Gunsmoke (1955) s01e37 Episode Script

Mr. and Mrs. Amber

ANNOUNCER: Starring James Arness as Matt Dillon.
You mean to say you don't even have the price of a meal? Marshal, I ain't even got a smatterin' of self-respect.
Well now, look here, Mr.
Amber.
Suppose you tell me what this whole thing's about.
You know, uh, you haven't been making too much sense.
No.
No, sometimes a- A man gets so tired he- He can't even talk straight.
Here, you- You have a little coffee, you'll feel better.
Now what's on your mind? Well You stand for the law, is that right? And from what I hear, you- You try to run things straight, so maybe you can put me straight.
Maybe.
Sometimes it takes two to make a murder, don't it? I mean, suppose a man keeps pushin' and a-proddin' at you when he sees you're down in the dust, and you can't help yourself.
Ain't you got a right to rise up and strike out against him? Mr.
Amber nothing justifies murder, if that's what you're talkin' about.
But ain't he responsible for his own hate and meanness? Ain't he partly to blame for makin' you want to kill him? But you look like a peaceable man, Mr.
Amber.
Why don't I lend you some money? Maybe after you've had a good breakfast- No, no, you're puttin' me off.
But you know I'm right.
Sometimes it does take two to make a murder.
And it's wrong just to blame the one that does the killin'.
You ever seen him before, Chester? Yeah, yeah.
I think I have.
Over at Jonas' store couple of times, stockin' up on provisions.
Two to make a murder.
Oh, he ain't gonna kill anybody.
If he was, he wouldn't be blowin' off about it.
I don't know.
That's one way of looking at it.
What's the other? The way things look to a man who's dead on his feet, hasn't even got the price of a meal.
Ah.
Hello, marshal.
Hello, Mr.
Jonas.
What can I do for you? Did you ever do any trading with a man by the name of uh, Neal Amber, Mr.
Jonas? I wouldn't call it trading exactly.
Amber's on my books for more than $200 now.
Oh, that so? Say, uh he in some kind of trouble? No, no.
I just, uh, wondered what you might know about him.
Nothin' much.
'Cept he, uh, comes in every couple of months for supplies, sometimes pays a little on account.
I see.
Him and his wife tryi'' to scratch out a livi'' up north, near Pawnee Weld.
Pardon me.
Sound like a customer come in the wrong way.
What do you think you're doin', Amber? Stay clear of me, Mr.
Jonas.
I got to have this bag of seed, so don't try to stop me.
No thievin' sneak is gonna tell me what to do.
Now stand back and hold up your hands! I ain't goin' back to face my woman with an empty wagon.
Now, I'm warning you.
Leave go that sack.
Jonas.
Put the gun away.
I was gonna pay him back, marshal.
I never stole nothin' before in my life.
Marshal, I want this man arrested.
I didn't mean for this to happen.
Every time I go into town, I dream of buying a little tobacco ormaybe a drink.
But I don't.
I force myself to remember I got to pay you something on my account, Mr.
Jonas.
I think I've been pretty fair and easy with you, Amber.
I know.
But this time I don't have nothin', not a penny.
And I know I can't beg you for any more credit.
So you decided to steal from me instead.
Marshal, you got to believe me.
I was only thinki'' of my wife.
Me and Sarah, we're- We're nearly starvin'.
I- I got to make something grow on that land.
From what I hear, that's pretty good soil out there.
What's the trouble? Good soil.
It's one misery after another.
Fall comes too late, and the winter's too dry.
Raised a little corn, and Peak Fletcher's cattle come in and ruined it.
Then the skunks got into my hens.
Sarah's goats swelled up and died.
She had two of 'em.
Always wanted goats.
All her life she's wanted 'em.
And then somebody come in and shot one of my horses, and I- I don't know what-all.
Take that bag of seed and put it on your wagon, Amber.
Go on home.
Now hold on here.
Put it on my bill, Mr.
Jonas.
I'm beholden to you, marshal.
You'll get your money back too.
I ain't hardhearted, marshal, but I just can't see the law sidin' with a common thief.
Look, Mr.
Jonas, uh, get a bag of provisions together, will you? Whatever it is he usually takes.
You know you're practically givin' your say to a man thievin'? Put those things on my bill too.
Well, I still say you can't make these dirt-grubbers your burden, Mr.
Dillon.
They're all up against it, one way or another.
Yeah, I know, Chester, but only one of 'em came to me with talk about murder.
