Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 9, Episode 27 - Owney Tupper Had a Daughter - full transcript

Owney Tupper's only child was born when he and his wife were already middle-aged. Now that his wife is dead, Owney and the child are very content alone, but the girl's prosperous aunt and uncle come to town and impress a judge with the life they can offer her, as compared to Owney, whose house is falling down around him. Owney can get his girl back, he's told, when he can demonstrate that he can provide for her properly. All Owney's attempts thereafter to make money are thwarted, until a job comes up that no one else in Dodge wants: that of the first in-town hangman (a judge wants the execution carried out there instead of Hays City, as an example to the populace).

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.



He's back again, Papa.

- Who's back?
- The fox. He's back.

- Where?
- Over by the shed.

He's looking for a chicken.

Shh, let's go.

We beat him again, Papa.

Looks like he'll
never learn, don't it?

I hope he doesn't
go to Mr. Kimbal's.

He might shoot him.

Oh, who in the world would
want to do a thing like that?

No, he wants to beat us
once. He'll come back here.

Come on.

What would you like to do now?

Push me on the swing, Papa?

I certainly will.

Way up?

So high you can
reach us a cloud.

Come on, get in.

Oh, hello, Amity.

- Hello, Marshal.
- Good day to you, Marshal.

Well, I was just riding
by to Kimbal's place.

I thought I'd stop
and say hello.

Well, come in and
have some coffee.

- All right.
- Amity, you go play.

The marshal and I
got some talking to do.

Come on in, Marshal.

Mind that step.

- Oh, come in.
- Thanks.

Well, it never was
much of a place.

Went down even more
after Amity's mother died.

Well, let's see.

That was about four years
ago, wasn't it, Owney?

Five, come winter.

Well, you've been
here a long time.

Long time, Marshal.

Seems to me, Owney, that, uh...

you ought to have a little more
to show for it, shouldn't you?

Yeah, but I never
held with what it took.

Fightin', killin'.

First the Indians,
then each other.

I guess violence was
something I just never knew.

Well, yeah, but still and all,

it wouldn't take that much
to fix this place up a little bit.

No, but Amity's ma and
I spent our time living.

It sure went fast.

But there's no regrets.

We didn't want any more.

We had each other.

I guess that's why the
good Lord looked at us.

He knew he was taking Dora,
so he left part of her with me.

Had to be that.

After all those
years, no children.

Then Amity.

We were both near past our time.

Look... Owney, did you ever
stop to think what's gonna happen

when the time comes, you
can't take care of her anymore?

Marshal, if I put my thoughts
to worrying about tomorrow,

me and Amity'd miss a
lot of the good things today.

Well, what if the
judge tells her

to go live with
your wife's sister?

Well, I never give
that a thought.

Well, you'd better give
it a thought, Owney.

There's a hearing set for
this afternoon, you know.

4:00. Now, you're gonna
be there, aren't you?

If you say so, Marshal.

Well, the judge says so, Owney.

I'd sure be there if I was you.

Marshal, please, don't
think that we're being...

Oh, we don't have
to apologize, Clara.

Not to me, you don't.

And not to Owney Tupper.

Won't you believe that
we're doing what's best

for my sister's child?

It's hard, I know,
but it's right.

Owney's too old to
keep his place livable,

let alone care for
a growing daughter.

I think Owney does pretty well.

While my sister was alive, yes.

We're thinking of Amity.

Look, that girl gets as
much love and attention

as anybody I know
of around here.

We've never denied that,

but love alone isn't enough.

Owney said he wouldn't
come in for the hearing.

He'll be there.

Oh, we, uh... we just
wanted to hear you say it.

Well, I've said it.

Now, if you'll
excuse me, I'm busy.

Generally, legal decisions
are based on precedent.

This decision, however,
must be on my own judgment.

From all that I have heard

and for the
welfare of this child,

I must award the decision to
you, Mr. and Mrs. Makepeace.

Does that mean you're
taking Amity away from me?

It means that she
will live in St. Louis

with her aunt and uncle,
until such time as you are able

to provide a
proper home for her.

