Gunsmoke (1955) s01e34 Episode Script

Chester's Mail Order Bride

ANNOUNCER: Starring James Arness as Matt Dillon.
Each time I come up here to Boot Hill I think of all the men that Dodge has watched die.
Some a coward's death and some standing up and in good style.
More than a few of these I've had a part in.
I'm Matt Dillon, U.
S.
marshal.
But now, standing here, looking out over the high plains, I remember that while Dodge is a pretty rough camp, sometimes there's a lot of good to be found there.
Fill it up again, Sam.
I said fill it up again.
Look here, Chester, ain't you had enough? Sam, I want you to give me your honest opinion.
Do you think that a girl like that could see anything in me? My honest opinion? Yeah.
Woman trouble, huh, little fella? Oh, nobody asked you.
She's a right pretty gal.
Yes, sir.
Hey, give that back to me.
You just keep a twist on that temper of yours.
Let's you and me be friends.
You heard what I said.
You better get Chester out of here, Matt, before that buffalo hunter pinches his head off.
Yeah.
Guess I'd better.
What's got into him, anyway? I wish I knew.
He's been acting like a pit cock all week.
What's that picture? I don't know.
He wont show it to me.
Says he wants a man's advice.
You take your dirty buffalo paws off my pic- You know, I'd taken quite a fancy of you, little fella.
I hate to do this.
Well I was only trying to be friendly, marshal.
Uh, that's a fact.
Yeah, I know.
Come on, Chester.
All right, Chester.
Now, who is she? Chester, you drink this coffee, and you keep drinking it until you can talk.
Now- Now, who is that? Come on, Chester.
Tell us who she is.
Well, you see, uh You're interested, huh? Yeah.
We're interested.
Oh.
She's, um She's coming to marry me.
What did he say? Are you sober enough to know what you're saying? Well, it was my letters that done it- Your letters? Did you write to this girl through one of those matrimonial papers or something? The Cupid's Messenger.
Well, you tinhorn Lochinvar.
Don't you call me names, Doc.
I feel bad enough.
It's a terrible thing- No.
N-never mind, doc.
I wanna hear the rest of this.
Go on, Chester.
Well, eh she wrote that, uh she was gonna be here tomorrow.
Ten in the morning on the Santa Fe.
Well, you must write a real good letter.
Well.
Yeah, I guess I do.
I- I didn't think I wrote good enough though to bring her all the way out here from Philadelphia.
Pretty girl like this coming to see you.
I don't see why you've been acting like a spooky horse all week.
Mm.
Well, uh I just can't help but worry and fret, Mr.
Dillon, When you got a problem.
When I got a problem? Yeah.
You see when she sent me her picture, well I had to find one to send to her and well, I don't take a very good picture and, heh I sent her yours.
Eh- You had it in your drawer.
You know, the- The one that you had took in Fort Worth, and That funny plug hat and that- Them mucked-up shoes.
I know, I know.
I ought to be skinned alive for doing this to you, Mr.
Dillon.
No.
I- I don't see why, Chester.
After all, you haven't done anything to me.
I haven't? No.
I just have to go down to the depot and meet a pretty girl, that's all.
I think I might enjoy that.
Oh.
Then I, uh, drive her back to town.
I think I might enjoy that too.
Oh.
But, uh you're the one who's gonna have to do all the explaining.
Oh.
Well, that's awful nice of Mr.
Dillon to do that for me, but I don't see why he had to get all dressed up, with a tie and everything, do you? Oh, now, Chester, don't worry about that.
Now, here.
Here, you take this suit, and go on in there and get yourself bathed, and get ready to be barbered.
Go on now.
Hey, Doc, where did you get the suit for the mail-order groom? I borrowed it from the undertaker.
The undertaker? I've given him enough business.
He owes me a favor or two.
What was that about the undertaker? Well, Chester, uh That suit, uh, there belonged to a fella that's now on Boot Hill.
Boot Hill? Well- Doc, you think it's all right to wear a suit off'n a corpse? Why, sure.
Fella that owned that suit was a fine fella.
And he'd be proud if he knew he was helping out a new bridegroom.
Oh.
Excuse me, ma'am.
Chester? Oh.
I'm Ann.
Ann Smithwright? I'm so ashamed, and I know you'll never forgive me, but here I am.
Oh, don't look at me that way, please.
I can explain everything.
It was my sister's picture I sent you.
Oh.
I see.
At first, I never dreamed it would go this far, but then you wrote such wonderful letters, and I wish I were dead.
Are you a policeman? Oh.
Well, you- You might say so.
I, uh Well, I think we'd better get you up to the Dodge House.
That's a hotel, isn't it? Well, yes, but, uh you don't have to worry.
