?

No, I can't say I did.

Anybody get hurt?


(chuckles) Poor
shot, sounds like.

Well, I don't know.

I'd say, might be
a pretty good one.

Whoever fired it was just trying
to scare those men over there.


Well, hello there.

How are you?

Well, fine, Mrs. Hawkins.

I haven't seen you
for quite a spell.

No, I don't get out
this way too often.

How are you?

Oh, tolerable, thanks.

Well, I got to get
these eggs candled.

Stop by when you can, Marshal.

Sure thing, ma'am.

(door opens, closes)

Trent, you can't go
up against Susan Bart.

She's got everything
on her side.


The girl who always
gets what she wants.

'Bout the only thing
she ever missed on

was you and me, Matt.

Well, how do you
stand on this thing, Matt?

She's got the law on her side.

I got no choice.

This farm here, such as it is,

six years of my life in it.

I don't have much
choice, either, Matt.

That how the other farmers feel?

Well, that's how I'm
trying to make them feel.

It won't work, Trent.

She's got all the big guns.

She's out hiring
private guards right now.

Protection, she calls them.

Hired guns?

Well, that might be
just what we need.

Maybe now, my friends will
see they have to fight or go under.

You'll be going up
against professional killers.

I'm sorry, Matt.

I'm sorry we're
on opposite sides.

But like you just said,
there's not much choice.



Mr. Dillon.

You know, it makes
you just about half sick.

What's that?

Well, the way
people are talking.

All you can hear
about is the ruckus

that's brewing
up over that ditch.

Eh, townspeople are
safe on the sidelines.

Besides, most of them never
seen a range war, anyway.

Well, they're sure wondering
what side to cheer on.


Uh, Susan claims
I'm on Trent's side,

Trent accused me of
being on Susan's side.

Looks to me like no matter
who wins, you're gonna lose.


There any way of stopping it?

Well, been poring through
these papers all day,

trying to uncover something
the lawyers might have missed.

Mr. Dillon?

Look here.

That's kind of unusual, her
coming in town alone, ain't it?


Miss Bart?

Yes, that's right.

I'm Leif Crider.


I want to talk to you.
Will you come inside?

Miss Bart.

Who's buying?

I am.

Come on.

Keep an eye on
things, will you, Chester?

I'll be back.

Well, we seem to be honored.

Matt, this is Mr. Crider...

Yeah, I know Mr. Crider.

Eight killings.

All in different towns,
all bought and paid for.

Mr. Crider said he
had never met you.

You seem to have taken
quite an interest in him.

I'm interested
in any hired killer

that comes into Dodge, Susan.

Am I wanted for any of
those killings, Marshal?

If you were wanted
for any of them,

you'd be down in a
jail cell, not sitting here.

Someone jumps a man,
he's got to defend himself.

How about that offer, Miss Bart?


why don't you get out of
Dodge while you're still alive.

Well, now, Marshal, I've
been in a lot of towns...

Bigger towns that this, even...

And I always rode on...

when I got good and ready.

Oh, and I always left healthy.

Dodge may be the
town that changes that.


We'll find out.

I'll be at the ranch late
this afternoon, Miss Bart.

I could use another man.

I can get you another man.


Bye, Marshal.

You don't care what
you do, do you, Susan?

Long as you get your way.

Not always.

I didn't three years ago.

But now I'm holding the cards.

Did you ever stop to think
what you're gonna win?

If you win.

(crickets chirping)

(horse approaching)

All right, Trent.

Everybody vote?

(murmurs of assent)

Hello, Matt.


Hello, Marshal.

We was just voting, Matt.

Susan Bart hires
professional killers,

it's the same as a
declaration of war.

We got together
tonight to decide whether

to turn and run
or stand and fight.

Any of you men ever
been in a range war before?


None of you, huh?

Well, I'll tell you something:
I have, and it's no fun.

It starts slow, and
it builds like a fire.

Burns the decency out of
men, leaves them like animals.