- I don't want to leave Papa.
- Shh, shh, wait.

Judge, what is a "proper home?"

If you can improve your
land, make it productive,

fix the cabin,

show that you are capable
of taking care of the child,

that would be proper.

I see.

If you'll search within
yourself, Mr. Tupper,

you'll also see this is
best for your daughter.


to my thinking,

there's more in life
than a fancy house,

clothes and the like.

Maybe I've been
short on some things...

but me and mine have
been long on others.

I'm sure.

But... if it takes
what you say...

I'll get them, too.


Judge, is it all right

if Amity and I have
a little talk outside?

Well, of course.

Come here, darling.

Sit down.

Now, look...

we're gonna do
what the judge says.

But come harvest
time, and you'll be back.

And you'll have all
those things to touch

that they said you should have.

Papa, please.

Now, now, now,
now wait a minute.

Don't you fret.

Now, you listen.

You take all the things that
we have... and keep 'em.

Remember that.

And at harvest time, you
and me'll be together again.

I take an oath.



Oh, hello there, Marshal.

- Oh.
- Another hot one, ain't it?

It sure is.

I got some buttermilk inside.

It's nice and cold.
Mighty refreshing.

Well, that sound good.

Hey, looks like you've been
keeping busy here, Owney.

You reckon it's getting
anywhere near, uh... proper?

It's coming along
pretty good inside.

Next month, I start plowing.

Next month?

Sure. It'll be seeding
time in six weeks.

Well, that's an awful lot of
work for one month, isn't it?

Oh, what you see
only took two months.

I didn't think that was so much.

You mean you did
all this by yourself?

Marshal, I wouldn't
ask any man for help.

Hmm. Thank you.

By golly, Amity
won't know this place.

No, it'll take
time keepin' it up,

time that we might have
used for other things,

but if it's got to be...

Hmm. You know, I got a,
uh, letter from Mr. Makepeace.

So did I.

He says Amity's doing fine.

Marshal, do you suppose
I could get work in town?

Work? Well, it seems
to me you got more

than you can handle
right here, haven't you?

Well, I need
whitewash for the house

and seeds for the
planting, mostly.

Well, do you think
you can handle all that?

Marshal, I can handle
anything short of killing

to get my daughter back.

Now, you're not as young
as you used to be, you know.

Now, don't you fret about that.

Don't you worry about
this old jayhawker.

Well, I guess it wouldn't
do much good, would it?

None at all.

Got to be getting
back to town. It's late.

I'd ask you to stay and eat,

but I can drag a boulder or
two down before sundown.

No, thanks. That
was good buttermilk.

Thank you, sir. Dropping
into town, Marshal.

I tell you, it sure looks like
they got a different brand

of law in the east
than we got out here.

Oh? How's that?

Well, it says here

that fella Boss Tweed's
been released from prison.

Who's Boss Tweed?

Oh, he's a crooked
politician. Got 12 years in jail.

They let him go in eight months.

Well, maybe they
add different up there.

Morning, Quint.

Hello, Marshal.

- Morning, Owney.
- Well, Owney.

Hey, we don't see you around
here very often these days.

Oh, I started my
plowing yesterday.

Last night, I broke my
share. Needs mendin'.

I'll take a look at it.

It's a sad mess.

It's gonna be quite a job.

Why, it sure is.
How'd you do it?

Well, I was plowing
after dark. I hit a boulder.

Say, uh, Marshal, do you suppose

I could get a day's
work from Mr. Jonas?

Well, I don't know.
I suppose so.

I could sure ask him.

Oh, no, I don't
want to bother you.

I'll go over there
and ask him myself.

I got to wait a while anyhow,
till that share gets fixed.

You think you can fix it, Quint?

Yeah, I think I can
handle it, Owney.

Uh... how much it gonna cost?

Oh... I guess a
dollar ought to do it.

Well, that sounds reasonable.

I ought to make that and a
little bit more from Mr. Jonas.

Well, I'll go see him.

Owney, don't you
work too hard, now.

- Oh, don't you worry, Marshal.
- Giddap, there.

