Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 9, Episode 21 - The Bassops - full transcript

A family in search of a doctor find Matt and his prisoner unconscious and handcuffed to each other on the prairie. The prisoner wakens first and announces that Matt is the condemned man he is transporting for hanging.

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Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.


You're a hide-full of
horse, aren't you, boy?

Hello, Sam.


Who's, uh, good-looking
horse outside belong to?

Belongs to that man
with all the money.

Name's Wayne Kelby.

Now, there's a man who
knows a thing or two about living.

Thing or two about living.

- Hi, Quint.
- Hey, Kitty.

Looks like you're gonna
make a lot of money tonight

with that big game going on.

Yeah, you'd think
so, wouldn't you?

That's about the driest
three-day game I've ever seen.

Three days?


You know, I bet
Kelby's won at least...


Donna Lee, why
don't you be a good girl

and buy us all a drink?


Where'd he come from?

I don't know.

He blew in here a few days ago
and made this his headquarters.

I sure wish he'd move on.

Well, see you later, Kitty.

When did you say
Matt was coming back?

Well, today, I hope.

Wait a minute, mister!

Mister, you're a cheat.

What did you say?

You dealt that last card
from the bottom of the deck.

Look at that.

You look, Harford.

Anybody want to join him?

Here, honey, have
yourself a time.

Hold it, hero!

I don't think it's bad, Kitty.

Oh, come on, let's
sit down over here.

Dead, Miss Kitty.

You better get
Quint up to Doc's.


Quint, Doc said you wasn't
to do no work for four weeks.

Well, I think I can cheat
a week, don't you, Louie?

When Doc Adams talks, I listen.

When'd you ever listen to Doc?

Been trying to get you to
quit drinking for two years now.

Well, just yesterday,
I promised him

to cut down to every other day.

Ain't had nothing
today. Don't intend to.

That's fine, Louie.
That's just fine.

All right, now help me off
with this apron, will you?

You think
Mr. Dillon'll ever find

that Kelby fella?

I don't know, Louie.

Looking for him for a long time.


Ah, Quint. Louie.

- Marshal.
- Did you find him?

No. Quint, I was on
the trail for ten days.

I finally lost him
when he turned east.

I'll tell you one thing...
I got every sheriff

for a hundred miles
around looking for him.

How's the shoulder?

Oh, it's fine.

Louie here's been helping
me around the shop.

Oh, good. Say, I
ran the shoes off him.

Can I leave him here with you?

Sure, we'll have him
ready for you tomorrow.

What's the matter?

- Can't, Mr. Quint.
- Well, why not?

Tomorrow's my drinking day.


Why don't you get cleaned
up, and I'll buy you a beer?

Sounds good, Quint.

Oh, there you are, Marshal.
I've been looking for you.

You got an important
telegram there.

Well, thanks, Milt.

You'll be glad to know

the sheriff of Tascosa's
holding that Kelby fella,

wants the Marshal to
come over and get him.

That come in three days ago.
Where you been, Marshal?

Well, I've been
out of town, Milt.

You ought to tend
to business more.

Yeah. Say, don't worry
about the horse, Quint.

I'll pick up a couple more
tomorrow at Moss Grimmick's.

All right. Wish I could go
along with you to get Kelby.

Thanks anyway.

Can I buy you a drink, Louie?

Oh, not today.

I'll sure be glad
to get rid of you.

You know, Marshal, you've
been here a half an hour,

and you haven't even said hello.

Turn around.

I wouldn't turn a man
over to you, Marshal,

that had something on him.

Sheriff, don't you know that
caution keeps a man alive?

Mount up, Kelby.

- I can't ride with these.
- Mount up.

Much obliged, Sheriff.

You want to take these along?

No, I got a pair, thanks.

So long.

Get off your horse.

You got any smokes, Marshal?

Marshal, you ever been bought?

I got all my Dodge winnings

sitting with a dumb
girl over in Elkador.