But, Chester- Now, Miss Smithwright.
I think we'll both feel a lot better after we've talked this thing over.
Yes, Chester.
Kitty will take good care of you, Miss Smithwright.
Anything you want.
Okay.
She really knows her way around this town.
Huh.
I'll be back later.
Come on, I'll show you your room.
I know I did an awful thing, and he doesn't owe me one little snitch of courtesy.
But he didn't say one single word to me all the way from the depot.
Well, don't worry.
It's all gonna straighten out.
I know I'm not as beautiful as my sister- Oh, now.
In fact, I'm not beautiful at all, but I just got sick and tired of nobody even seeing me when she was around.
And you thought you had an answer, hm? Well, I read the magazines about the West.
You know, how there aren't enough women to go around, andmen will do anything for you.
no matter what you're like.
Hm.
Guess I better get me some of those magazines.
So I- I thought thatmaybe after a while Chester wouldn't mind so much if I were kind of plain.
After all I am a woman.
Look, I'm sure that when you've had a nice long talk with Chester, that you'll realize that you don't have anything to blame yourself for.
Come in, Chester.
Chester? That's right.
Chester, uh, this is Ann.
Good luck.
Oh, uh- Eh- Oh- But- Oh.
No, y-you can't be Ann.
And you can't be Chester.
Well, I- I am.
Heh.
W-what about the man who brought me from the depot? Oh, that was only the marshal.
He was, heh, just helping me out.
How dare you send me his picture.
Do you realize you made me come all the way from Philadelphia on false pretenses? False pretenses? Yes, false pretenses.
Well, what about you? At least I had the decency to send a picture of my own sister.
Well, I don't have a sister.
Well, that's no excuse.
Afterall our beautiful letters we turn out to be two different people.
Strangers in a hotel room.
Well, what- Uh- Please, don't- Don't, uh- Eh, eh- Don't you, uh, think that we could talk this over? Yes, I- I think we'd better.
Tsk.
Oh.
I wonder what's keeping 'em so long.
Tsk.
Probably trying to figure out which one's the worst liar.
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.
" It's Sir Walter Scott.
Heh.
well, I declare.
Sorry that I took so long.
Heh.
Well? But, uh I had to stop by Moss Grimmick's stable and rent a buggy.
Oh.
You planning to drive Miss, uh, Smithwright all the way back to Philadelphia? Oh.
You can josh me if you want to, Mr.
Dillon, but, uh me and Ann are going for a ride out on the prairie this afternoon.
Oh.
Well- Tell us what happened.
Oh, nothing much.
Uh Ann just said that we must have meant what we wrote in them letters, and that well, pictures just don't matter.
Heh.
It's- It's how you feel inside.
That's what really counts.
Chester- I wont say a word.
Don't.
I think it's a- A lovely thought, Chester.
Oh, and she's a lovely girl too.
You know, I mean once you give her a chance to grow on you, heh.
Well I wont be gone too long.
Let me be the first to wish you luck, little fella.
Oh, thank you kindly, mister.
Oh, you can call me Nate.
I run the best five-wagon buffalo outfit south of the Platte.
Eh Let me wish you luck too.
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we prac-" Yeah, yeah, I know, Doc.
But did, uh, Sir Walter say how to get out of it? Well there it is.
There's the prairie.
Oh.
It's more beautiful than anything I ever read about in magazines.
Oh.
Is it? What's the matter, Chester? Oh, I can't go on making believe.
You're just too young to know what you're doing.
I'm 17.
Yeah, but I ain't your kind.
I mean, you know, anybody can tell that you come from good folks and And besides I don't have a cent to my name.
I- I had to borrow money from Mr.
Dillon to pay for your room at the Dodge House.
But now you'll have something to work for.
And you'll have me.
Well, that's what I was thinking about.
When a woman stands by a man, he can do anything.
Scale the loftiest peaks.
Oh.
Is that something else that you read in a magazine? Yes.
But it's true.
Look out there.
Everything's so brand-new, just waiting to be conquered.
Why, you can start from nothing and become just as good as any man.
You know, I almost believe that the way that you say it.
Oh, there's so much free land.
What's wrong with farming? You know, I always did have a- A feeling for making things grow.
You see? Yeah.
Stake out a homestead, I could.
I'll put most of it in wheat and, a- A few head of cattle and a little old shirt-tailed patch of vegetables.
We'd have us a real nice place.
And that would be only the beginning, Before you know it, we'd have to take on hired hands.
Yeah.
There's no telling where we'd end up.
You said you were just making believe.
Oh, well.
Well, I guess that makes us engaged.
For sure, don't it? You like it? Oh, I feel like I was 10 feet tall.
