Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 9, Episode 29 - Kitty Cornered - full transcript

Stella Damon is new in Dodge and is looking to set up a saloon directly competing with Kitty. A whiskey drummer arrives who knows more about her history than she likes which worries her that the past may catch up sooner than she had wanted.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.



You looking for somebo...?

I mean, you sure you're
in the right place, ma'am?

No, I'm not a bit sure.

I'll let you know.

Uh, you just come in to stand?

I'll, uh, try your rye.

You want the best.

- Your bar rye.
- That's it.

- Glass.
- Oh, sure.

That be ten cents, ma'am.

You got any idea
how lousy that is?

Well, I'll quit
forcing it on you.

Seems to me that gentlemen
like you deserve lots better.

Better whiskey.




Morning, ma'am.

I'd like to meet the
lady of the house.

Do you know Miss Kitty?

No, but I can see there's a
woman's touch around here.

I'd like to meet her.

That can be arranged.

Kitty Russell.

Stella Damon.

- How about a drink?
- In a while.

Looks like you're available.

That's because I am.

Let's sit down.

You looking for a job, Stella?

Well, in a way.

I suppose you
know you got the...

nicest place in town.

You must have looked around.

You own it or run it?

You just decoration?

I own it, run it, and I
decorate pretty good, too.

No house gambling.

Off and on. Dealers come and go.

Come and go?

Come honest, go dishonest.

You can save all that
for the Ladies' Aid.

Looks to me like you've
got all your own answers.

I don't think you
need any of mine.

Well, I've got a lot, but I
can use some from you.

Try me.

What do you want for it?

The Long Branch?

If that's what you
call it. I want to buy it.

You haven't even heard my offer.

I don't have to.
It's not for sale.

To me?

To you or to anybody.

Why not?

I don't know. I'm used
to it. I make money.

Everything I have is here.

Well, you could, um,

pack up your everything

and take it someplace else.

My everything was here first.

That makes you a squatter.

That makes you nothing.

I'll, um...

have that rye now.

The bar rye.

Sam, bring the lady bar rye.


You're just full of class.

From your bar rye on up.

All us seminary
girls have got class.

You don't won't to sell?

I won't sell.

Thanks for the eye-opener.

You're welcome.

I wonder...

if this town is big
enough for both of us.

You're welcome to find out.

You bet I am.

Golly Bill, what was that?

Some kind of wind, Festus.

No, ma'am, that wasn't no wind.

A hot one or an ill
wind. I don't know which.


She didn't look
sick a particle to me.

What's the matter, Kitty?
Don't you like your food?

Doc, it's pretty good, isn't it?

- Oh, mine's fine. Yours?
- Good.

Guess she's not hungry, huh?

What's the matter,
Kitty? Ain't you hungry?


What's the matter with you two?

Well, there's nothing
wrong with us.

We're fine.

Well, you're not
eating your supper.

Of course, you are.

You're just gulping yours down.

I'm not hungry.

Something wrong, Kitty?

Oh, nothing. It's just...

one of those days I should
have hunted my own food

and shot it and eaten it raw.

Well, I expect they
got some raw meat

out there in the kitchen
if that's what you want.

Are you sure that's what's
bothering you... the food?

Yeah, that's what's
bothering me... the food.

Well, it looks like I picked the
best place in town for supper.

That's 'cause your
aim is so deadly.

This is, uh, Doc
Adams, Matt Dillon.

- Stella Damon.
- Miss Damon.

- Howdy do.
- Gentlemen.

Well, wouldn't you
like to sit down?

Uh, no, thank
you. I hate crowds.

Don't you, Kitty?

I don't mind crowds.

I just don't like
feeling crowded.

Are you the, uh, marshal here,

- Mr. Dillon?
- That's right.

Well, I wonder if I've given
you the proper respect, Kitty.

Never entered my mind.

Well, mine, either, but, uh...

now I see you're
friends with the marshal

and the town doctor.

Well, I'm bound to be impressed.

Kind of sweetens the pot.

We don't want to keep
you from your supper, Stella.

Of course, I might
get sick. Who knows?


Then again, I might
even break the law.

Then we could all be friends.

Evening, gentlemen.

- Evening.
- Kitty.


Oh, sit down.

Well, my gosh, Kitty, I didn't
know you had a friend in town.

- I don't.
- Who is she, Kitty?

You ought to know. You
looked her over close enough.

Well... She was standing

right in front of me.
I couldn't help it.

Pretty fine-looking
woman, too, I'd say.


I keep wondering
how she'd look bald.

How long you known her?

I met her this morning.

And already you
want to scalp her?