I don't know how he does it.

Yeah, he's gonna
get that daughter

of his back
here if it kills him.

That's what I'm worried about.

Well, I'll see you later, Quint.


- Kimbal.
- Marshal.

Well, I understand your
boy got home the other day.

That's right.

Where's he been all this time?

Cowboyin'. All over, I guess.

Well, I guess you can't blame
a fella for moving around some.

What's he gonna do now?

Stay here and help
you work this place?

Don't know yet.
He's still restless.

You know how young'uns are.

Sure. You know, I, uh... I
heard he was a little upset

when he heard
about Ellen and Clay.

Word travels fast, don't it?

I'd sure hate to see any trouble
develop over that situation.

I wouldn't like that
either, Marshal.

Maybe you could
have a talk with him.

Won't be easy.

It's been a long time
since I told him how to do.

He's used to decidin'
things for himself.

Well, it might be the
best if he stayed away

from those folks
altogether for a while.

I'll tell him, Marshal.

I just hope he listens.


Hello, Ellen.


You don't seem too
pleased to see me.

I'm surprised you'd
come here is all.

Oh, I figured we'd talk some.

When'd you get back?

Few days ago.

Where's Clay?

He'll be home any time now.

What do you want, Mal?

You got any coffee
going up at the house?

I asked you what you're
doing here. What do you want?

Well, I figured maybe
we ought to have us a talk,

like the one we
had before I left.

That was over a year ago.

Just about.

It's Clay.

Well, you-you could leave
him. Come away with me.

No, I couldn't.

If you love me, you would.

If you felt anything
at all for me.

That's just it, Mal.

I don't feel anything for you.

Not anything.

Ellen, I'm gonna
tell you something,

and don't you forget it.

- Mal...
- You broke your word.

You didn't wait for
me. You cut me in half.

I'm never gonna be
a whole man again.

Somebody's got to pay for that.

Mal, it's over and done with.

No, it ain't.

Not hardly.

Well, Kimbal.


When'd you get back to Kansas?

Too late for the
wedding, it seems.

Uh, we'll be eating
soon as I wash up.

Ellen could set another plate.

I don't think I'm
all that hungry.

Besides, you probably figure

it's too late for me
to kiss the bride.

Mal, what's done's done.

You remember that, and
we'll be good neighbors.


I'll pick and choose
what I remember.

Good day... neighbor.

You all right?

I'm scared.

Don't be. He'll
forget soon enough.

Not Mal.

I know him.

He won't forget.

- Owney.
- Oh, hello, Doc.

Matt told me you
was working here.

- Three days now.
- How's it going?

Well, in a week, I'll
have saved enough

to buy the seed
and the whitewash.

I'd say it's goin' right well.

How much the seed
and the whitewash cost?

Oh, about $25.

Owney, I tell you... I
think I can scrape up $25.

Why don't you just
let me loan it to you?

Oh, that's kind of you, Doc,

but I couldn't do that.

Well, I don't see why not.

When you get your crops in,

you'll have more than
enough to pay me back.

More than likely,
but I'm not the kind

that takes another
man's handout.

No, uh, no disrespect,
though, Doc.

No, I know that.

No, when Amity comes home,
it's got to be my own doing.

Otherwise, it
wouldn't be the same.

But I thank you for
your kindness, though.

I know you do.

Well, I've got to be
running along, Owney.

I'll-I'll see you later.

- Good day to you, Doc.
- You, too.




Wib. I came to give
you back your money.

You come in for the seed?

Sure. I got it all packed.

It's laying right over there.

Well, you should have
waited till tomorrow

till the wind died down.

Oh, tomorrow I
start my planting.

Well, you got a
whole a week for that.

No, that week'll be used
to whitewash the cabin.

You got the whitewash?

All sacked and ready to go.

And here's your money.

$24 and 50 cents.

The 50 cents is for
that rag doll over there.

Amity ought to like that.


That's the first store-bought
doll I ever got her.

Gonna be a great
homecoming for her, ain't it?

And me, too.

