Gunsmoke (1955) s03e02 Episode Script

Gun for Chester

starring James Arness as Matt Dillon.
If a friend spends most of his time telling you how he once bought the ugliest horse in Texas, or how he nearly got trapped into marrying a city gal, or how his pa was meaner than an acre of snakes, well, you usually don't pay much attention.
But if he tells you a man's out to murder him and he starts wearing a gun and even calls the man out, well, then you listen pretty hard.
I know.
Matt Dillon, US Marshal.
Well, you got back all right, Chester.
Oh, yeah, well, I didn't go on a very dangerous mission.
Just went out to Mrs.
Peabody's for dinner.
Mrs.
Peabody's? Yeah.
Why, Chester, she's 80 years old.
Well, I didn't go out there to do no courting or nothing like that.
She's a fine old lady.
She's an awful good cook, too.
Oh, I tell you, she can make the best doggone speckledy gravy that I ever ate.
Maybe you're smarter than I thought you was, Chester.
Yeah.
Take care of my horse? Yes, that'll cost you that includes grain.
That's a fair enough price.
You can put him right in here.
Looks like you've been riding a long way.
Does it? Oh, I didn't mean to be prying.
That's all right.
I'll take it you was interested in the horse.
Sure.
You got a good hotel here? Dodge House is the best.
Good.
I'll need a drink.
I heard the Long Branch.
Most everybody has.
Well, I'll pay you when I leave, all right? Sure.
Hello.
You going hunting? Uh no.
Uh I saw a lot of wild turkey down by the Arkansas yesterday.
Oh, yeah, that that's fine.
What's the matter, some kind of trouble? No.
Well, what's wrong? Mr.
Dillon, you've-you've you've heard me talk about Stone County.
Missouri? Yeah.
Yeah.
Yeah, according to you, that's a hideout for bandits.
Yes, sir, that's right.
That's exactly what it is.
You know, they got a saying down there that if the law ever did catch any of them, there wouldn't be enough good men there to act as a jury to try the bad ones.
Yeah, I remember, but you're a long way from Stone County now, Chester.
Well, part of it moved up here.
Asa Ledbetter, he's in Dodge.
Who's Asa Ledbetter? Is he a bandit? Well, uh, uh no.
Well? Well, he's here for one reason, Mr.
Dillon, and one reason only.
What's that? That's to kill me.
Yes, sir, that's right.
He's here to kill me.
All right, Chester, now, look, before you go out gunning for him, suppose you tell me why he's here to kill you.
Uh uh well, uh Well, I don't see that it matters why.
All right, where is he? He went to get him a room at the Dodge House and he was going over to Long Branch to get a drink.
Well, I guess I'll have to go talk to him.
Maybe he'll tell me what this is all about.
Well, no, Mr.
Dillon, I-I-I just as soon that you wouldn't.
Well, Chester, look, I don't like to interfere, but my job is to keep people from getting killed.
Yeah.
And that includes you.
Now maybe you better stay here till I get back.
Well Hello, stranger.
Hello.
Your name Asa Ledbetter? What you want with Asa Ledbetter? I'm just wondering if that's your name, that's all.
You seem to know already.
You're the marshal here, huh? Yeah.
All right, I'm Asa Ledbetter.
Who told you my name? Chester.
Chester? Chester Goode.
Well, okay, Marshal, he got my name right, whoever he is.
Mm, you're saying you don't know him, huh? I never heard of no Chester Goode.
I'm glad to meet you, though.
Buy you a drink? No, thanks.
Tell me, where are you from, Ledbetter? East of here.
Missouri? Up in there.
Why? I'm just curious.
You sure are, ain't ya? Now, Marshal, what's this all about anyway? I'll tell you, Ledbetter, this Chester thinks you came here to kill him.
What? Well, did you? No, how could I? I never even heard of him.
Besides, I don't go around murdering people.
Well, I hope not.
Now, Marshal, let me tell you something.
I don't know as I like this Chester or nobody else dragging down my good name.
Don't worry, Ledbetter, nobody is.
Not just yet anyway.
Well, did you talk to him? Yep.
So? Chester you sure you don't have this man mixed up with somebody else? Well, no, not quite.
Hardly.
Now, he claims he never heard of you.
Oh, he's heard of me.
He's been looking for me for years.
Look, Chester why don't you take a little vacation for a few days.
Go on out fishing or hunting or something.
I think it'd do you good.
Mr.
Dillon, you don't believe me, do you? Well, no, I didn't say that.
No, well, you didn't have to say it in so many words.
I can't carry this thing around.
Good.