If Neal said anything crazy like that, it's because he's sick.
He's tired and he's desperate, marshal.
Well, I thought he might've had somebody particular in mind, ma'am, and I- I didn't want him to do anything he might be sorry for.
You paid for that bag of seed too, didn't you? Well, don't worry about that.
He'll- He'll pay me back.
You'll never get paid.
We didn't make no money this year and we ain't plantin' in time to make none next.
Look at him.
He gets so tired sometimes, he could die tryin' to make a go of it.
He ain't no farmer.
Never was.
He can learn.
People are doing it every day out here.
But he's always hated it.
He only come out here 'cause I kept naggin' at him.
Well people are leaving every day too, Mrs.
Amber.
There's no shame in that.
We can't ever get away.
Why not? You know what the sodbusters sing, don't you? We don't live, we only stay.
We're just too poor to get away.
But Neal ain't gonna be able to take it much longer.
And I'm afraid for him.
Afraid? Just like he- He never stole before today.
He's liable to find reason to do something even more terrible.
Who's the man your husband meant, Mrs.
Amber? Peak Fletcher.
He owns that big spread across the creek, doesn't he? He's my brother.
Your brother? He must be a rich man.
I should think he'd want to help you, get you started somewhere.
He's a hard man.
He said he'd never let us leave.
He said if we tried he'd come after us and bring us back.
Why? He's got me and Neal doin' penance for my sins.
What? My brother reckons he's an instrument of the Lord.
Well He's taken a lot on himself, isn't he? That's all I got to say.
You came here with a question and you got your answer.
Now, good day, marshal.
Goodbye, Mrs.
Amber.
I want a word with you, marshal.
I'm Peak Fletcher.
This here's my son, Simon.
Well gentleman? Mr.
Jonas tells it you made mock of the law today.
Even been bringing provisions to the thief.
Well, now maybe I did bend the law just a little bit.
But I don't think it did any harm.
No harm? When you took it on yourself to flaunt one of the holy Commandments.
Thou shall not steal, saith the Lord.
If Neal Amber stole, he stands to be punished seven times seven.
Now, forgetting Amber for just a minute, don't you care that your sister is going hungry? There ain't many I let on to she's any kin of mine at all.
Well, she and her husband have just about hit rock bottom out there.
That's the Lord, wreakin' out his vengeance.
Oh, that's what it is, uh? She come crawlin' and cringin' back to me with that spineless husband of hers.
After spendin' all her years wallowin' in the sins of the flesh.
Cheap dance hall woman, that's what she was.
Didn't you ever read anything about forgiveness in that Bible of yours, Fletcher? To forgive one of your own, when only God has that right, ain't true religion.
That kind of religion don't hold fire.
Amen.
I don't care what you do, marshal.
The Lord will have his way with sinners.
You mark my words.
Come on.
De-de-dee doo-doo Chester? Until I find Another pair Chester.
Oh, y-yes, sir.
Look, see that this gets off on the next stage, will you? That's government business.
Kind of important.
Oh.
Huh? It's a reminder that the U.
S.
marshal in Dodge hasn't been paid for two months.
Oh-ho.
Yeah.
Well Uh-oh.
Here comes old fire and brimstone.
It's almost like a judgment come to pass.
I told you before, the Lord would have his way with sinners.
Meaning what? I'm ordering you to come out and get my sister.
Fletcher you're not ordering anybody.
Now, what do you got on your mind? This morning, Simon found a calf in Amber's barn.
And a calf wearin' my brand.
Well? She stole it, was fixin' to slaughter it.
Simon's out there now, standin' guard over it so's you can see the proof.
Oh, what's one calf to you, Mr.
Fletcher? The Ambers are near starvin' to death.
She stole it while her husband was out plantin' seed.
That's cattle thievin'.
Aren't you ever afraid that all that powerful righteousness is gonna kick back in your face? I don't ever ask nothi'' of nobody I ain't ready to live up to myself.
Let's go.
She was gonna butcher him on the ground.
A man would've hung him up.
Here they are, marshal.
I was keepin' 'em locked up for you.
Now, maybe you're a small-caliber prophet, Simon, but enforcing the law is my job.
Marshalshe didn't do this thing.
Would you mind telling us about this, Mrs.
Amber? What's my word against his? Simon will tell you all you need to know.
Go ahead, Mrs.
Amber.
What good will it do? Me and Neal never had a chance.
We're doomed to be crushed out, caught between this land and you.
Me? I gave you a piece of land, done my Christian duty.
