Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 9, Episode 12 - The Magician - full transcript

A mild old peddler of patent medicines and card tricks arrives in Dodge with his grown daughter, hoping to settle down, but instead they find their worst luck yet, beginning with a card game with a rich man and his spoiled son.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

The ace of spades.

Feared throughout human
history as the symbol of death.

But now watch.

One, two, three.


Oh, go on. Yes.

So much for death.

Banished, for the
nonce, by your friend,

Jeremiah Dark.

Now, uh, will someone
step up closer here, please?

One of the gentlemen.
Will you plea...?

You. You, sir.

Will you step up?
Don't be afraid.

Come on. Oh, no.
Come on, my friend.

There he is, Marshal.

You shouldn't allow
people like that in Dodge.

They'll steal you blind.

Now, all you have to do is
to tell me what card that is,

and then, a gift of
happiness will be yours.

The... five of hearts.

The... five of hearts it is!

And here is your
gift of happiness,

Jeremiah Dark's
famous Elixer of Joy.

There you are, my friend.

Now, three parts a day,

three times a day,

and it will bring you peace,

my friend. Peace.

And such contentment
as you have never known...

Oh, the protector
of the innocent.

Louie, let me take a
look at that, will you?


Would you, uh, mind
stopping by my office, Mister...

Dark. Jeremiah Dark.

A mere mountebank, Marshal,

but a mountebank
of peace and laughter.

At your service.

- In about an hour then?
- Oh, of course, sir.

Just as soon as I get my wagon
in a more permanent position.

Oh, uh, Marshal, um...

you forgot something.

All right, folks, break it up.

Come on, let's move along.

Papa. Papa, why'd
you take his badge?

Well, y-you might
have offended him.

No, no, I did it
to test him, dear.

He was amused.
He's... he's a kind man.

I hope he'll let us
stay in this town, Papa.

You need to stay
put for a while.

Well, it isn't just
up to him, dear.

It's up to all of
the rest of them.


It's always up to them.


Well, what do you think?

Kitty know about this?

Kitty? No. Why?

Could put her right
out of business.

He sold any of it?

No, not yet. Now,
what all's in it?

Well, there's water and syrup,

and, uh, I think that's nutmeg.


And a very generous
slug of alcohol.

Mr. Dark's not a stingy
man, I'll tell you that.

Thank you.

Only the small-hearted
and the frightened are stingy.

This is Mr. Dark. Dr. Adams.

- Dark.
- Say. Gentlemen, my daughter, Alice.

Miss. -ALICE: How do you do?

How do you do, Alice?

Well, wouldn't you
all like to have a chair?

We'll, uh... we'll talk.

Oh, sit here, my dear.

Mr. Dark, Doc has been,
uh, testing your medicine here.

Now, excuse me, Marshal, I...

I claim no medicinal
value for it whatsoever.

It merely gives some
small happiness,

some relief from
life's daily burdens.

Where are you from, Mr. Dark?

From Nowhere, Marshal.

From a hundred Nowheres,

each one with a name:

Sedalia, Emporia,
El Dorado, Pratt.

And where are we going?

To another hundred Nowheres,
each one with a name:

Garden City,

Lamar, Pueblo, Cañon City.

What brings you to Dodge?

It was the nearest point
between Nowhere and Nowhere.

We need a rest, Marshal.

We're tired.

I'm getting along,

- you know.
- How old are you?

When I'm laughing, Doctor,
or when I'm weeping?

Mr. Dark,

you and your daughter are
welcome to stay in Dodge,

but I... afraid you'll have
to stop peddling that, uh...


I understand.

You know, the
marshal was telling me

that, uh, you're
somewhat of a magician.

Now, maybe you could
kind of put on a show for us

here in town when
you've settled down.

Oh, Doctor, the magic
isn't mine. It's yours.

You see, I'm only a mirror that
reflects what you want to see.

Now, for instance, here.

Now, take this
card, for example.

Now watch it,
watch it closely, huh?

All right.

Now, you both know that
that card hasn't disappeared.

Where in thunder did it go?

You know that it must be, uh...

well, uh, here,
for instance, huh?

Well, I'll be doggone.

That's good.