They know what to expect, Matt.

You know what it was like
in Morgan County, Trent.

You were there
the same as I was.

That was a range war
that lasted five months.

When it was over,
there wasn't enough men

left alive on either side
to bury their own dead.

Is that what you
men want to get into?

Marshal, I'm an old man,

and I never been
much on fighting.

But when somebody hires a gunman

to force me out of my
own home, (chuckles)

win or lose, I've got to fight.

We already voted, Matt.

And we all know what
side the law is on, Marshal.

I reckon your advice ain't
gonna do us much good.

A white rock means
we turn and run.

A black rock means
we stand and fight.



That's it.

Hold her steady.

Good shot.

That's good shooting, boys.

Oh, thanks, Ma.

Get a cool drink.


Matt, I want to report
some missing property.

Uh, stolen, I think.

I had a couple hundred
pounds of dynamite in my barn.

Bought it a couple days ago.

It's gone.

I don't suppose you
have any idea who took it?

All right.

You've officially
reported it missing?

Well, I'll be in
town rest of the day,

in case you locate it.

Kind of figured you would.


Get the horses, Chester.

You think it's
starting, Mr. Dillon?

It's already started.

(door opens, closes)


Chester, look around for
that dynamite, will you?

Yes, sir.

You must have been
misinformed, Matt.

I'm not doing a thing
you can interfere with.

In fact, I'm all alone.

You mind if I come in?

No, not at all. Come on.

My father always
offered a caller a drink,

whether he welcomed
the visitor or not.

No, thank you.

All right.

(Susan sighs)

Do you know what the farmers
are doing down there on the flats?

Barricading their
houses, buying guns.

(chuckles) That's ridiculous.

I'm not planning an invasion.

Crider and his friend are...
just guards, nothing more.

As long as the squatters
stay off my property,

nothing's gonna happen.

Susan, do you know there's
200 pounds of dynamite

planted around here
somewhere on your ranch?

Am I supposed to believe that?

Trent Hawkins bought
it earlier this week.

Then he came in town this
morning and reported it missing.

That gets him off the hook

in case there's any
question about it later.

Now, he's been making a point
of being seen around town today,

so I figure this
must be the day.

Trent wouldn't try to kill me.

No, he wouldn't, but his
men might get out of hand

and try to act on their own,
just the same as yours might.

Well, that's just scare talk.

Nobody could possibly
plant a dynamite charge here

without one of the ranch hands
or the guards seeing them do it.

(explosion in distance)

At least they didn't plant
it under the house, Susan.

Not this time.

(door opens, closes)

(crickets chirping)

What does Gonzales think?

CRIDER: It'll take
three weeks to clean out.

It filled in a hundred
yards of ditch.

Three weeks, that is,

if they don't set off another
blast in the meantime.

(sighs) Well, that's what I'm
paying you to prevent, isn't it?

You're paying me to
protect your work crew,

and that I can do...
They're all in one place.

But there's 30 of them
farmers, two of us,

and 60 square miles of ranch.

Oh, maybe Matt's right.

Maybe I just ought to drop it.

It sure surprises me to
hear you talk that way.

I didn't figure
you for a quitter.

I'm not a quitter.

But sometimes a thing can
cost more than it's worth.

You've got a lot of
good land there...

Or would be, if
it was irrigated.

It'd be worth 50 times
as much with water on it.

I know all that, Crider.

But it's not worth getting
blown to pieces over.

Nobody's gonna get blown
to pieces if we move in a hurry.



Throw a scare into them.

Especially that Trent Hawkins
fellow that's prodding them on.

No, I don't want any
bloodshed... Not anybody's...

And I'm not authorizing
anything that will cause it.

Do you understand?

Yes, I do, and
I'll take care of it.


You're a mighty pretty
woman, Miss Bart.

As pretty as I've ever seen.

No offense meant.

Thank you, Crider.

Good night.

(door opens, closes)

(chuckles softly)

(horse neighs softly)

What she want us to do?