Now you're payin' for your ungodliness.
Go on, Mrs.
Amber.
Well Neal was out in the fields and I come in here to get a potato for supper.
I-I saw the calf, andI was just standin' there lookin'.
And then he come in, and he said I stole it.
I tracked that calf here, marshal.
Caught her gettin' ready to slaughter it.
You shut up! Wait, you hold on here.
Callin' her a thief is like stabbin' her in the heart! There's no use fightin' no more, Neal.
I'm just sorry I brung it all on you.
No, don't say that.
If I was half the man I should be, I'd have been able to take care of you.
You been good to me.
The way things are, you could be better off dead.
I heard enough of this pulin'.
You gonna arrest him? Amber take your wife and go back in the house.
You callin' me and Simon liars! Now listen, you tinhorn saint.
I've had about enough of you for one day.
Now, you take that calf, and you get out of here.
You're gonna stand in the way of judgment again, huh? If that's what you wanna call it, yes.
You're only making her retribution worse, when it comes.
It'll be like a tempest and a devourin' flame.
All right, folks, go back to the house.
You looking for me, Simon? You'd better get out to the Ambers' place, marshal.
Now, look, why don't you leave those people alone? You know, I'm gettin' awful tired of you and your father breathin' hellfire into my face, mister.
You'd better do like I say.
Amber's sittin' out there.
Just sittin'.
He won't talk nor even look at you.
All right, get to the point.
Sarah, marshal.
She ain't around.
Nowhere.
You're beginning to remember now, ain't you? He did say right out, she'd be better off if'n she's dead.
Amber? Amber.
You all right? Shouldn't be sittin' here in the dark all alone.
Where's your wife? Where's Mrs.
Amber? I sent her away.
Sent her away? Where? Back East.
Soon as I auction off what we got here I'm goin' after her.
When was this? Couple of days ago.
She's better off now.
Now, your wife doesn't seem like the kind to go away and leave you alone, Amber.
I loved her, marshal.
She's all I had.
Get a lantern out in the shed and take a look around, will you? Yes, sir.
Did you have any more trouble with Peak or Simon? Simon was by here today.
He didn't say nothin'.
I didn't say nothin'.
I should've killed Peak.
That's what I was tryi'' to explain to you.
You mean, uh it takes two to make a murder, huh? He was drivin' me to it.
Mr.
Dillon? She's under a blanket out in the shed.
He didn't even bury her.
She was shot.
Amber.
Who shot your wife? I was just sittin' here thinkin' what it'd be like i-if she really was waitin' for me back East.
Money from the auction would've given us a new start.
Who shot her? I did.
She was sick of livin'.
Well, Amber.
'Bout time you decided to eat something.
Been almost three days, you know.
Thank you for lettin' me out, marshal.
I never could've eaten nothin' sittin' behind them bars.
Here comes Peak Fletcher and that son of his, Mr.
Dillon.
You stay here with him, Chester.
Well, I reckon you'll believe me the next time I point my finger at evil and quote the word.
It happened just like he said it would.
A flame of devourin' fire.
He ain't never wrong.
All right, what do you want now? When they gonna hang him? I'm gonna hang him when, and if, the judge in a court of law says so.
Do you understand that? She was a woman who found pleasure in unrighteousness.
She had it comin' to her.
Hold it! All right, hold it.
You've spoke your last against Sarah.
Simon.
Simon! You're gonna die, Simon.
You You tell the truth about Sarah.
What truth, Simon? What's he talkin' about? The calf in the shed, I put it there.
What? Just like you said.
She had to atone for her sins.
It was just takin' her too long.
Simon.
Come closer, marshal.
I don't want nobody else to hear.
I been lying to you about something.
You mean, you didn't kill your wife? Oh.
I put a bullet through her.
I did that.
Only she was already dead.
She is a proud woman, marshal.
That's why I took the blame for her.
She- She couldn't stand for nobody to know that she didn't have the strength to go on.
Are you sayin' she killed herself, Amber? No.
She give up.
Her heart broke.
She just laid down and died.
I see.
Marshal.
Marshal, I- I don't wish shame on her for it.
You won't tell nobody, huh? You'll let 'em go on thinking I done it, huh? Uh, don't you worry, Amber.
I'll keep your secret.
And hers.
Simon's dead.
Neal Amber killed him.
Did he? I know, marshal.
You think what happened to Simon has brought me to my knees.
But you're wrong.
It was the Lord's will.
And my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.