Now, we ride over there,
you can have half of it.

Kelby, you're on your
way to a hanging in Dodge.

I aim to see that you get there.

Don't hold it
against me, Marshal.

I'd have hated myself
if I hadn't asked.

You sure keep
early hours, Dillon.

Mount up.


You're sure working
against me, Dillon.

You killed a good man in Dodge.

And you wounded a
good friend of mine.

I aim to work
against you, Kelby.


Want to know something
about me, Marshal?


I was born lucky.

All my life I've
had plenty of luck.

Now, you think I'm a gambler.

I'm not. I'm just lucky.

Cards, women, anything.

Now, why don't we test
my luck with a little side bet?

$500 says you don't
get me back to that rope.

And I'll pay off. Never
welshed on a bet yet.

Why don't you go
to sleep, Kelby?

I'm not interested
in your games.

It ever occur to you to find
a spring and rest a while?

There isn't any
water around here.



They's dead, both of 'em.

Well, come on, boy,
don't strain your eyes.

You'll see plenty of dead ones

before you leave
this country. Come on.

How come they to be there, Pa?

Well, they're
convicts, no doubt.

Look, they're chained together.

There's been a
fight around here.

They killed each other, I guess.

Come on.

What about them two?

They's dead.

Quick gawking, Tom, come on!

Where you going, woman?

You'll feel better doing
the proper thing, Deke.

There ain't no time, Mellie.

We got to get you
to Dodge to a doctor.

We'll take the time, Deke.

Hey, Pa! Pa, come
quick! One of 'em's moving!

This one ain't dead, Pa. Look.

Help him, Deke.

He's alive, too.

We got to help him,
get him to a doctor.

Might be they's murderers, Pa.

Might be.

But your ma intends
to help 'em, that's plain.

Why don't we...

move on like we
ain't seen 'em, Mellie?

They spell trouble.

But we have seen them.

I'm thinking of you, woman.

So am I.

Thinking how
I'd feel, all of us,

if we was to leave 'em here.

Now, we'll have
no more talk on it.

You'll be needing water
to clean their wounds.

Water that we ain't
got for ourselves.

We can spare
enough. Now, get busy.

Come on, Tom.

Taking them two
ain't safe, is it, Pa?

Your ma's mind's made up, boy.

Best thing we can do is just get
busy and work as fast as we can.

We got to find Dodge,
and we got to find water.

Well, how are we gonna
move 'em chained that way?

- They's too big.
- We'll make a travois, I guess.

Here, go around
there and fill that up.


Hurry up, Ma.
We've got to make up

as much time as
we can before dark.

I found something, Pa, over
there where they was lying.

It's a lawman's badge.

Yeah, must be one
of them's a sheriff.

I wonder which one, Pa.

I don't know.

I expect we'll find out when
they come to, if they ever do.

Here. Keep that. Get in
the back of the wagon.




Poor man, he's just
barely alive, Deke.

His head looks worse.

Mellie, we ain't got
enough for ourselves.

I thought there'd be
a creek around here.

Well, so did I, but there ain't.

Well, we just have
to find some more.

Fetch me a clean
cloth, will you, Deke?

Deke, what's keeping you?

Here it is.

What's going on?

I found you'uns half-dead,
some three, four mile...

back the trail there.

One of you's a
sheriff, ain't you?

I found a badge back there.

Well, you... you folks
from around here?


We was going to California.

My missus took to
needing a doctor and, uh...

we left the wagon train
looking for Dodge City.

I hear tell there's
a doctor there.

We got lost, I guess.

Well... I'm heading for Dodge.

Uh... maybe I can help you.

You, uh... you ever
hear of Matt Dillon?


Well, that's him lying there.

I'm Marshal Kelby, uh...

I'm taking him in to be hanged.

What's he being hanged for?

He killed a man in Dodge.


I heard, Deke.

This fella ain't gonna
harm nobody, state he's in.