Eh, she doesn't know.

I'll have to do all the
thinking from now on,

or we'll be out of a job.

She ready to give up, huh?

Yeah, she's ready to give up,

but we're not ready
to let her do that yet.

It's a big ranch, Waco.

We might just end
up owning a hunk of it,

if I can plan it right.

Well, then we'd
better get to work

on them squatters right away.

First thing to do is to get
them all together at a meeting.

Long Branch tomorrow morning.

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

Come on, we got
some figuring to do.


Undo your gun belt, real easy.

Hold it, Trent.

Hold it.

Get his gun, Waco.

You're not alone, Trent;
you've got some friends here.

We was told you
called a meeting, Trent.

When we come here,
they was waiting for us

just like they was for you.

What is it you want?

Just to have a friendly
little meeting, that's all.

We, uh, we don't
like being shot at

or having our ditch blowed up.


Did Susan Bart send you here?

Is there some doubt
about who I'm working for?

It won't work.

We don't scare that easy.

Now, you see, you
got the wrong idea.

We didn't come
here to scare you.

Yeah, well, what'd
you come here for?

To hear you make
a little speech,

'cause I understand
you're pretty good at that.

What kind of speech?

I want to hear you
tell your friends

that there'll be no more
trouble down there at the ditch.

Now, you got just ten
seconds to start talking.

Yeah, well, how about you
just give me back my gun,

and we can step outside, and
you can draw against me instead?

Five of them seconds
is gone, Trent.


I'm mighty disappointed in you.

If you don't start
talking right now,

you're gonna go walking
out of here on one foot,

'cause I'm gonna
blow the other one off.

Yeah, well, if I catch you,
I'm gonna kill you for this!

Stubborn man.

DILLON: Hold it!

Now drop 'em.

(guns clatter on floor)

Miss Kitty.

I should've known why
you sneaked out like you did.

You dirty little...

Now get out of here.

Both of you.

The time's not right, Marshal.

Any time's right for me, Crider.

Like I told you,
maybe this is the town.


Hey, Kitty...

It's all right, Matt.

All right, you men, you come
and get your guns back now.

I just can't
figure it out, Matt.

Susan Bart's not like this.

Well, once a thing
like this gets started,

it can be pretty
hard to control.

It's out of control now.

She can't handle
a man like Crider.

She thinks she can.

Yeah, I know.

Well, she needs
some straightening out.

How are you at paperwork, Trent?

What kind of paperwork?

Helping me and Chester make
out about 30 maps for homesteads.

What's it all about?

Way to settle this whole mess.

That is, if Judge Blake doesn't
change his mind before morning.

He's going over the
papers again right now.

A way to settle it?

- Without bloodshed?
- Without bloodshed.

Come on.

They're just dead set
on causing bloodshed.

And I figured you ought to know,

or I wouldn't have bothered
you this time of night.

I wasn't asleep.

Are you telling me that
Matt and Trent teamed up

and-and jumped you, without
warning and for no reason?

They was laying for
us in the Long Branch.

Pulled their guns before we
even knew what they was up to,

and took ours away from us.

The marshal done that when
I reaches for my glass of beer.

They'll try anything to stop me.

Some of them other
farmers was there, too,

all talking how it ought to be
easy to wipe out your ranch.

Let them try it.

I'll give them more trouble
than they ever knew existed!

I'm with you all
the way, Miss Bart.

Oh, it ain't the job
anymore or the money.

I just can't stand back and see
them do you the way they are.

And hear them talking
about you that way.

What way?

Well, it was that Trent
fella mostly and the marshal,

laughing and telling
stories about you that-that...

Well, I'd-I'd rather not
repeat them, Miss Bart.

Course, I knew they wasn't true.

You're just too fine a woman.

They're liars!

Them two's your whole trouble.

If they was put out of the
way, the rest of them squatters

would turn tail
and run for cover.

No, Crider.

I'm not giving orders to have
anybody killed... not anybody...

And I never will.