I really don't care who does it.

She must have done something.

I wouldn't be surprised.

Well, I'll say one thing.

Been a long time since I've seen
anybody get your goat like this.

Keep it up. I never saw it fail.

You can't see
beyond a pretty face.

You two just sit here
and moon about it.

I got better things to do.

You're a wise old codger, Doc.

Now, what do you
think that was all about?


Well, I'd say that is about
the darnedest thing I ever saw.

Morning, Marshal.

Well, Miss Damon.

Are you, uh, busy,

or are you just trying
to look that way?

Come in, sit down.

This time I will.

What can I do for you?

I'm going to open a
business in Dodge, Marshal.

But I suppose you know that.

No, I didn't.

Kitty didn't tell you?

What kind of business?

A gambling house,

a saloon,

a palace of pleasure.

Ah. Well, I, uh, don't know

if you've looked around
Dodge very much,

but I think we're a little
shy on palaces here.

You're clean out
of them, Marshal.

I'll have to build me one.

I bought, um, that old building

across the street
from the Dodge House.

Well, it's the old warehouse.
Used to be an assay office.

Well, maybe they left some
gold dust in there for me.

I doubt that.

Well, I'm gambling
on there being gold

once I open for
business, Marshal.

Well, maybe there will be.


what's your cut?

My cut?

How much of my gold do you get?

None, Miss Damon.

You don't want me
to buy any, um...

extra protection?

You can't, Miss Damon.

I make my rounds every night.

If there's trouble at
your place, I'll be there.

That's the size of it.

Well... I'm wasting
your time, Marshal.

Not if we understand each other.

I wonder if we do.

Tall, handsome and honest.


That's a lot to
believe, Marshal.


What do you do?


Yes. Do.

Well, now, uh...

You know, I could give
you a couple answers to that.

I... I do just as
little as I can

and mostly what I please.


Would you like a job?

No, ma'am, I wouldn't.

Well, I pay well. Uh...

I need a lot of
men in a big hurry.

Well, a looker like you
hadn't ought to have

to beat the bushes to
get a hold of no men.

My name is, uh, Stella Damon.

Oh, yes, ma'am.

What's yours?

Festus Haggen.

Well, uh, Festus Haggen,

you're leaning
against my building.

Well, if you was to step back

a pace or two, I'd quit.

You sure are mighty
pretty to be hard of hearing.


I need strong men

who can work a saw
and swing a hammer,

and turn this wreck
of an old building

into a shiny new gambling house.

You're talking about a
heap of work, you know?

Oh, I intend to watch
every minute of that work.

You do?


Right close.

Funny thing.

I can remember Aunt
George just telling us boys

how choring would keep
a man from going to flab,

but I never seen the
truth of it till right now.

Well, it... it would be a shame

if all that fine muscle
was to go to flab.

Oh, I-I couldn't allow that.

Now, if you was to back up

a little bit and give me room

to take a breath or
two, I'd go to work

and find them men for you.



whatever you say, Festus.


Miss Kitty?

Can I jaw with you
for a minute or two?

I guess so, Festus.

Miss Kitty,

you don't cotton much

to that Stella Damon, do you?

Doesn't matter
whether I do or not.

Well, I figure myself
to be your friend,

so it does matter.

She couldn't keep us
from being friends, Festus.

You don't know what she...

She's a-fixing to build
a new gambling house.

And I'm supposed
to help her round up

all the muscle there
is in town to do it with.

There they are. Help yourself.

I-I... I'll sure go
someplace else

and round them
up if you want me to.

No, it's all right.
I can't lose.

The more money they make,
the more whiskey they'll buy.

Well, if-if you're
sure I got your leave.

You got it.

Men... quit jawing now.

Listen to me. Be still.


Now, there's work to be had

if any of you wants it.

- Best wages in town.
- Hmm.

What you're supposed
to do is to follow me

down to the old assay house.

And what we're fixing to do...
We're-we're gonna go to work

and tear it down and
put it back together

a heap prettier than it is now.

So, if any of you's got
a feeling for hard cash,

why, just come ahead
on and follow me now.


Don't look so stricken, Sam.

It's not the end of the world.

They're going to work for
her, aren't they, Miss Kitty?

Stella Damon? Yeah, they are.

She aims to run you out
of business. You know that.

I know it, and I'm
gonna try to run her out.

But that isn't what bothers me.

Well, what, then?

She bothers me.

It's not her looks
or her clothes

or her sharp tongue.

I don't know.

She just doesn't
set right with me.

All right, men, be still.

It's time to quit
and eat dinner.

- All right!
- All right.

