Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 8, Episode 9 - Phoebe Strunk - full transcript

A band of ne'er-do-wells, led by their mother, see in town a young woman that pleases them and decide to take her by force.

(theme music playing)

(both guns fire)

ANNOUNCER: starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

Now, where you going, Annie?

You'd be surprised if I
brought home enough catfish

for dinner, wouldn't you?

Why, I'd be real pleased.

But you're sure you
ought to go fishing alone?

Those fish aren't big
enough to eat me, Ma.

(gentle laugh)


Ned, what do you think?

You think it's safe for Annie
to go fishing over there?

Oh, sure, this
ain't Injun country.

But don't you go far.

We're getting a late
enough start this morning.

I won't, I promise.

Now, don't you worry, Ma.

I'll worry until
we get to Dodge.

That'll be tomorrow night.

Thank goodness.

I'm gonna miss being out here.

We're mighty lucky, Ned.

Ain't many got a
daughter like that.

Or a wife like you.

Thank you, Ned.


It's all right.

There's a woman with them.

Look at her.

And... (stammers) look at them.


What you carrying in that wagon?

Our things. Why?

Take a look, Oliver.

Now, just a minute.


Just how many people did you
think you could shoot, mister?

Here, Casper...

this un's better'n your'n.

What do you want here?


NED: What makes you
think we have money?

Oh, we don't expect much,

but everybody carries a little.

Hey! Hey, I found it, Ma!

Right here, 'hind the seat.

You pilgrims is all alike.

You even hide your poke in
the same place, time after time.

Same place.

You mean you make a
living out of robbing people?


Now, look, you have our
money; take it and leave.

Don't. Please.

Please don't.

Why not?

What do people like
you got to live for?

Doggone it, Ma.

If you kill them, we
got to dig ground.

No, we don't.

You find anything in that
wagon worth keeping?

Ah, just a lot of junk, Ma.

The horses are worth
something, I reckon.

All right, boys,
let's get it over with,

then you can put
them both in the wagon.

Hold it, Matt.

What's the trouble?

Ah, these antelope are slipping.



We get back to Dodge
and tell them our game

fell off the packhorse,
nobody'll believe us.


- Let's go.
- Yep.


Look like Indians?

It could've been.


A man and a woman.

What do you think?

It's hard to tell.

If the woman was old, the
Indians would've left her.

Well, there's no use trying
to track them from here.

People using
this trail every day.

Why don't you get that
canvas off the antelope.

We'll... we'll bury them.

All right.


Whew! This is hot work.

Ah, you men.

It's too hot in the
summertime to cut the wood,

and too cold in the winter.

If Mother Nature
did things right,

she'd have growed this tree
just stow-size and no bigger.

(woman laughs)

Then little boys would never
grow up to be strong men.

I got my growth, Rosie.


What's the matter?

There's something
in that brush out there.

You stay here, Rosie.

I'll go root it out.

No, Sam, shoot from here.

Well, now, Rosie, I can't
shoot at what I can't see.

Wait till I find out what it
is, then I'll start shooting.

By heaven, you
come out of there.

Come on out!

Don't shoot me.

Please, please don't shoot.

Well, I'll be.

Why, you poor child, ain't
nobody gonna harm you.

Why, you look half-starved.

Who are you? Where'd
you come from?

Never mind that now, Sam.

Let's get her
taken care of first.

Now, you come on with me.

I'll fix you a bite to
eat and give you a bath

and fix you up a little, huh?

Come on.

Sam, Annie, dinner's ready.


Now, what are you
two doing out here?

It's a cage.

Pretty good one, huh?

I'll put you both in a cage

if you don't wash
up for dinner now.

She means it, Annie.

What's the cage for?

Remember this morning at
breakfast, we were talking,

and I said I'd never had a pet?

- Yes.
- Well, Sam's gonna catch me one.

Now, what kind of
a pet needs a cage?


I saw a mother and a
baby down by the river.

Day before yesterday.

And he says he can catch one.

And we'll keep it
here till I tame it.

Isn't it wonderful?

Well, I should say so.

And they're the cutest
little things in the world.

Yeah, we'll finish it
this afternoon, Annie.

You hungry?


It didn't take her
long to recover, did it?