Do you understand?

Perfectly, Miss Bart.

But I just hope the
marshal don't try to do

what he threatened to.


To ride onto the ranch
here and drag me off to jail,

as soon as he figured
out some charge.

Oh, and got some
witnesses ready to lie for him.

They want to leave
you here alone

without no protection, I guess.

They better not try it.

They better not.

Don't worry, though, Miss Bart.

You just leave everything to me.

Well, how'd she act?

Cool as ice.

And smart as sin.

She won't put anything in words.

That way, if
anything kicks back,

she figures to be in the clear.

I don't know, Crider.

Maybe we'd be going too far if
we'd shoot that Hawkins woman.

It'll bring the
marshal out here,

and Trent Hawkins with him.

And that's what I want.

And she really
wants them killed...

Trent and the marshal?

Both of them.

She done everything
but lay it right on the line.

(lively chatter)

- (lively chatter continues)
- MAN: Hey, wait a second,

you got something to say to us?

- Chester?
- Wait a minute!

Judge Blake's been up all night.

He says just to go
ahead with them.

Good. Oh, that's real good.

Is it all right if I
give these out?

Yeah, take them out.

(lively chatter
continues outside)

Judge says it'll probably have
to go through the courts later,

but now the best thing to do

is just let them go ahead
and file their claims.

Yeah, well, that'll be
about five minutes from now

when the land office opens.

MAN: All right,
let me have mine!

(lively chatter)

Here you go.

Now, what in
thunder is all that?

Is it an Indian
attack or something?

Well, it's more like
a land rush, Doc.

It's awful early in the morning
for a commotion like that.

Now, don't tell me you got up on
the wrong side of the bed again.

- I ain't been to bed.
- Well, neither have I,

- as far as that goes.
- Oh, I don't doubt that.

You probably been carousing
around again, as usual.

I work for a living.


By golly, there's Ma.

Well, I reckon she's wondering

why I didn't come
home last night.

What's the matter, Ma?

- Son!
- Ma!

Get Doc quick.

- Let's get her inside.
- Come on, Ma.

Well, bullet's lodged
in her shoulder there.

It's not too serious,
but it's got to come out.

Can you, uh, help
her up to the office?

- Oh, sure, Doc.
- Fine, you bring her up there.

- Son...
- Ma, now, you just...

you just take it easy, Ma.

I drove them off, son.

They shot through
the windows, and I...

I grabbed the
rifle and fired back.

I don't think I hit them,
but I drove them off.

Do you have any idea
who it was, Mrs. Hawkins?

Well, it was about
midnight, and real dark,

but I'm almost positive
it was those two gunmen

that Susan Bart hired.

I'll get the horses, Mr. Dillon.

Come on.

Give me your hand.


I'll take a look in
the bunkhouse.

(uncocks gun)

Well, there's nobody in there.

Maybe they're
all out at the ditch.

Maybe they got scared and left.

No, not Crider, not
without trying to get even.

Let's check the house.

Most visitors come
to the house first.

Or were you planting
the evidence?

What evidence?

Crider said you'd be out,

as soon as you
thought up a charge

and told your
witnesses what to say.

Where is Crider?

Doing his job, I suppose.

Trying to protect my workmen
from your cutthroat friends.

Mind if we go inside?

(chuckles): Won't
you all come in?

Well, did you all come out

to let me in on some of
those off-color stories about me

that they think are so
funny around the saloons?

Susan, I don't know
what kind of stories

Crider's been telling you,
but I've got something here

that I'm afraid is gonna
come as kind of a shock to you.

(chuckles) I've
already been shocked...

When you all changed
and turned against me.

This is a map of
your ranch, Susan.

This is a copy of the deed.

I've been studying this
deed over for several days,

and I took it to Judge
Blake this morning,

and he gave me a ruling on it.

(chuckles) I suppose
you're gonna tell me

that I don't own the ranch.

No, you own the ranch...

Most of it... all except
for about ten square miles

down here along
the south border.