Of course, that's
a long way off.

There's a sight of
work to be done.

- Come on, I'll help you load the wagon.
- Oh.

- Got it?
- Yup.


- Let me get the door.
- All right.

- Gosh, this wind.
- Yeah.

Hello, Mal.

You can lock me up, Marshal.

I just killed Ellen. And Clay.


You'll find them
out to their place.

Now why'd you do that?

I don't know.

Just... lock me up.

Mal Kimbal, stand up here.

Young man, I have
two things to say to you.

First, while I
strangely pity you,

I also hold you in the
utmost of contempt.

And two, for your
unconscionable act of murder,

I have no choice but to
sentence you to be hanged

within the next 24 hours.

Furthermore, it is
this court's decision

that you will be hanged
right here in Dodge City.

Your living certainly
has said nothing.

I hope your dying will.

Court dismissed.

Marshal? Marshal Dillon?

Marshal Dillon?!

What is it?

You heard from my pa yet?

Well, I told you when
I heard from your pa,

I'd let you know, didn't I?

You sent the telegram?

I sent the telegram the
day I brought you in here.

How long does it take to
get an answer from Texas?

I don't know.

Hello, Judge.

Can't I get you to
change your mind?

He's going to hang
right here in Dodge

and within the time I set.

Well, they've all
been in Hays before.

For no particular reason.

Well... Judge, I doubt very much

whether the hangman from Hays

can even get up
here by that time.

Yes, I know that.

That's why I pronounced
sentence the way I did.

You mean, you want the
hanging here in Dodge?

- I do.
- Why?

Marshal, do you know how many
men I have sentenced to death?

- No.
- 28.

Judged by evidence, the
law said they deserved it.

What's your point, Judge?

The people make the laws.

They want justice done.

They watch the
courts like hawks,

always ready to
advise, to find fault.

But when the ugly
part comes along,

the unpleasant part, they
want to put it out of mind.

They want to leave
it to someone else.

Well, this time, there
won't be anyone else.

You mean you want me to
find a-a hangman here in town?


And you think this will change
their minds about hanging?

I don't know.

I'll be at the Dodge House
till the evening stage leaves.

If you find your
man, let me know.

But find him.

Now, Owney, what in the world

do you want to sell
that old mare for?

It looks to me like you need
her more than you do the money.

Well, the truth is, I
need the money bad.

And I need it today.

Look, Hank, she's
a good old mare.

It ain't like she's all
crippled or nothing.

Well, I'm sorry, Owney.

If I bought her, I'd never
get my money back.

Anyhow, you're gonna need
her come harvest, poor as she is.

The way things are going,

there may not be
no harvest time.

Now here, we've been
friends a long time.

What's wrong?

Nothing. Nothing wrong.

Yes, there is. Now you tell
me, now. Maybe I can help.

The only way you can
help is to buy this mare.

Owney... I've got a
little money set aside.

Now, I can lend
you a few dollars.

No, no.

No, like I told the doc,

I wouldn't borrow from
you or anybody else.

If I can't get my
daughter back on my own,

then I don't deserve
to have her back at all.

Well, if you won't
let me loan it to you,

how about taking a job with me?

I need a man. Pay
you two dollars a day.

I haven't got time.

There's only a couple
of planting days left.

Planting days?

Ain't you planted that seed yet?

No, not yet.

Why? What happened?

Look... thanks for
your offer, Hank,

but I got to find a way to
get myself some money now.

Today. I'll be seeing you.



Well, Owney... finish
all your planting already?

This mean what it says, Marshal?


This piece of paper you
got tacked up outside.

Well, yeah. Why?

I'll hang him.


I'll do it. I'll hang him.

What's the matter, you
been drinking, Owney?

Now, Marshal, you know
better than to ask me that.

Well, then take that back out
and tack it up and go on home.

Are you saying I
can't have the job?

What's the matter with you?

There's nothing
the matter with me.

All I want to know is
when I get the money.

Well, now, look, if this
is some kind of a joke

somebody's put you up to,
I don't think that's too funny.

It's no joke, Marshal.