- Sam, it ain't right.
- What ain't?

This child needs
some decent clothes.

We need some
things in Dodge, too.

Why don't we take the wagon
and go in tomorrow, huh?

Well, why not?

What do you say, Annie?

You don't have to buy me things.

What better we got
to do with our money?

Get off your horses
and come over here.


Oh, here.





Now, I want you boys to
get into that there saloon

and start drinking.

And if you're any kind of men,

you ought to be
broke in about an hour.

Then I'll meet you at
Delmonico's for dinner.

Is that clear? Is
there any questions?

You just remember one thing:

I raised you boys
to be gentlemen,

and I aim for
you to act like it.

Now, get in there.

Hey, fellas! Look!

She's something.

That's a real pretty
little thing, huh?

Like a little bird.

What's the matter with you boys?

That's just a little
old farmer girl.

Now, you get in there and talk

to them saloon girls
like men, you hear me?

Go on.


Hello, Doc.

Well, you look
mighty comfortable.

Well, I'm not.

Oh, well, uh, maybe I can
get you a pillow or something.

Suppose you drank
up all the coffee, huh?

By God, there's
gonna be a revolution.

Revolution? Where?

Right here, in this country.

That's what it says
here, this editor,

and I agree with him.

Unless they do something

to get rid of that man
in the White House.

I thought you were the one

that voted for that man
in the White House.

Well, he tricked me.

Just like he did a
lot of other folks.

He hasn't done anything
he promised; nothing.

Well, now, I was just
out there on Front Street.

I didn't see any signs
of a revolution out there.

You know, you haven't
got the faintest idea

what I'm talking about.

What you ought to do,
instead of sleeping half the day

and carousing around
most of the night, like you do,

why, you ought to read a little.

And keep yourself
informed, like I do.

Well, why don't you inform me?

Well, I'm trying to.

What this man here
says, in essence...

And it's true...

Is that what's wrong with our
economy here in this country

is that there's an awful lot
of wealthy folks back East

that are hoarding all the money.

There's none of
it in circulation.

Well, I know how we
can help the economy

and improve your
disposition at the same time.

Let's take some of that
money you're hoarding

and put it into circulation.

Subscribe to a different paper.

Your own.

Hiya, Marshal.

DOC: Well, Sam. Rose.

Hi, Doc. Marshal.

Hello, Rose. Sam.

Annie, I'd like you to
meet Marshal Dillon.

Doc Adams.

Annie Shields.

Well, how are you?

- How do you do?
- How do, Annie?

Well, wouldn't you
ladies like to sit down?

- All right, thank you.
- Thank you.

DOC: Miss.

What can I do for you, Sam?

Well, we'd like your help.

We want to adopt Annie.

And we don't know
how to go about it.

Legally, I mean.

I see.

Well, I think that's a problem

for Judge Brooking,
don't you, Doc?

Well, yes, I'd say so.

Well, I tell you, he'll be
by here in a week or so.

Why don't you stop back then?

- We'll talk it over with him.
- That's fine.

Uh, I don't recall anybody
with the name of Shield

around here, miss.

Are you from Dodge, here?

Well, we were on
our way to Dodge...

when my family was killed.

That's where I saw you.

You saw me?

ANNIE: You and another man.

You rode up to the
wagon later, after it burned.

Just like I told you.

These two men rode up and I hid.

Then I got scared and ran.

Up Oak Creek, Marshal.

Annie went out fishing,

and when she came back,

her wagon was burned
and her folks were dead.

Somebody killed 'em.

I'm awfully sorry
about that, Annie. I...

I'm sorry we didn't
see you out there, too.

Well, I walked and walked...

until I found Sam
and Rose's place.

I rode out to the
wagon next day.

I saw where you buried 'em.

Well, Annie, you, uh...

you sure you don't have any
idea who might have done it?

You didn't see
anybody out there?

Well, I was down
at the stream fishing,

and I heard some shooting...

but I just thought my
pa had seen some game.


we better be getting along now.

The rest of our things'll be
ready over at the general store.

Well, Annie...

I'm awful sorry about
what's happened to you,

but... it's real nice that you
got people like Rose and Sam

to... kind of help you.

Thank you, Doc.