Come back, now.


You looking for
something, Festus?

Well, I wasn't sure
right there at first,

but it looks like I
found something.

Oh, it's-it's good,
whatever it is.

It sets plum level
and everything.

Well, Festus, you
know what this is.

Oh, sure, it's a contraption.

I just don't know what's it for.

No, it's a runway.


Why, it is.

I wouldn't fret none.

Whoever it is that's
a-running won't get far,

'cause it ends right here.

Do you drink?

Well, not as much as
the man sitting next to me.

I suppose you sing
and, uh, dance?

Why don't you just
go ahead and suppose.

Well, do you?

Sure... at gunpoint.

All right, step down.

Aggie... Sloan.

Look, let me save you some time.

This is my best
dress... and my worst.

This is my dress.

I'm old enough, I drink enough.

I sing in the dark
when I'm scared.

And I dance on
tables when I'm drunk.

And I used to be a
cook on a cattle drive.

A cook?

All right, I was a drover.

Where'd you work last, Aggie?

At the Long Branch.

You said all the right things.

Step down.

Uh, Alma Lindstrom.

Well, hello there, Eddie.

Come on, Sam. I haven't
hit Dodge in six weeks.

Now, give me a bigger smile.

Mister, your troubles are over.

Good to see you, Eddie.

Well, I don't know about that.

Now, I've seen
broader smiles on men

with ropes around their necks.

Uh, it's a quiet little
town you got here.

- Kind of.
- Uh-huh.

Some kind of a plague hit?

Something like that.

Miss Kitty'll tell you about it.

Well, I'm glad to
hear she's around.

- Where is she?
- In her office.

That is just where I want her.

Who is it?

The most important
man in your life, Kitty.

Come on in, Eddie.

Aw, thank you.

It was nice of you
to bring me these

while I can still smell them.

How are you?

Well, I was on top of the world

till I walked through
that little wake out there.

At least you
didn't get trampled.

Oh, you ran out of my whiskey,

and everyone's home
making corn liquor, right?

Well, we'll take
care of that right now.

The, um, usual order, Kitty?

Not this time, Eddie.

Oh, you want to double it.

Come here.

Those barrels aren't full?

To the top.

Kitty, six weeks ago, your
business was booming.

I know it, and I got carried
away, and I ordered too much.

Right now, this looks
like a lifetime supply.

You gonna tell me what happened?

You must have come
in town from the West.


Then you didn't
see Stella's Palace.

Stella's Palace? What
is that... a new saloon?

Oh, it's more than that.

Gambling hall, ladies, runway.

Hasn't even opened yet,
and already, I feel the pinch.

I'm sorry to hear that, Kitty.

Well... you don't have to worry.

You'll do good business.

Stella's buying nothing
but the best of everything.


Yeah, Stella Damon.
You can tell her I sent you.

Stella Damon
here in... in Dodge?

Do you know her?

I sold her whiskey for
her place over in Pueblo.

At least I did up until a
couple of months ago.

She's had a rough time, Kitty.

It doesn't show.

Well, her place in Pueblo?

Burned down to the ground.

And her husband
was killed in the fire.

I didn't know that.

Poor Stella... she's had
an awful run of bad luck.

Yeah, well, she's
spent a raft of money.

Her luck can't all be bad.

I'd better go see her.

That's where the
business is this trip, Eddie.

Well, uh...

it's not only business.


Now, don't you worry.
Everything will work out fine.

Stella, it's better. This
is better than Pueblo.

You like it, huh?

Like it? It's just what you
call it, Stella. It's a palace.

For a queen.

Stella, I'm real happy for you.

Well, that puts you at the head

of a very short list.

You and me, Eddie...
We're mighty happy for Stella.


You know,

I still don't know
how you did it.

- Well, I had a little help.
- No, no, no.

I mean about, well, getting
back on your feet after...

Forget it.


I've forgotten Pueblo.

All the rotten luck
that went with it.

I don't want sympathy.

I don't want to
remember any of it.

I don't blame you.

Soon as it was over, I ran.

I thought I had run far enough,

and first thing I
know, here you come.

Stella, I, uh... I work Dodge.

The same as I did Pueblo.

You got a big territory.

Everything south and
west of Kansas City.

We can do business, Eddie.

We can do a lot of business.

Just one thing.


I want a new life.

Just thinking
about the old one...

my husband, my business...

it hurts, it cuts deep.

I can't tell you how much.

Stella, I promise I
won't mention it again.

Not to me, not to anyone.

As far as Dodge
City's concerned,

you and I met right here.



All right.

Now, get out that order book.