Yeah, but, you
know, for an instant,

you both wanted to believe
that it had disappeared.

You wanted to believe
that I have powers

which I don't have,
which no man has.

But that's what you
wanted to see in me.

So the illusion is yours.

By golly, you're all
right, I'll tell you that.


I have to be running along.

I'll see you.

Oh. Oh, Doctor.

Don't forget your wallet.

Well, I'll be doggone.

Well, Marshal, if we may,
Alice and I will be going.

Certainly. You're both
welcome to stay in Dodge,

and I hope you enjoy yourselves.

If there's anything you
need, you can call on me.

Well, thank you. Thank
you very much. Gentlemen.

- Bye.
- Bye, Alice.

Funny little fella...

I don't know what to
make of him, really.

Well, he seems harmless
enough, don't you think?


But you know, that just
might be his greatest illusion.

Oh, yeah, well,
now, you run along

and fetch the blacksmith,

because we must
get that wheel fixed.

You-you will come
back to the wagon?

Well, of course I will. I...

Of course I will.

Good-bye, darling.

Would you be kind enough to
fill this up with beer? Uh-huh.

Um, to the top?

Oh, that did it.

I ain't even got enough
left to buy a beer.

Aw, sit down. I'll
buy you a drink.

Uh, barkeep, bring us
another bottle over here.

Have a drink, stranger?

Oh, uh, no, thank you.

I-I-I've got a beer coming.

Hold up on that beer.

And bring an extra
glass for our friend here.

Come on over.

Well, it's very
kind of you, but I...

Sit down, sit down!
My name's Aaron Wells.

I ain't gonna let a
stranger come into Dodge

and let him go thirsty!

Well, thank you, Mr. Wells.

- I'm Jeremiah Dark.
- Glad to know you, glad to know you.

Uh, my son, Tom.


Uh, foreman of my
ranch, Sy Littaker.

- Howdy.
- How are you?

Red Banks. He runs
a little harness shop

I got here in Dodge.

Uh, join us for a hand?

Oh, well, I can't. My... I
promised my daughter...

Oh, come on, it's
a friendly game.

Sit down.

You know, you get Aaron
Wells for a friend, stranger,

ain't nobody in
town don't envy you.

Um... pour our
friend a drink, Tom.


Well, Mr. Wells, I've, uh,

I've only got a
five-dollar gold piece.

- But may I make a suggestion?
- Go ahead.

Yeah. Each of you
match that in the kitty,

and then on the draw,
the high card wins the kitty

and the deal.

And that way, by
one card you can tell

whether I'm in the game or out.

Hey, that's a good idea!

I never heard of it before,
but-but it's a good idea.

Eh, you go first, son.

Jack of clubs.

Two of clubs.

Well, I guess you're
high man so far, Tom...

Seven of hearts.

Queen of diamonds.

Well... I guess you're in
the game after all, stranger!

- I guess I am.
- Here you go.

- Now, deal us a good hand.
- All right.

Here we go.

Well, the rim's all split.

I don't see how
you made it this far.

I'll have to take the wheel off
and go to my shop and fix it.

It's not gonna be
expensive, is it?

I-I'm afraid we don't
have much money.

No, it's hardly gonna
be worth charging for.

Look, uh, I'll
lift the wheel up,

you stick this barrel
underneath, okay?


You're not gonna be
in any hurry about this,

- are you?
- No.

No, we'll be here for a few
days. Maybe even longer.

Good. I'll, uh, help you carry
your stuff over to the hotel.

I'm afraid we
can't afford a hotel.

We'll be staying right here.

- Right here?
- Oh, it's not so bad.

We're used to it by now.

You know, one time,
oh, about four years ago,

Pa got a job... A
regular job... in Joplin,

and there was a
bed for me to sleep in.

Oh, I had been dreaming about
a bed for months and months...

and there I was
with one all my own.

Well, you know what happened?

First night I just
tossed and tossed.

So I got up, went outside,
and I slept on the ground.

Would you believe that?

Yeah, I... I know how it is.

Is your dad gonna
get a job here,

- stick around for a while?
- Oh, he hopes to.

He's beginning to feel his age.

He wants to stay
put for a while.

Me, too.

You wouldn't understand.