Well, look, why don't you
all come on back next week,

and Judge Brookings'll be here.

We'll... we'll talk
it over with him.

Well, that's one
date we'll keep.

All right, Sam.

Bye, Annie.

ANNIE: Thank you.

Oh, wait a minute here.

- Forgot this.
- Oh, oh, thank you.

I'm not used to having one.

Sam just bought it for me.

Thank you again, Marshal.


Hey, barkeep.

- What'll it be, fella?
- I'll have one more of the same.

For all of you, huh?

I'm the one that ordered it.

- Well, I know, but...
- Then get it!

They do what they want to do.

Hey, barkeep.

One more of the same.

- Just for you, huh?
- Why, sure.

Look, do we have to
go through this again?

All of you want another
drink, is that right?

I might have another.

- (barkeep grumbles)
- Maybe I will, too.

Yeah, you're right, she
really is a pretty little thing.

- Like a little bird.
- Yeah.

You don't hear her
begging for no free liquor.

- Let's take her with us.
- That's a good idea, Hulett!

You want to come with us?

Don't come near...
Don't touch me!

- You're gonna come with us.
- No. No!

- Grab her!
- No! No...!

Hey, let that girl loose!

ANNIE (gasping): Don't! Oh!

- Now what do we do with her?
- Let's take her to the horses.

(Annie squealing, gasping)

(Annie screaming)

ANNIE: Let go! No! Please!


(Annie screams, gasps)


Here, you put that girl down!

My boys getting a little
out of line, Marshal?

Out of line? I'm
gonna throw 'em in jail!

Well, there ain't no
necessity for that.

I'm their ma... I
can handle them.

You rotten scum!

I ought to tear your hides
off and salt you down!

I'll have at you later.

I raised my boys to
be gentlemen, Marshal.

I won't have it no other way.

You folks all right?

All right, I guess.

Sure do thank you, Marshal.

Well, I'm sorry about this.

Let's go, Rosie.


You mean one of my
boys hit that poor man?

- What's your name?
- Phoebe. Phoebe Strunk.

These are my boys.

This is Casper,
Simsie, Hulett, Oliver.

(low, indistinct chatter)

Their pa is dead.

Where are you from?

Well, it ain't where
we're from, Marshal,

it's... it's where we're headed.

San Francis...

San Francisco, Marshal.

My boys is gonna be sailors.

Sailors, huh?

Well, they's a harbor
there, ain't they?

And ships?

All their lives, I've been
wanting them to be sailors.

We've had some rough
times, and it's a hard trip west,

but we'll make it.

Won't we, boys?

Sure, Ma.

Well, I'll tell you something,
maybe San Francisco

can use you and your boys, but
we don't want you around here.

Where are you camped?

Upriver a piece.

All right, you get out
of Dodge and stay out.

Next time I see you around
town I'm gonna throw you in jail,

- and that includes you.
- You wouldn't dare!

You better get out of here right
now before I change my mind.

Boys, let's go!

This ain't a fittin'
town for decent folks.

Well, you gonna leave, Oliver?

Come on.

(coyote howling in distance)

That's the last
firewood I'm fetching.

Boy, you'll fetch firewood
all night I tell you to!

All right. I'm sorry, Ma.

- Ma?
- What?

I-I done lied to
you this afternoon.

About what?

Remember we-we
was leaving Dodge,

I-I said I was going hunting?

You didn't get nothin'.

I followed them people.

What people?

Well, you know... The
ones that has a little gal.

I knowed it, I
knowed it all along.

You sure are sneaky, Oliver.

Now, that ain't fair, Ma!

Him going off after
her, alone like that.

Now, shut up, all of you!

Why, I never seen a bunch of
men go so hog wild over a woman!

What's got into you?

Well, she's so pretty, Ma!

Like a little bird.

I don't know why we
couldn't take her with us, Ma.

Maybe it ain't too late.

How about it, Ma?

Can't we take her to
San Francisco with us?

Yeah, come on, Ma, huh?

Well, uh... I reckon we can.

I never could deny
you boys nothin'.

She can cook and clean up.

When could we go get her, Ma?

Let's go get her now.

I'll let you know
when you can go.

Right now we're going to sleep.

Go get my bedroll.

You heard what I said!