I want the job, and I want
the money the minute it's over.

What about all the things

you were telling me
about at the ranch?

Do you mean to tell me that
you would give up everything

you've lived for all
these years for $25?

What time is the hanging?

10:00 in the morning.

I'll be here.

Do you know what this is
going to cost you, Owney?

I know what it's gonna get me.

I don't think you do.

10:00, Marshal.

I'll be here.

My pa always wanted
me to stand on my own.

Well, maybe he
didn't get the telegram.

It's possible, you know.


All right, Mal. Let's go.

Old man, I'm gonna die,

but I'm not sorry
for killin' them two.

You gonna be sorry?

Every man has a
reason for what he does.


It was a long trip.

But you're here.

You want some time
alone with him, Mr. Kimbal?

Time'd do no good now.

I did nothin' with
it all these years.

You had to go and do it.

I'm sorry if I hurt you, Pa.

I didn't want it that way.

You're my flesh.

With all the shame, I
got to take my part of it.

But you ain't gonna hang
him, Marshal. Not like this.

It's all according to the law.

And make his dying
a carnival sideshow?

I heard you was the one
going to hang him, Tupper.

It ain't gonna be.

Too late to stop it, Mr. Kimbal.

There should be a
dignity to dying, Marshal.

There's none this way.

If this no-account trash who
ain't worked a day in his life

makes his first dollar
by hangin' Mal...

I'll kill him, I swear.

I apologize to no man
for the way I've lived.

You mark what I said.

I mean it, Tupper.

All right, let's go.



You said 3:00.

There it is.

Like I said, Marshal...

no apologies.

And no regrets?

There weren't no other way.

Any other way to what?

Of keepin' my word. To
get my place in shape.

I gave Amity my word,
and I ain't gonna break it.

No charge, Owney.

Wait a minute.

I was over to the Lady Gay.

I heard what Jay
Kimbal's been saying.

Yeah, I know.

You take this.

Oh... I couldn't use that.

Man don't know what
he can do until he has to.

I figure.

He see you with this shotgun,

he'll think twice before
he starts something.

But I can't carry
that thing forever.

But it'll make him think.

He might cool off in time.

I'm grateful.

I can't say that I
understand what you done...

but you take care.


Hey, get. Whoa.

I need some more
seed for planting.

Expecting a big harvest, huh?

You know where it is.



I told you what I'd do.

Mr. Kimbal.

I don't want this fight.

I got a reason to live.

So if you force
me, I'll use this.

You got a taste for
killing now, have you?

No, sir, I ain't.

You trash!

Marshal, you saw.

Yeah, I saw.

He was determined
it was his life or mine.

Owney, go on home.


Go on home.

Well, Owney. Haven't seen
much of you in town lately.

Well, hello, Doc. Well, I
wouldn't have been here today,

except that Amity's coming home.

Is that so? Well, that's fine.

Oh, I been waiting
for this day a long time.

You've been working kind
of hard, too, Matt tells me.

Yeah, but it paid out.

Had a good crop,
better than I hoped for.

That's fine, that's just fine.


I always said I'd never
explain what I did.

You don't have to,
Owney, not to me.

Well, I've got to
admit it... out loud.

I always told myself
I did it for Amity.

But that's not the only thing.

I did it for me, too.

I can't fool myself
on that anymore.

Well, whichever way it
was, Owney, it's all past now.

No, I don't think so, Doc.

I don't think it ever will be.

Whoa... whoa!


Oh, baby, have I missed you.

Look at my dress, Papa.

Aunt Clara bought
it. You like it?

It's almost as
pretty as you are.

Ah, my baby.

Hello, Marshal, Doctor Adams.


How did you like
St. Louis, honey?

Oh, I like it. Aunt Clara says
I can come back if I want.

Oh, she did?

That's pretty nice, ain't it?

Aunt Clara says you
shouldn't say "ain't."

Uh, look, Owney,
I've got to be going.

- I'll see you later.
- All right, Marshal.

- Bye, Amity.
- Owney. -Bye.

- Doc.
- Amity.