No, I guess I wouldn't.

Well, I'm sure he's gonna meet
some nice people here in Dodge.

Get a good job, too.

Oh, I hope so.

I sure do hope so.

Three sevens.

Don't you think we've all
had about enough, huh?

I mean, it-it gets
embarrassing, winning like this.

Sit down!

You're not going
anywhere now, mister.

But you're in no
condition to play.

You-You'll just go on losing.

Deal 'em.

Do like he says.

Mr. Wells, you got any idea
who you're playing poker with?

Oh, hello, Ned.

This man's a cardsharp.

I seen him do tricks
with them myself.

He can make any card he
wants come right into his hand,

like from out of
nowhere. Now, I seen him.

Is this true, mister?

It's true that I
can do card tricks.

But this game has
been an honest one,

Mr. Wells.

You've won most every hand.

Well, that's because you've
been drinking too much.

You... you've been
playing carelessly.

Don't you call us drunk!


Leave him be, Banks.

Throw him out, Tom.

Teach him a lesson.

Uh, don't. Don't.

Please, I...

Leave him alone!

Get away from me.

Stop it.

Let go of me! Get away!

Get off of...

Get off of my son.

What's the matter with you?

Well, what happened?

Oh, I'll tell you what
happened, Marshal.

I invited this man here

to sit in at some cards with us.

Uh, Sy here, Tom and me.

We caught him cheatin'.

He's some kind of a cardsharp.

That true?

You enjoy beating up
on old men, do you, Tom?

Well, when someone's no good,

how old they are don't
make no difference to me.

You can't trust them
medicine peddlers.

Yeah, where'd he
come from, anyway?

Drove in with his
daughter around noon.

Got their wagon
behind Cooper's barn.

Hmm, well, you handled
him just fine, Tom.

- Yeah, you did.
- Let's go in and have another drink.

Pa! Pa, what happened?

Your face! It...

No, it's all right, dear.

No, it's all right, darling.

Pa, please don't...

Now, leave me alone.

Well, what happened?

Well, he was involved
in a card game, miss,

and they accused
him of cheating.

Who beat him up?

Tom Wells, and maybe his
father and a couple of other men.

Tom Wells. What's
he trying to prove?

Well, that he's Aaron
Wells' son, I guess.

Quint, keep an eye
on him for me, will you?

- Sure. Where you going?
- Back to the Long Branch.

Matt, did he cheat?

Well, he wouldn't say.

But I never saw a cardsharp
come into a strange town

and advertise the fact.

At least not the way he did.

Papa, Papa, please don't.

That... that'll only
make matters worse.

Papa, please don't!

What else is there?

We tried to bring
them a little happiness.

Where is the
happiness for us, child?

I didn't cheat in
that card game.

I never have.

I know that, Papa.

I believe you.

Who else will?

Oh, howdy, Marshal.

Sit down, sit
down. Have a drink.

I wanted to ask
you a few questions

about this, uh, poker game
you had with Jeremiah Dark.

Oh, that.

There's no reason
for going into that.

Uh, sit down here.

- Who all was in the game?
- Well, uh, it was me and, uh...

Tom and Sy and, uh, him, Dark.

I seen him cheating, Marshal.

Caught him red-handed.

You were in the game, too, huh?

No, I was just watching,
but I saw the whole game,

hand after hand.

Oh, well, when Ned
spoke up, I told Dark to get.

Wouldn't let him take the money.

I told him just to clear out.

Aw, Tom wasn't mean
to him, Marshall. He...

he just tried to
get him outside.

He went for Tom.

He went for Tom? How?

Hit him with a...

Uh, he took this empty
bottle and tried to hit Tom.

That's when Tom
shoved him outside.

That's how it happened, Tom?

That's what happened, Marshal.



How is he now?

Oh, he's asleep.

He doesn't sleep so good.

Not even when he's like that.

Oh, he'll wake up again soon.

Well, I, uh... I thought I'd
fix you something to eat.


There's nothing.

I was... I was gonna get
some money from Pa...

to buy something.

Well, I'll, uh... I'll go
over to Delmonico's

and get you something.

Why are you being so kind?

I didn't know as I was.

You got to eat, you know.