Well, if you'll just
cut us loose, why,

I'll see what I can do about
getting you back to Dodge.

How come you ain't got
the key for them chains?

Well, I... I guess
I lost it. You...

you see, he, uh,
caught me by surprise,

knocked me off my horse.

We fought, and I
rolled down a big hill.

Uh, that's the last I remember.

I guess we lost our horses, too.

I ain't seen none.

I'll get the file.

You stay here, boy.

I reckon you'll be needing this.

Oh, you keep that, boy.

That's a reward for helping
me bring in my prisoner.

- You mean it?
- Yes.

A sheriff's badge.

Where your pa
went for that file?

What are you doing?

I'm cutting you
loose, that's what.

No, don't do it.

He's my... prisoner.

Don't listen to
him. He'll trick you.

You keep still. Wake up!

- Wake up.
- Deke, don't do that.

Come on, mister, file us loose.

There ain't nobody going
loose until I find out who's lying.

- You say you're the marshal?
- That's right.

Then how do you figure

that your prisoner don't
want to be cut loose from you?

He's trying to slow me down.

I'd do the same if I was
as sick as he was, and...

being hauled back into Dodge
to have my neck stretched.

Then after I got
my strength back,

why, I'd work on getting loose.

Uh, which way is it to Dodge?

Well, don't you know?

No. No, I don't.

Well, I can't help you

unless I can get up
and get my bearings.


Deke, if you was to find us
some firewood, I'd fix supper.

Sit here, boy.

He's awful sick, ain't he?

Yes, he is.

Might be he's gonna die.

Sure looks like it.

When he does, then, your
pa's gonna have to cut us loose.

Only then, it may be too late.

Well, what do you mean?

Well, your pa's an
awful smart man, boy,

being so cautious and all.

Yes, sir.

Sometimes a man
can be too careful.

Now, he ought to be
getting your ma to a doctor.

You want to help
your ma, don't you?

Well, yes, sir.

And you know I'm
the marshal, don't you?

Well, you're wearing my
badge. You must trust me.

Well, I guess so,
but I ain't sure.

Well, you wouldn't be wearing it

if he gave it to you,
now, would you?

Well, nobody give it to me.

I just found it.

Well, that's right, but I
let you keep it, didn't I?

Yes, sir.

You wouldn't have kept
it if you didn't trust me.

Well, I reckon not.

You trust me.

Now, you remember
that when the time comes

that your ma really
needs some help.

I've been thinking
on something, Mellie.

What is it?

Well, we don't
have enough water,

not even for ourselves,
let alone, them two.

What would you have us do?

Make our own way.

Leave them here?

Well, we could leave 'em
some food or something,

and, uh, if we run
across somebody,

send them back to help.

Deke Bassop.

You're asking me...

Who's hoping to bring
life into this world...

To help its leaving?

I can't do it.

Why, them two would
die out here, sure.

But I got you and Tommy

and the young'un
to think about, Mellie.

No, Deke.

Somehow, I know
there's a reason,

a purpose behind
our finding them.

What purpose?

I can't say.

But the good Lord
shortened us on water.

He led us to them
to save their lives.

Surely, he don't mean for us

to leave 'em behind now

just to save our own.

Well, I was thinking
more about...

going home.

To Kentucky?

Well, we'd go to Wichita
first for you and the baby.

When you got to feeling better,

then we'd go on home.

Well, Deke.

Do you remember what
you told me before we left?

That was before I'd
seen this land, Mellie.

Before I'd seen what it
could do to a pretty woman.

But... but do you
remember what you said?

You said the good Lord intended

for a man to be somebody.

To walk across his land.

To use it proud.

To search out the treasures

the Almighty has hid for him.


Deke, I'd...

I'd go anywhere you say.

Even... even back to Kentucky

if you say it.

Just I...

I-I... I don't want you to turn
your back on your dream.

Not for me.

Not because of them.

Not for any reason.

We'll go on to Dodge.