Let's go to work.

The whiskey's free
tonight, boys, so hurry on in.

Come on, grab yourself
a drink and a table.

There'll be singing and dancing

and a lot of fine
ladies for company.

It's free whiskey at
Stella's grand opening.

Come on, boys.
There's a lot of whiskey...

What do you think of my sign?

And a lot of fun...

Oh, it sparkles like a
wet eyeball, don't it?

What you got on your head?

My hat. Why?

It smells awful, that's why.

Oh, that.

Well, see, there
was this bottle,

and I thought it was rosewater,
and I doused my head with it.

It turned out to
be elderberry wine.

Oh. It smells awful.

I didn't put it on
for your benefit.

Well, Comanche.

I reckon you ain't used
to a classy place like this,

living in a teepee and all.

Why don't you just
take your smelly head

and put it someplace else, huh?

Guess what I'm fixing to do.


- Kitty.
- Kitty.

You're lost.

Oh, uh...

Just thought
maybe we'd join you.

Sorry, boys, this is
a one-handed game.

Big game's down the
street. Why aren't you there?

Oh, for heaven sakes, Kitty.

We're just as sorry
about that as you are,

but there's not a
dad-blame thing

we can do about
it, either one of us.

Well, there's one thing
you can do about it.


That's give me some
credit for some sense.

Now, call it sour grapes

or jealousy, or
anything you want to,

but I just don't
like that woman.

Kitty, you may be right,
but what's she done?

I don't know. Why
don't you ask her.

Well, I guess maybe I
better get down there.

They're probably
tearing the place apart.

There ought to be something
for you, too, down there, Curly.

I'm not very good company.

Oh, I know that.

And you can't play
solitaire, either.

A three of hearts goes up there.

Jack of spades goes
on the red queen.

And the black eight
goes on the red nine.

The light's bad in here.

Yeah, well, maybe so, but
next time you're in the office,

I'd like to examine your eyes.

Well, I understand

that the lights are real
bright down at Stella's Palace.

Come on, Sam.

We're all gonna join the party.

Well, by golly.

- Well, Marshal.
- Stella.

Oh, this is a welcome surprise.

Mighty happy-looking
crowd you got here tonight.

Yeah, they're all
full of free whiskey.

Gonna have a
little drink with me?

Well, no, no, thanks.
I'm just here on business.

Well, so am I.

Say, uh, Stella, I'll tell
you something now.

Uh, you better keep an
eye on these two here.

If you're passing
out free whiskey,

they'll probably
drink up all you got.

Tell you something, Matt.

There's only one man here
that's drunk and disorderly.

That's right, Matthew.

And anybody knows a
Comanche can't drink.

You're doing great, Stella.



I don't know whether to ask
you to check your guns or not.

Just came to take
some lessons, Stella.

All right.

Ladies and gentlemen.

Ladies and gentlemen.

Hey, shut up!

I have been waiting

for our guest of
honor to arrive,

and she has just favored
us with her appearance.

Miss Kitty Russell!

Eddie! Eddie Fitch!


Get a bottle of fine rye
for Miss Russell's table.

Excuse me, gentlemen.

Well, Kitty, I guess
it's a little lonely

down at your place tonight, huh?

I'm just like
anybody else, Stella.

I'll go any place where
the drinks are free.

Well, I'm mighty
glad to have you here,

because we all remember

when you used to
run a little saloon

right here in Dodge.

Your big problem
may be in forgetting it.

Good luck.

Since this is a kind of

a farewell party for Kitty,

I think it calls for
something special.

All right?

♪ Cowpokes and rustlers ♪

♪ And gamblin' men and drovers ♪

♪ Come over to Stella's
when you come to town ♪

♪ Good hard-fisted drinkin' ♪

♪ Will set a man to thinkin' ♪

♪ The women are pretty
and it's worth hanging 'round ♪

♪ I'm Stella, Stella ♪

♪ Big-hearted Stella ♪

♪ Gather 'round, gather 'round ♪

♪ And a story I'll tell ya ♪

♪ Now once was a gambler
whose luck never failed him ♪

♪ He spied a young gal,
and he liked what he saw ♪

♪ But though he was fast with
his wheelin' and his dealin' ♪

♪ It served him no good
'cause he was slow on the draw ♪

♪ I'm Stella, Stella ♪

♪ Big-hearted Stella ♪

♪ Gather 'round, gather 'round ♪

♪ And a story I'll tell you ♪

♪ I've got a bartender ♪

♪ Who likes a big spender ♪

♪ He'll keep the drinks
coming till you've had your fill ♪

♪ But pretty young women ♪

♪ Will send your
heart a-swimmin' ♪

♪ But don't try to sneak out
and leave him with the bill ♪

♪ I'm Stella, Stella ♪

♪ Big-hearted Stella ♪

♪ Gather 'round, gather 'round ♪

♪ When the going gets rye! ♪

Miss Stella,

I want you to know I had
a time bigger than my foot,

and I'm ever so
much obliged to you.