Well, you see,
when the government

made a grant of this
ranch to your father,

there hadn't been
much surveying out here.

So the boundaries of the
ranch are defined mostly in terms

of natural landmarks.

All right, what about it?

Well, it means that the
south boundary of your ranch

is defined as running along
Bart's Creek, right here.

- Yes?
- Now, if you cut in with your ditch,

it's gonna change the
course of this creek,

and it moves your south
boundary two miles north.

All the land south of there

becomes automatically
open to homesteading.

30 claims were filed
on it this morning,

and there'll probably
be more by now.

Well, that's just downright
stealing, nothing else!

You were always in
favor of legal rights,

as long as they
were on your side.

There's nothing legal about it.

And I don't believe
one word you've said.

Well, then you'd better
go talk to Judge Blake.

If those squatters put
one foot on that land...

They won't... until the water
starts running in that ditch.

From that minute on,
they got valid claims,

and the law's
gonna back them up.

If my father were alive,
Matt, you wouldn't try this.

Just because I'm a woman,

you think you can
get away with murder.

Well, I'll teach you different.

How, by hiring more
gunfighters like Crider?

By the way, what have you
decided to charge him with?

Attempted murder.

He shot Trent's mother.


Matt, I'm sorry, I didn't...

- (gunshot)
- (Susan grunts)

Get her inside!


(gunfire continues)

(bullet ricochets)

All right, hold it!

Drop the gun!

Go on, drop it!

How's Susan?

Chester's going after Doc.

You warned him this
might be the town.

It was.

Hmm. You know, that
Crider was some gunfighter.

He made two moves
and winged two women,

all in the same day.

You know, times have
sure changed, Matt.

Well, how is she, Doc?
She gonna be all right?

She's fine, she's young,
she's strong, she...

She wants to see you right away.

Oh. Well, is it all
right if I go in now?

Sure. Go on in.

What does she
want to see him for?

Well, I expect she
probably wants to apologize.

Maybe she wants to get back
at least one of her homesteads.

(chuckles) Well, I'll
tell you something.

Here's one she's not gonna
get, unless she pays for it.

Well, you filed a
claim, Doc, huh?

I sure did. Do you know what
irrigated land's gonna be worth?

That might even pay
me for some of the fees

- I've missed in the past.
- (Dillon chuckles)

How about you, Chester,
did you file a claim?

No, I didn't. I was
going to, but I...

- (Doc chuckles)
- Did you file one?


Yep, well, it's too late now.

You know, when
they heard about this,

they just swarmed
around that land office

like a swarm of bees.

No, there's none left; too late.

Well, I'll be doggoned.

Yeah, I'll tell you, that's
gonna be worth something.

Well, I'm gonna run
on into town, and I...

I just might stop by and
have a look at my property.

(Dillon chuckles)

If that don't beat all.

I just never seen
it fail, Mr. Dillon:

them that's got just
always seems to get.

Matt, Chester, I want to
talk to you for a minute.

Well, sit down, Susan.

Thank you.

(Susan sighs)

I guess this...

jolted me to my senses.

Besides, I had a
little time to think

while Doc was on
his way out here.

Matt, I've been very selfish.

Trying to finish Daddy's dream

and not considering
the homesteaders.

I was just doing what I
thought he wanted done.

I don't know what he'd do now,

faced with the alternative of
losing ten miles of land, but...

it doesn't matter.

I'm running the
ranch now, and I've...

I've got to make
my own decisions.

It was Daddy's dream, Matt,

and it died when he did.

Now I've just got
to find my own.


you're doing the right thing.

Thank you, Matt.

Oh, Susan...

thank you.

Good-bye, Trent.

Good luck, Susan.

Thank you.

- Susan.
- Good-bye, Chester.

Mr. Dillon?

Does-does that mean that...

them claims aren't no good?

That's about the
size of it, Chester.

Doc's sure gonna
be surprised, ain't he?

(Dillon chuckles)

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