Them two can go with us if
they don't give me no trouble.

Oh, help me, Deke.

Who are you?

We've been tending you
since we found you this noon.

Yeah, you're alive, are you?

I re...

I remember now.

You tried to take
the handcuffs off.

Don't do that. He's my prisoner.

That ain't what he says.

Here now. You best be careful.

That's a bad cut
you've got on your head.

Look, I...

I'm the marshal from Dodge City.

He says that he's
the marshal, and...

you're his prisoner.

He's lying.

One of you sure is.

He's out of his head.

Everyone from here
to Kansas City knows

I'm the marshal of Dodge.

You just lay back
there peaceful.

Or I might take it in my mind

to leave both of
you out here to die.

Hush, Deke.

No use either one of you lying.

We gonna help you get well.

You're gonna show
us the way to Dodge.

Once we're there,

everybody'll know
which one was lying.

Whichever one you are...

I'm glad you're
feeling some better.

I'll be obliged to you for
the direction to Dodge City.

Well, go on, Dillon, tell
him. You know the way.

Well, we came from
Tascosa that direction.

Dodge is this way.

There's water about 16 miles,

and Dodge is about
eight miles past that.

He's baiting you, Mr. Bassop.

He'll do anything to
keep away from Dodge.

Dodge is due west.

I'd say it's 30
miles, uh, to water,

and another ten miles to Dodge.

You're no count!

You're worthless, both of you!


Deke, you put that rifle
up. I want to talk to you.


They're lying to
me again, Mellie.

Only one is, Deke.

I don't know which
one to believe.

You know, there's no
water out this way, Kelby.

Why don't you tell
these people the truth,

or we're all liable to die?

What do you expect me to do?

Tell them I'm Wayne Kelby,
and I'm a very, very bad boy?

That Marshal Dillon is taking
me back to Dodge to a rope party?

I can't turn my back on
this kind of a piece of luck.

You don't look so good,
Dillon. You need a doctor.

Why don't you sweeten
up this pot and die for me?


Whoa! Whoa!

Stop! Stop!

All right, now,
what's going on here?

Prisoner attacked me.

I told you to separate us
so I could watch him proper.

And I told you two I
wasn't gonna put up

with no more of
your shenanigans!

Look, Mr. Bassop,
don't separate us.

If you do that, he'll
have your wagon,

your horse, your
water, everything.

Now, see what you two have done.

Tommy, run, get
me a clean cloth.

You stay right
where you are, boy.

I've had enough of this.


All right, all right, go
on... Do what she says.

Keep this up,

you're gonna lose your strength.

Here you are, Ma.

That old shirt of mine.

That'll be just fine, Tommy.

Now, you men
understand something.

Any more trouble back there,

and I'm gonna leave
you to fend for yourselves.

Stubborn woman or
no stubborn woman.


How you feeling?


Just fine.

Uh, here's a mite
of water for you.

Land sakes.

Ain't I the one?

Lying in here out
of that sun and all.

Now, Mellie, drink it.

You'll see them two get some.

We ain't found a
water hole yet, Mellie.

I ain't having none
till they do, Deke.

All right.

Tommy, bring your
rifle on around here.

I want you to give me a hand.

Now, drink that, son.

All right, take that
down there to them,

and tell them not to
spill it. That's all they get.

- I'll take care of the horse.
- All right, Pa.

Pa says this is all you get.

Thanks, boy. That's
mighty fine of your pa.


Hold it!

Come on, drop that gun.

Put it down!

Get the rifle, Tommy.

Now, tell me what's
going on here.

Well, he grabbed me, Pa,
and then he pushed me.

That does it. Go cut that rope.

- But, Pa, it ain't fair!
- Go cut that rope!

- But the marshal, he was...
- Do what I tell you, boy!

Mr. Bassop, listen to me.

You're headed in the
wrong direction here.

You keep on this
way, you'll all die.

Look, I'm telling you,

that water can't be more
than ten, 11 miles from here.