Come on, come on.

Dinner's on the table!


Think maybe she barbecued
a side of beef, Annie?

I sure could use it.

Sorry, Sam. It's hominy grits.

- Oh, no!
- (laughs): I'm joking.

Come on, you'll see.

(chuckles): Hey...

Stew... that's one thing
I never could get tired of.

Well, all I did
was watch it cook.

It's really Annie's stew.

Hominy grits...

Well, I can make them, too.

Well, don't you go
making 'em around here.

(Rose laughs)

You say grace, Sam.

Bless us, O Lord,
and these, Thy gifts,

which we are about to receive,
through the bounty of Christ,

- our Lord, Amen.
- ROSE: Amen.

And thank Thee, Dear Lord,
for giving me Sam and Rose.

And help me repay them
for all their goodness.


We thank Him for
giving you to us, Annie.

Annie, how about some stew?

Where you going
this afternoon, Sam?

Twin Buttes.

There's a well up
there needs digging out.

You mind if I come along?

That is, if you don't
need me around here.

If you bring your own pick.

You go ahead and
go along, Annie.

It'll be good for you.

(horse neighing in distance)

Who's there?


You women stay inside.

Sam, what is it?

What do you people want here?

Now that ain't very
neighborly, is it?

- (cocks rifle)
- I don't aim to be neighborly.

One rifle against four.

You ain't got a chance.

Maybe not, but I'll sure do
some shooting before I go down.

There she is.

What's your name, honey?


I told you women to stay inside.

We don't aim to harm nobody.

Leastwise, we won't as long
as you behave yourselves.

Hulett? Hulett!

Yeah? Yeah, Ma?

Get in the barn
and saddle a horse!

Rest of you, get down.

You men get back on them horses.

Now hand your
rifle to Oliver, mister.

And do it nice, for
the women's sake.

Now take him in the house.

You want I should set
fire to the place, Ma?

There'll be no
burning this place,

not now, nor any other time.

I thought I made
myself perfectly clear!

You, Annie, you
come on over here.

What are you gonna do?

Please, let her be.

Do as I say, you don't
want to see them two shot.

What do you want?

Take 'em in the house.

Don't hurt them.

We ain't gonna hurt nobody,

long as you do as you're told.

Here's a horse, Ma.

Where is everybody?

Take it, honey.

They're in the house,
you go join 'em. Take it.

Please, what are
they doing in there?

Well, now it's like this, Annie.

You do what you're told,
and they won't get hurt.

And they do what they're
told, and you won't get hurt.

Now get mounted and follow me.

Get mounted.

Those boys was right.

You're gonna be a
big help around here.

You know how to cook?


You got to remember
one thing, Annie.

You don't do what you're
told or you try to run away,

well, you're gonna ride
back and shoot your folks.

Now you wouldn't want
that to happen, would you?

- No.
- No.

But how long do I
have to stay here?

Don't trouble
yourself none about it.

(brush rustling)

There they are.

You didn't say how
long I had to stay here.

Well, that depends
on how well you do

what you're supposed to do.

What did you bring me
here for in the first place?

For company, Annie.

For company?!

My boys took a shine to you,

and I decided a new face
around here wouldn't hurt none.

What did you do?
You didn't hurt them.

You didn't, did you?

We just told 'em to be quiet.

Told 'em not to do no talking.

That way, you won't get hurt.

You could have told them
that outside the house.

Well, we had to look
for money, didn't we?

You robbed them?!

Of course we robbed them.

I'm sorry, Ma...
Only a few dollars.

Every little bit helps.

Uh... Ma, I-I... I want
to take Annie fishing.

All right, as long as you bring
her back in time to cook supper.

I promise.

- Hello, Quint.
- Good morning, Matt.

Wait a minute.

Where you, uh, where you headed?

Oh, I'm going upriver a ways.


I'm gonna check on
Phoebe Strunk and her boys.

I keep wondering if
they're still around.

I thought they went
to San Francisco.

If they have, that's good.

Well, could you
use a little company?

I thought you were
a working man.

Well, just when I don't
have anything else to do.

I like to stretch
my legs a little bit.

Well, good. I'll meet you
at Moss Grimmick's stable.

- Right.
- All right?