Oh, I couldn't eat now.

This morning...

when we saw Dodge
from the distance...

Pa said, "There it is, Alice.
That's where home's gonna be,

this time I promise you."

I'm sorry, but...

the whole thing, it-it
just seems so cruel!

There are some fine
people in Dodge, miss.

You're gonna meet 'em yet.

Now, I'm gonna go over there and
buy you something to eat anyway.


I'll see you later, Aaron, eh?

- Eh, night, Ed.
- Night.

Hey, Tom.

Come on, huh?
I'm getting hungry.

Who needs food, Pa?

You go on home.
I'll be home later.

- I'll get him.
- Oh, leave him be.

I was like him at his age.

Could outdrink,
outfight any man around.

Show him how a
Wells does it, son!

But stay away from
those card games.

Okay, let's go.





Hello, Quint.

- Hello, Matt.
- Oh, what you got there?

Well, I was just
taking some stew

over to Mr. Dark and the girl.

Oh, well, I was
headed that way myself.

I don't think he'll talk to you.

- Why is that?
- Well, he's asleep.


Mr. Dark, what's happened here?

Quint, I saw Doc over
at the Long Branch.

Get over there and tell him
to get to his office right away,

will you?

Quint, did you hear me?



Alice, we're gonna get
you up to Doc's right away.

Everything will be all right.

Oh, do you think you can get
up to Doc's by yourself, Mr. Dark?

- Yes.
- All right.

Well, she's under sedation.

I... I think she ought
to sleep till morning.

Do you want me to,
uh, stay with her tonight?

Well, thanks, Kitty, but I...

I think I better
keep an eye on her.

Mr. Dark, any more
I can do for you?

- You feel all right?
- Yeah, I-I... I feel all right.

Well, I want you to
stay right here tonight.

There's plenty of room.

Oh, no, thank you.

Everything we own is
at the wagon, you know.

I'll be glad to look after
your wagon, Mr. Dark.

No. I-I... I think I
prefer to be alone.

Mr. Dark.

Who was it?

Who did this?

I... I want to thank you

for everything you've done.

Mr. Dark,

if you don't help me...

there's not much I'm
gonna be able to do.

I can't help you, Marshal.


I think he's scared.

I think he's scared that
if he tells you anything,

he'll just get
into more trouble.

Yeah, you're
probably right, Kitty.

I just hope he doesn't go out

and decide to take the law
into his own hands or something.

Seems like that's exactly
what he's figuring on.

Quint, would you go out
and keep an eye on him?


You got any ideas?

Yeah, I got an idea, all right.

I'm gonna need some
identification, though.

Maybe she can help us
with it... in the morning.


I'll, uh, have that wheel ready
for you by tomorrow, Mr. Dark.

That is, if your daughter's
able to travel by then.

We're not leaving, Quint.

No, Quint, we're not
leaving that easily.


- Oh, good morning, Tom.
- Morning.

- Any coffee?
- Yeah, I think so.

Marshal's coming this way.

Oh, good. That'll save
me a ride into town.

What do you mean?

Well, I'm ashamed of what
we did to that old man last night.

I don't know what got into me.

- It must have been the liquor.
- He was cheating, Pa.

Oh, I ain't excusing that,
but I ain't excusing the fact

that I got you to rough
up an old man, neither.

And why do you want
to see the marshal?

Well, I want to tell him
to go easy on the old fella.

- Morning, Marshal.
- Tom.

The marshal's out here about
the old man and his daughter, Tom.

- Jeremiah Dark.
- Somebody attacked them last night

at their wagon.

What's that have to
do with us, Marshal?

You had a fight
with him earlier, Tom.

Well, it wasn't hardly
a fight, Marshal...

He was caught cheating,
and I threw him out.

What'd you do after that?

Well, I had a few more drinks,

and then Pa and I rode
back here together for supper.

That true, Aaron?

Uh, yes, uh, Tom came
back with me for supper.

Uh, he was with me all the time.

All right, then you won't mind
going back into town with me

and talking to Alice Dark.

If you're innocent, you
got nothing to worry about.

I came home with Pa last night,

and I'm not going
anywhere just to prove...


do what the marshal says.

We'll be with you
in a few minutes.