Ten, 11 miles? Then
if you ain't lying to me,

Dodge is somewhere beyond,
and I'll send out help to you.

But if you're lying to me,
God help you, both of you.

Come on, Tommy.

You'll go too far. You won't
be able to get back to water!

- We're gonna follow them.
- Follow them? What for?

To turn them back.

Let's be practical, Dillon.

We find us a nice sharp
rock and file these things off.

I go my way, you go
follow the Bassops.

Look, it's perfect, Dillon.

You go back to Dodge a big hero.

And after all you've
been through,

nobody can blame
you for losing me.

Let's go.

What does it take
to wear you down?

Come on.

We ought to be
a-coming on it soon, Pa.


Why don't you get in back
and see how your mom is, son?

All right.

Ma's looking awful sick, Pa.


I'm praying hard,
son, for water.

Maybe you'd better do the same.

Come on, come on.



Pa's gone, and Ma's dying.

- Somebody do something quick.
- Where is your pa?

Oh, he went up ahead
looking for that water hole.

Him and me... We
couldn't put on the wheel.

Well, we'll get the wheel on.

Yeah, we'll get
it on, don't worry.

Ma's dying. I know she is.

Tommy? Tommy?

I'm here, Ma.

Is your pa back?

No, it's them two... The
marshal and his prisoner.

Oh, Lord.

I wish he'd come back soon.

Now, ma'am, don't you
worry. You just rest easy.

We'll-we'll get the wagon
fixed. Come on, Tommy.

Come on, now,
you lift this wheel,

and we raise the wagon
so you can put it on.

All right.

- That's it.
- All right.

The nut must be
around here somewhere.

All right, now we're
getting out of here.

- What about them?
- They're going with us.

No. We ain't leaving Pa behind.

Now, you two claim
you want to help?

Well, if it's true...

you go get help.

But you-you go together.


You give them some water.

Thanks, boy.

All right, ma'am, we'll be
back as soon as we can.

I gave the marshal the
last of the water, Ma.

I'm not sure which
one is the marshal.

But if the Lord wants
me to have this baby...

he'll give strength
to the right man.

Wait a minute.

Dodge is this way.

All right, Marshal, I...

I guess you win.

No water, Pa?

No water, son. I was wrong.

Well, what do you mean?

I found a spot up there
I could see for miles.

There's nothing
out there, nothing.

That man Kelby lied to me.

Who fixed that, boy?

Deke, you're back.

Oh, Deke, I'm so
glad you're back.

Good men went
for help, you know.

They're going to
help me, Deke...

Now, wait a minute, Dillon.

I got to have a drink.

What are you doing there?

Oh, you lose, Dillon.

I told you you'd never
get me back to Dodge.

Pa came back. Said he'd lied.

I come to help. I'm sorry.

Better go get your pa, Tommy.

I thought he was my friend.

I wonder why
he's taking so long.

How is she, Doc?

Well, Deke, she's
gonna be all right,

but I've lost your baby.

Mellie's gonna be
disappointed about that.

I know, but she
knows about it already.

She wants to see
you. You go on in.

Oh, Matt, she's kind of worried
about the boy, wants to see him.

Oh, well, I'll get him.

Tommy, your ma's
waiting for you.

Ma's all right?

Yeah, she's
gonna be fine, but...

She lost her baby, didn't she?

I'm afraid she did, Tommy.

She's been wanting
a baby a long time.

It's all my fault.

They listened to me
about that... that Kelby.

It's all my fault.

No, it isn't, Tommy.

Now, you listen to me.

Whether the baby
had lived or died,

you had nothing to do with that.

You made a mistake, sure.

But anybody could have
done the same thing.

The important thing is you
tried to do something about it.

Now, that takes a
real man to do that.

Better go up and see your ma.

She's gonna need you
more than ever now.


I cleaned it up some, Marshal.

By golly, you sure
did, didn't you?