Oh, I can't get over it.
Yesterday morning, I was ready to shoot myself.
Tonight, they're giving me an engagement party at the Dodge House.
Miss Kitty was set on getting you engaged in style.
She pulled them out of every saloon and gambling joint on Front Street.
Heh-heh.
Marshal.
Yes, sir.
What can I do for you? Name's Brady.
With the Pinkerton Agency.
I'm trying to locate a certain party, and, um I need your cooperation.
All right, boys.
Come on, Nate, let's go.
No need for any preliminaries, marshal.
I know the girl I'm looking for is here in Dodge.
What girl is that? The one they're talking about up and down Front Street.
Ann Smithwright.
I just missed her by a day in Kansas City.
Oh, maybe that Pinkerton man don't know what he's talking about.
No, it's the truth, Chester.
She comes from one of the best families in Philadelphia.
The father's a judge.
You mean that I ain't good enough for her, is that it? No.
That's not it, Chester.
The only question is whether you're doing the right thing.
Now, Mr.
Brady told me that her mother had a heart attack when she heard the girl had run off.
Now, Ann should be with her.
Well, I'm sorry about that, Mr.
Dillon.
I am, but don't you understand that Ann come out here because she was miserable and lonely.
And don't you think she's gonna be miserable and lonely out here? When she finds out that the West isn't the way it's pictured in the magazines? What kind of life have you got to offer her, Chester? Well, I was figuring on proving up a claim somewhere, since lot of people start from nothing.
You know what homesteading's like? You wanna take a girl like Ann and make her tough and flinty? Like all those other nester women? Full of nothing but work and sorrow and poverty? No.
She'd be old at 30, Chester.
Old and half-sick.
Just like the rest of 'em.
How do you think that would match up to those dreams she had back in Philadelphia? Well not very much, I guess.
Look, if you gotta go homesteading, why don't you go out and get yourself one of those barefoot, bleached-out nester women.
They're bred to it.
Oh, Mr.
Dillon, I just don't know what to do.
Well, I think you ought to go talk to Ann.
Well now- Could this Mr.
Brady- Could he stop us from getting married? Well, he might try.
But I don't know of any law that gives him the right.
I see.
It's up to you, Chester.
Yeah, I guess it is.
Evening, marshal.
Now, wait a minute, boys.
Being real genteel tonight, we're checking our guns.
But it's like going around naked, marshal.
Come on, Nate.
Well seeing it's for the little fella.
All right, boys.
Strip down.
Come in.
Why Chester.
You look awful purty.
Uh Well, what I've got to say Ann, don't come easy.
Thinking on it didn't come easy neither.
But, uh I've had to do some deciding, and I just hope that I decided right.
For both of us.
I don't know what's happened to him, Matt.
They've been in half an hour.
You act like this was your engagement party.
Just playing it safe, in case I don't get one of my own.
I promised you could handle this your way, marshal.
Don't you think you're letting things go pretty far? I told you, Mr.
Brady, the choice isn't ours.
Quiet, everybody! Here comes the groom! O-oh, w-wait- Wait a minute, everybody, please.
Please, everybody, I- I, uh got something to say to you.
Speak up, little fella, say your peace.
Thank you, Nate.
Uh Oh, I wanna thank you for being so interested in- In, uh raking up this party and And for everything.
I'll never forget what you done.
Never.
But, uh Uh Well, you see, Ann's got folks back in Philadelphia, and they're real nice people, and she's going back to 'em tonight.
She's going back and she's gonna finish her schooling and all, and I think that that's where she belongs.
And I- I talked it over with Ann, and- And she pretty much agrees with me, and Uh Besides, I- I could no more be a homesteader than Ann could.
The- Well, I guess what I'm trying to say is that the engagement's off.
Heh.
Not so fast.
Here's the man.
He done it.
He's a Pinkerton man.
Now, hold on a minute, Nate.
Oh, no, marshal.
Maybe you're willing to let him spoil it for the little fella, but me and my boys here ain't.
We're gonna take you out in the prairie and lose you, mister.
Come on, boys.
You know where your guns are.
Nate! Now, you listen to me.
Brady here had nothing to do with this.
Chester and Ann decided what was best for 'em, and I think it took a lot of courage.
Now, do you wanna spoil it all? Well, I- I-I- How about a dance, Nate? Why, it's a pleasure, ma'am.
All right, Joe.
Mr.
Brady.
Bye, Chester.
Bye, Annie.
It's all right.
You don't have to say anymore.
I think I understand now.
Are you sure? Yes, uh It's done me no harm.
It's been good for me.
Thank you, Chester.
Nobody's fault but my own.
Never should've learned how to write.