You don't need it anyway.
A crazy idea in the first place.
Good evening, Chester.
Oh, Miss Kitty.
Well, I didn't mean to scare you.
No, no, you didn't.
Not really.
Won't you sit down? Sure you don't mind? No, of course not.
I've got to leave in a minute, though.
I, uh, got to get over to the store before it closes.
Still carrying that gun around, huh? Well, yes, I am.
It's been two days now, nothing's happened yet.
Well, I ain't run into him yet.
Oh.
I know him, Miss Kitty, I know him.
He's just liable to be waiting somewheres to shoot me in the back.
Look, Miss Kitty, I mean, it's all right.
I know that you don't believe me, I don't mind.
I didn't say I didn't believe you.
Well, I'll tell you that Moss just told me that he's been asking about where do I live and where do I eat and sleep and all like that.
He's probably worried about you.
After all, he says he doesn't even know you.
Oh, now he knows me.
Oh, Chester, I didn't mean to get this started.
Now let's just forget it.
Well, I can't afford to forget it, Miss Kitty.
I just I can't afford to forget it.
Oh, well, I I guess I better get over to the store before it closes.
I've already paid.
Thank you.
Say, if you feel like it, why don't you come on by the Long Branch later.
I'll buy you a drink.
Well all right, maybe not tonight, but I will.
Good-bye, Miss Kitty.
Good-bye, Chester.
Whoo-hoo! Whoo-hoo! Hey, you now, that's my horse.
You'll get it back, mister.
I just want those cowboys.
Well, you don't have to take mine.
Mr.
Dillon! Mr.
Dillon! Here.
He shot me.
He shot me.
Who did? Asa Ledbetter.
Where is he? Back there in the alley somewheres.
All right, get around the corner.
There's nobody back there.
Well, he was there.
He shot me.
I'd-a shot him back only I didn't see him too good.
How bad is it? Oh, I don't think it nothing's broke.
It sure tore it up good, though.
You see, I seen them cowboys a-come out of there a-hooping and a-hollering and a-shooting and I ducked into the alley there.
You know, I think that Asa Ledbetter just hired them to set up a commotion so's he could a shot at me.
Well, now just a minute.
If you ducked into that alley, you were probably facing the street, weren't you? Well, yeah.
Yeah, well then, Ledbetter would've been behind you.
This bullet entered from the front.
Well, it was him, I know it was.
You said you didn't see him.
Well no, I didn't see him too good.
I was ducking too fast.
Yeah, and you caught a stray bullet.
Chester, you're worrying yourself into seeing things that aren't even there.
Now where are you going? I'm going up to Doc's.
Chester.
Huh? All right, I'll talk to Ledbetter.
I'll see him.
Yeah.
Sure, you you do that.
How many times a body have to get shot before they believe you anyway? Asa Ledbetter got a room here? Why, yes, he has, Marshal.
Is he in it? Now I don't know.
I just this minute got back from my supper.
Wasn't nobody on the desk.
Which room is his? Uh, 12, right over your head there.
Okay, thanks.
Marshal what about them cowboys? You're just gonna let them get by with that? They didn't shoot you, did they? Well, Marshal.
Evening, Ledbetter.
What is it this time, Marshal? How long you been in your room, Ledbetter? Oh, I don't know.
I was taking a nap till them drunks out there in the street woke me up.
You sure run a loose town, Marshal.
Not that I'm complaining, mind you.
Mm-hmm.
You still haven't said what you want of me.
Chester claims you tried to kill him a few minutes ago.
Marshal, I'm getting sick and tired of this Chester.
What's he trying to do, anyway? He was pretty certain about it, Ledbetter.
Does he claim he saw me? No.
Well, then, what's he talking about? Now, Marshal, he's bound and determined to get me into some kind of trouble, and I'm doggone if I know why.
He must have some reason, Ledbetter.
I'll be glad when I find me a job and get shed of this town.
Never did hear nothing good about Dodge, anyway.
We try to keep it peaceful around here.
Yeah, well, guess it's like they say: You probably ain't got enough good men left to act as jury to try the bad ones.
Where do they say that, Ledbetter? I don't know.
You've heard it.
Yeah.
It's a saying back in Missouri.
Stone County, I believe.
Oh, folks travel, they move around, don't they? Yeah.
Yeah, they move around a lot sometimes.
Now, look, Marshal, if I come here to kill a man, what'd I be waiting around for, a change in the weather? It don't make sense, does it? No, it doesn't make sense.
Not any part of it.
Boy, I I tell you, Doc, that-that hand is stiffening up on me.
Oh, yeah, it's bound to get stiff.