Hey, Ma...

looks like we got company.

Yeah, it's that marshal.

We're in trouble.

We ain't in no trouble.

What if he's looking for Annie?

You tell Simsie to keep her hid,

then to come back
here like nothing's wrong.


you got to keep
Annie hid out a spell.

What for?

Marshal's coming to visit.

The marshal...!

We think he's come to find her.

Now, you hold her!

(muffled scream)

PHOEBE: Well...

morning, Marshal.

What you doing out here?

Eh, just came out to see
if you were still around.

We're still around.

Sit down and have some coffee.

No, thanks.

You ain't still
bearing us a grudge

about what happened
the other day,

are you, Marshal?

Where's the rest of your family?

Well, there's Hulett.

Is Simsie still fishing?


Simsie's catching our
supper for us, Marshal.

Down by the river.

Where'd you get this?

Uh, that's my purse.

Now, I asked you a question,
I want a straight answer.

Where'd you get it?

Oh, well, Marshal,

you know that little "squirmish"

we had in town the other day?

Well, Casper, he
took a liking to it,

and then he just
took it from that little...

Annie girl.

Weren't no money in it.

Thought you said
you were going west.

When are you leaving?

We are.

Yeah, we are, just as
soon as we get a chance

to catch our breath.


you know that, uh,

fella you got with you?

He don't look very
trustworthy to me.

I'd keep an eye
on him, if I was you.

You know, he could be
part Indian or something.

He is.


That worked fine, Ma.

They're riding out.

Yeah, sure, but
that's a smart marshal.

Gonna have his eye
on us, and I don't like it.

Well, we can still follow
him and shoot him, Ma.


We may have to,
before we're through.

What's bothering you?

I don't know, there's
something I don't like

about this whole situation.

Figure that old gal was lying?

I don't know.

I think we better just ride by

the Kinney place
on our way home.

Come on.

"Gone visiting. Sam Kinney."


That's kind of funny.

There's nobody around at all.

They used to have
some pigs here, too,

and couple of cows.

Well, I doubt he took
'em visiting with him.

Let's have a look around, huh?

I'll check the barn.


I found them.

QUINT: Sam and Rose Kinney.

Fine people.

None better.

Made 'em write that note,

and then they killed them.

They got that girl with
them, haven't they?

Let's go get 'em.


The old woman's smarter
than we figured she was.


My guess is they pulled
out right after we left.

Yeah, about four
hours ago, I'd say.

And they'll be traveling
faster than we are.

We'll be tracking them.

Come dark, Matt, it's gonna
be hard to find that trail.

Well, we'll stop for
camp for the night.

I figure they will,
too, probably.

- Quint?
- Yeah?

It's gonna be a
pretty rough fight.


Well, it's a bad bunch.

You know they're murderers
and as soon as they see us,

they'll know we know.

They'll go down fighting,
is that what you mean?

Isn't your job.

Stretched your legs a little.

Why don't you head back to town.

I'll string along.

Okay, let's head on west.

See if we can
pick up their trail.

Horses all right?

Just fine, Ma.

Unless some mountain lion
comes looking after meat.


Look at her. (laughs)

Scaredy cat.

Leave that poor girl alone.

She's got enough
on her mind already.

They ain't no mountain
lions around here, stupid.

(coyote howls in the distance)

What y'all got on
your mind anyway?


Tell us.

Yeah, you got any
complaints or anything,

we'd like to hear them.

You're animals!

All of you!

It'll be a shame to
spoil that pretty face,

but I'll sure do it.

What are we gonna
do with her tonight, Ma?

She'll run off sure,
if we don't watch out.

We're gonna watch out,

and you take the
first couple of hours.

You mean stand guard?

What if that nosy marshal
didn't go back to Dodge?

What if he went over
to Annie's instead?

He wouldn't find nothing.

Of course he wouldn't.

He's already
suspicious, ain't he?

You mean you think he's
on our trail already, Ma?

I always figure there's
somebody on our trail.

Mm, it's gonna rain.

I can smell it.

(laughs) Then we got
nothing to worry about, Ma.

It'll wash out our trail.

It'll wash out the trail
we're gonna make, too.

What do you mean?

We're gonna move out.




What's going on, Ma?