Come on, dear.

Papa, you look different.


Your eyes don't crinkle.

They just missed looking at you.

There's Mr. Smith.

Hi, Mr. Smith. I'm back.

Oh, I-I see you are.

Nice to have you back, Amity.

Uh, I'll go get your things.

Did you, uh... have a
nice time in St. Louis?

Oh, yes, but it's
good to be with Papa.

Oh, I-I'm sure it is.

Uh... come, Amity.
We got to be going.

Nice to see you, Amity.

Are you mad at Mr. Smith, Papa?

Of course not.

You weren't very friendly.

- Oh.
- Aunt Clara says when...

Ah, ah, ah, ha. Come
on, up you go. Up.

Giddap, boy. Come on, boy.

Papa, will you push me?

Not now, honey. I got
to feed the chickens.

When you get through, then?

Well, maybe for a little while.

You know, we got almost 100 more
chickens since you've been gone?

Why do you have to
keep them locked up?

Oh, it's easier to take
care of them that way.


How'd you like sleeping
in your own bed last night?

All right.

Papa, why is it different?

Why is what different?


Well, honey, you heard
what the judge said.

I had to fix up the place.

I don't mean that.

Well, nothing else is different.

At least, I don't
aim for it to be.

You are.

Well, why am I different?

I don't know. You just are.

Are you awful tired?

Well... maybe I am.


Well, while you were gone,
there were a lot of things

I had to do so we
could be together.

I know. I've seen
all the work you did.

Well, besides that, there
were things I had to do

so we could be together.

And one of the
things that I did...

some people thought was bad.

Was it?

I don't know.

I honest don't know.

I didn't think so then, but...

maybe it was.

Are you sorry you did it?

Oh, how could I ever be
sorry for having you back?

Papa, Aunt Clara said

you could come to
St. Louis if you wanted.

- Oh, did she?
- Would you like that?

No. No, I don't think so.

But how about you?
Would you like to go back?

Papa! Papa, look!

You set a trap for the fox!

Well, honey, he was
after the chickens. It was...

Oh, Papa!

But it was either he
or the chickens, honey.

- Papa, you killed him!
- But honey, you don't...

Somehow it don't taste so good.

Yes, it does, Papa.

I'm just not hungry.

I baked some bread pudding.

Not now.

I'm sorry, Papa.

I didn't mean to cry.

Oh... it's all right, darling.

Oh, Papa.

Baby. That's all right, darling.

I understand how you feel.

We had a lot of
fun with that old fox,

but while you were gone,
he must have changed.

He killed two of our chickens.

I just had to set
a trap for him.

Are you sure he changed, Papa?

Well, that's the way
it seemed to me.

I guess everything
changed while I was away.

But I love you.

That hasn't changed.

And I love you very much.

I didn't mean that...

It's all right, darling.

I guess you're right.

Everything is different.

That's the way with life.

Everything changes.

Nothing stays the same.

But why?

Things were so nice
the way they used to be.


Yes, they were.

You know, for a long time,

I thought that judge was wrong
to take you away from me...

but now, honey, I realize
he was right after all.

They all saw it.

I didn't.

You're growing up.

You're gonna be a lady
before we can turn around good.

And you're gonna need
to know the lady's ways.

Things your Aunt
Clara can teach you.

Well, she was
good to me, Papa...

and we did have lots of fun.

I know you did.

And that's why you
should go back to her.

You'll be happy.

And if you're happy...
that's all I want.

We... we could both go back.

Aunt Clara would like that.

You come, too.


No, I've been here
too long to leave.

I don't want to leave you.

But why? St. Louis
ain't that far away.

If you need me, you
just write me a letter,

and I'll come a-running.

You can count on that.

Would you?

You bet I would.

Well, I'll write your Aunt
Clara tomorrow and set it out.

Do you think it's best?

I think it's best.

All right, then.

As long as you come
running when I need you.

You can count on it.

Well, it's past your
bedtime. Go get undressed.

Will you come and
say good night?

Well, I always have,
haven't I? Mmm.

Why didn't they leave us alone?