Well, I was mighty
glad to have you, Festus.

You're beautiful.

The party's over, Eddie.

Go home.

You know, you, um,
really sliced Kitty up

pretty good tonight,
didn't you, Stella?

Tell me about it tomorrow.

Nah, I'm gonna tell
you about it tonight.

Now, Stella...

Kitty didn't have
to show up tonight,

but she did. She
was a good sport.

Now, you didn't have
to make light of her.

We're both out to
ruin the other one.

Kitty knows that.

Ah, come on, Stella.

There's room
enough for both of you.

No, there isn't.

And I intend to get rid
of her any way I can.

Now, go on, Eddie. I'm tired.

Wait a minute, Stella.

Kitty is a good friend of mine.

She has been for years.

Well, go tell her about it.

She can use a
good friend right now.

I don't need you, Eddie.

Or your whiskey.

Or your advice.

Stop it! I'm sick
of the sight of you!

You're forgetting
one thing, Stella.

I know you.

Well, I can fix that right now.

Now, get out of here.

Wait a minute.

Where'd the money
come from, Stella?

For all this palace, huh?

Now, your saloon burned
down to the ground.

And your husband
was killed in the fire.

Now, how come this new fortune?

How come, Stella?

I don't tell my business

to nosey little
whiskey drummers.


Good night, Sam.

Good night, Miss Kitty.


Can I have a word with you?

Well, it's pretty late, Eddie.

Won't it keep until morning?

Well, I think what I have to
say, you'd want to hear ton...

Let me do the talking.

I can't think of anything else

we have to say to
each other, Stella.

Well, I have, haven't I, Eddie?

You should have.

I'm sorry, Kitty.

Eddie says I-I cut you
up pretty good tonight.

I am sorry.

All right. Can I go to bed now?

Um, well, just
a minute. I... I...

I don't expect this to tear your
heart out, because it shouldn't,

but, uh... I...

I thought that the past was
back where it belonged un...

until Eddie came along.

I was pretty rough
on him just now. I...

I said a lot of
things I didn't mean.

- Just like I did to you.
- St-Stella?

Uh, Kitty knows
about your husband

and about the fire in Pueblo.

I told her before I saw
you the first day in Dodge.

I... I thought if I
was hard enough

and brassy enough,
I could forget about it.

I just didn't want
to be hurt again.

I'm sorry for everything
that's happened to you, Stella.


I don't suppose
we can be friends?

I'm afraid it's a
little late for that.

Yeah, I... I don't blame you.


would you walk me back, Eddie?

Well, sure, Stella.

I'll see you tomorrow, Kitty.

All right, Eddie.

- Evening, Marshal.
- Oh, Eddie.

You two are up late.

Well, I'm just walking
the young lady home.

- Oh.
- Good night, Marshal.

- Good night.
- Good night, Marshal.

Bar closing up?

Well, I was.

But I could stand a
nightcap. How about you?


Mmm, the air
smells nice and fresh.

I'm sorry I said all those
things to you, Eddie.

Well, honey, I, uh...

I said a few things myself.

Let's forget the
whole thing, hmm?

You know, it seems like
the whole town's asleep.

Yeah, everybody but you and me.


Now, you go right to
bed and get some sleep.

And everything will look
better in the morning.

Yes, I think it will.

Good night.

Well, Kitty, that was
quite a show tonight.

Yeah, a couple of carping women.

That makes for a
great show, doesn't it?

Well, everybody
seemed to enjoy it.

Matthew, there's
a fire at the palace!

Kitty, stay back.

Come on, get the ladder in!

Set her up here.
Set it up right there.

Get it inside.

Can you see if you
can do anything for her?

I'll try.


Oh, Matt.

He's dead.

Poor devil.

A horrible way to die.

He was murdered, Stella.

Shot in the back.

How can that be?

You don't have very good
luck with fires, do you?

Why, I...

I don't have very
good luck at all.

You think I killed Eddie?

I think it's a pretty
good guess, yeah.

I'm sure gonna check
on that story about

your husband and
that fire in Pueblo.

I once asked

if this town was big
enough for both of us.

But no place is...

when you want to hide.

Okay, throw water on it.

All right, come here,
men. Throw it in!