You scum!

It ain't as if they're
regular people, Pa.

Who cares about them?

Ain't you even worried?
They could identify you.

I came home with you
last night, Pa. Remember?

Now, who's gonna take
their word against yours?

Sy Littaker and Banks
left with me and...

And me!

Now, they work for you, Pa.

Have a little talk with them.

I'll get dressed.


You're just fine.

You're gonna be
up again tomorrow.

Well, by golly,
I'm kind of hungry.

How about you?

Oh, thank you. Quint was kind
enough to buy me some breakfast.

- Well, that's fine.
- What you really need, Doctor,

- is some sleep.
- Oh, I got plenty of sleep.

Howdy, Doc.

Tom, how are you?

All right if we
talk to her, Doc?

- Go ahead.
- All right, Tom.


I want you to take a
good look at this man here.

I want you to tell
me if he's the one.

No, Marshal, that's not the man.

I'd like to have
Alice tell me that,

if you don't mind, Mr. Dark.

No, Marshal, that's not the man.

Now, Alice, I want you
to take a real good look.

You want to be awfully sure.

She's sure, Marshal.

That's not the man.

All right, Tom.

Sorry, Aaron.

What are they up to?

They're scared.

They know they can't
go causing you trouble.

You can have 'em
run out of town.

They want something from me.

Blackmail, I'm sure of it.

I tell you, they're just scared.

Well, I'll find out soon enough.

Wait for me over
at the harness shop.

- Hello, Quint.
- Hello, Matt.

What's this thing doing here?

I brought it over
here this morning.

I guess Mr. Dark's gonna
stay for a while. How's the girl?

Well, she'll be up
and around tomorrow.

She tell you anything yet?

No. Just like her pa.

She could, but she won't.

I don't know what's the
matter with those two people.

Yeah, I know, I
tried to get something

out of the old man last night.

He wouldn't tell me anything.

All he said was something
about evil eating itself up.

Uh, stay out of this, Tom.

Uh, come on back here, please.

Uh, sit down, Mr. Dark.

I like standing.



I'd like to apologize

for what happened
at the saloon last night.

Sometimes, uh, drinking
makes me do things I'm sorry for

the next day.

Well, a-anyway, I'm sorry.

And are you sorry
for what your son did

outside the saloon afterwards?

Sorry, and grateful

to you and your daughter
for protecting Tom.

I-I'd like to make up
to you for what he did

to you and your
daughter afterwards.

Uh... money doesn't
take care of everything, uh,

I know that,
Mr. Dark, but... there.

There's $300.

Go ahead, take it. It's yours.

Look... I don't have to do this.

I don't have to buy you out.

There isn't a
person in this town

that would convict
Tom on your word.

And not against mine.

I know that.

So you don't scare him or me.

Now, go ahead and take
the money and get out of town.

And be out of town
by noon tomorrow.

Well, what's the matter?

Ain't $300 enough for you?

Why, you ain't seen $300
at one time in your whole life.

Go on, take it! Pick it up!


That's $200 more. That's $500.

Oh, you come at
a high price, mister.

Now, you leave
tomorrow, by noon.

Well, Pa?

I-I bought him out.

They're leaving
Dodge noon tomorrow.

Get out of my sight, Tom.

But Pa, I thought
maybe you and me

would go over to
the Long Branch.

Get out of my sight!

Tom, it's all over now.

I've done everything
a father ought to do.

And now it's over.

Now, I don't ever want

to have anything like
this with you again.

Now, go on back to the ranch.

Sure, Pa.

Anything you say.


you ain't gonna like
my talking out of turn.

You never had to
talk out of turn with me,

Red, you know that.

You can't go on
letting him get away

with anything he likes, Aaron.

He's my son.

Now, that's the sad thing...

that a man'd have a son that's
bent on doing only one thing...

Causing people harm.

It's getting worse, Aaron,
and it ain't gonna stop, not ever.

Not unless you do something.

Send him away, Aaron.

Cut yourself free from him.

Aw, I can't do that.

I've been too easy
with him, Banks.

Tom needs a strong
hand, that's all.

No, I can handle him.

He's gonna be all right.