I thought you were tired, Ma.

I am, but I don't want
to get my rest in jail.

Now, go saddle my horse.

Whatever you say, Ma.

What do you got
in your mind, Ma?

You gonna ride all night?

I'm gonna ride
till it stops raining.

But it ain't
started to rain yet.

(rain pattering)

It ain't?

Annie, you go saddle
your own horse,

and be quick about it.

(thunder crashes)

(thunder crashes)

What is it?

Ah, it's this doggone rain.

Miserable, ain't it?

You know, Quint...

that old woman's pretty smart.

What do you suppose
she's doing right about now?

She's traveling.

Miserable, wet, tired,
but she's traveling.

You bet she is.

She's not leaving
any tracks either.

I know what you're thinking.

We're gonna chance it, Quint.

We know the general
direction they're headed in,

we just got to light out and
hope we're lucky enough

to stumble on them.

I'll tell you one thing,
we'll travel faster

now that we're not tracking.

I hope we're traveling
in the right direction.

Ah, it's a chance,

but if we find
them, it's worth it.

We'll camp here.

Ah, whoever could
find us now, Ma?

That rain really
wiped out our tracks.

should build a fire?

Oh, we don't need
a fire; we need sleep.

But you can take
care of my horse.

(Phoebe sighs)

(Hulett clicks tongue)

Simsie, you stake
out Annie's horse.

ANNIE: I can do it myself.

Oh, sure. Fix it
so it can run off.

You come over here and sit down.

You been planning on
running off, ain't you?

- Who wouldn't?
- You got no manners, child!

Now you listen to me... You
don't stop that complaining,

you know we're gonna
have to treat you bad.

Treat me bad?!


Come here.

Yeah, Ma?

You was gonna take the
first watch, remember?

- Oh, but, Ma, I'm tired...
- You ain't any tired-er

than everybody else!

Now, you can stand
guard for an hour.

Get yourself a piece of rope.

- Rope? What fer?
- To tie her up with.

Please, I won't run away.

Tie her real good and tight.

If she gives you any
trouble, use that on her.

Why, sure, Ma.

You come with me.

You go on...!

You come with me now.

Can't tell a thing, can you?

Only be a guess.

I'd say they're
still headed west.

Yeah. So we better chance it.

We got to keep moving
or we'll lose 'em for sure.

(light snoring)

(Annie grunts)

(whispers): Wake up.

- Oh, don't, please.
- There ain't no reason

why I should be on
watch here all alone.

These ropes... can't
you undo these ropes?

Now, what would Ma say?

Just for a while.

Just for a little bit.

My hands and feet are numb.

That's 'cause you
got uppity with Ma.

(Annie sighs)

(light snoring)

(Simsie speaking indistinctly)

If he pokes her one
more time with that stick,

I'm going in there.

Just take it easy now, Quint.

We were lucky to find 'em;
we don't want to spoil it now.

Got to figure some
way of... getting in there

without getting Annie hit.

What about that big
bear they got on guard?

He's gonna be the first to go.

One of us is gonna have
to sneak in there and...

get him without
making any noise.

I'll take him.

All right.

Do whatever you
have to do with Phoebe,

but get Annie out
of the way fast.

You're gonna have your
hands full with those other three.

I don't mind.

Not with those three.

- Good hunting.
- Right.

- Sing me a song, Annie.
- (Annie sighs)

But sing it soft.

You wake up Ma,
she'll get real nasty.

You gonna sing me a song or
do you want to get stuck again?

I'll sing.

♪ Camptown races
five miles long ♪

♪ Doo-da, doo-da ♪

♪ Camptown races
sing this song ♪



DILLON: Hold it!






You killed Ma.


what about him?


Annie... you all right?

I don't know.

I don't know if anything
will be right again.

Time will change that, Annie.

Time will make things
look a lot better to you.

We got some burying
to do here, Quint.

And we'll get these
two back to Dodge;

they'll hang for murder, sure.

What about her?

You gonna tell her about
Sam and Rose Kinney?

There's plenty of time for that.

She kind of deserves a
little better luck from now on,

don't she, Matt?


Yeah, she does.

With her folks being
dead and all now, I...

guess maybe it'll be up to
us, see she gets that luck.

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