Okay, I'll do it again,
but you've got to watch

- very carefully, see?
- Mm-hmm, all right.

You... there!

It's got to be in your
hand someplace.

Okay, you look.

No, you see, you're the
one that's been hiding it,

because there it is there...
There's your dollar back.

You can keep it.
You've earned it.

Oh, thank you, Kitty.

- Hello, Kitty.
- Oh, Matt. -Ah.

Well, I hate to
spoil your fun here,

but I'd kind of like to talk
to Mr. Dark for a minute.

All right. I'll have your
lunch ready for you

- anytime you say.
- Well, thank you.

- Let's have a seat.
- Thank you, Marshal.

You know, that was
really very kind of her,

because I was wondering
how I was gonna buy

- my pail of... lunch today.
- Uh-huh.

Well, Marshal, what
can I do for you?

Tell me the truth.

- About?
- You know what about.

I still think it was Tom

that attacked you
and your daughter.

Now, I saw Wells
out in front of the bank

trying to talk to
you the other day.

What was he trying
to do... buy you off?

Is that what Mr. Wells says?


Are you trying to blackmail him?

All right, I'm sorry
I asked you that.

But don't you know
that I can lock you up

for withholding information?

This boy is not
worth protecting.

I have no intention of
protecting Tom Wells.

Well, then, why
don't you help me?

Look, my hands are tied.

I can't do a thing against
him unless you help me.

I'll tell you something.

I've watched this boy, Tom.

I've watched him grow
up around this town.

I'm telling you
that he's no good.

He's just gonna go
on getting into trouble.

Now, don't you think it's
better to put him behind bars

before he goes and
hurts somebody else?

You can't put evil
behind bars, Marshal.

But I'll tell you this.

Sooner or later,
evil kills itself.

It may not be tomorrow
or the day after,

even next year.

I don't have to be
here to see it happen...

but it will happen.

Today, Pa... he was
supposed to leave today.

Now, why ain't he gone?

I don't know, but, uh,
I'll find out tomorrow.

Well, I'll tell you
what you'll find out.

You should have
expected it in the first place.

He'll want another $500.

And the week after
that and after that!

Sure, you've got
a lot of money, Pa,

but give him a year,
and he'll have it all!

Well, this'll keep him quiet.

I ain't hiring no gun.

I ain't saying to
hire someone, Pa.

I'll do it.

You? Kill?

First the old man,

then the girl.

It's easy. I've seen him.

Every day at 1:00, he
goes from the saloon

to the blacksmith shop
with his pail of beer.

I've watched him.

Now, he goes past that
old building next to Bentley's.

I can get him from
the second-story...

You shut your mouth!

Oh... I ain't never
really seen you, Tom,

never seen what you really are.

Just like that,

so easy... you'd kill?

Well, do you have
a better idea, Pa?

That old man ain't gonna
keep his mouth shut all the time.

One of these days, he's
gonna go into that saloon,

drink too much and start...

You make one move
against him, Tom,

and I'll turn you in
myself, you hear?!

No, you won't, Pa.

It ain't because of any feelings
you got about me, either.

It's you.

You can't stand the disgrace.

Tomorrow, Pa.

It's the only way.

You ain't just spoiled, Tom.

You're rotten... evil,

clean through.

Well, I am your son, Pa.

There ain't nothing you can
do about that, now, is there?



Do you see him coming yet?

No, not yet.

He's so late.

Well, you know how he is
when he gets in that saloon.

Everybody keeps asking
him to do tricks and things.

He'll be along.


Papa, what was that shot?

It was the sound
of justice, Alice.

The sound of evil bursting.

Who did this?

Marshal, look.

He's dead, Aaron.

I know.

I killed him, Marshal.

He was going to
kill that old man

because he wouldn't leave town.

Mr. Dark is leaving today.

He was planning
to leave all along.

You mean...

you mean it was all for nothing?

He was going anyway?

He's going right now.

He asked me to give you this.

It's the $500.

Thank you, Quint.

Thank you for being so kind.

Thank you for being...
such a good friend.

Good-bye, miss.

Good-bye, Mr. Dark.

Good-bye, Quint.

Come on! Get on now!

That'll do.


And all we wanted was to
bring them laughter. Hmm.