It'll be stiff for a few days.
How's the patient, Doc? Oh, he's all right.
It's nothing but a little scratch.
A sc? I-I suppose that if I come in here and I was scalped, you'd say that somebody just gave me too tight a haircut.
Well, no, I'd say you're making too big a fuss about this thing.
It's not that bad.
Now put your hand Just never mind.
I'll do it.
Well, then, keep it in there for a week or two, and then you'll never know you been hit.
It's just a mercy that it wasn't my head, that's all.
Chester, looks like Asa Ledbetter was in his room when it happened.
Is that-that's what he told you, huh? I said that's what it looks like.
Yeah, yeah.
Chester, how long has it been since you had a real good night's sleep? Now, now, Doc, don't-don't start that.
I'm telling you, don't start that.
Well, now just a minute.
Just a minute.
You told me yourself that you weren't sure it was him out there.
Yeah.
Well, the next time you will be sure it's him and whether he's there or not.
Are you finished? Are you all through? Well, now it's not gonna help you to get mad at me.
It might.
It just might! Well, now where in the world you going now? Who cares where I'm going! He'll get over it, Doc.
Well, I guess he will.
But what I can't figure is has he got this Ledbetter mixed up with somebody else, you suppose? That's what I tried to tell him.
Well, wouldn't it help if he just come right out and say why Ledbetter's trying to kill him? It would sure make his story sound a lot more real anyway.
Well, certainly.
You know, I can't help but be concerned about where's he's going, though.
He's in a terrible state.
It isn't like Chester not to talk about things.
You know how he usually rattles on.
Matt, come here.
Come here quick.
You gotta get down there right now.
Look.
Oh, he'd hate me to interfere, Doc.
Well, he's gonna get himself killed.
You got everybody in Dodge believing you, Ledbetter, but I know the truth.
I'm getting plumb good and tired of you, mister.
Well, why don't you do something about it? I'm getting tired of waiting.
Chester Now, Mr.
Dillon, please, just-just stay out of this, will ya? Look, I don't like gunfighting, Chester, no matter who's involved.
Well, Mr.
Dillon, I didn't start it.
He come to Dodge to shoot me.
He's crazy, Marshal.
He ought to be locked up.
Yeah, I'm crazy, all right.
I'm crazy for not calling you out before this.
Now you gonna fight, or ain't ya? I got no quarrel with you.
You're not picking a very good time for a gunfight.
Huh? Oh.
My left hand's good enough for him.
You're not using your head, Chester.
Now, look, fella, why don't you go get drunk or something? Stand back, Mr.
Dillon, stand back.
All right, now.
Now! I ain't gonna draw on ya.
Now, Marshal, you say you won't have no gunfighting.
Well, get him out of here.
When he said that, he was talking like a lawman.
But he's also my friend, and he's gotta let me settle this myself, don't ya? I don't like it, but I'm afraid he's right.
I can't interfere in Chester's fight.
But he's crazy.
He's a crazy, lying fool! Now you draw! Marshal, I can't take no more of this.
Then draw! Don't you think you proved your point, Chester? Come on.
Let's get out of here.
Ledbetter, you're a dirty rotten lying coward! Come on.
Mr.
Dillon, you're with him, ain't ya? You and Doc and Kitty and everybody! No, of course we're not, Chester.
But how can you expect me to help you when you won't even tell me what this is all about? Well, that, that Oh, just leave me be.
Just leave me be! I didn't interfere with you, did I? W well, no.
Thanks for that much, anyway.
Where you going? I'm gonna get me a drink.
Lots of drinks.
Ledbetter, this has gone on long enough.
I said I can't take no more of this.
I'm gonna find me a job someplace else.
Good.
Never did think much of this town anyhow.
Well, you're up late, Doc.
You been out on a call? Well, now what do you think I've been doing, out romancing the ladies? Well, you're too old for that.
Oh, I'm too old, huh? Well, let me tell you something.
I can show all these young bucks around here a thing or two if I was foolish enough to take the time.
Yes, I guess you could at that, huh? Hello, Doc.
Moss.
Oh, Moss, how'd you get in there? I didn't see you go in.
I went in the back way, Marshal.
Well, that's all right.
I'm just surprised to see you is all.
Marshal, I brought Chester back.
Oh? Ran into him up the street.
He was pretty drunk.
Drunk? He didn't want anybody to see him, I guess.
He asked me to bring him in the back way.
Did you put him to bed? I put him in his cell.
That's where he said he belonged.
Well, he was right about that.
Well, he's pretty upset, Doc.
You know, he thinks we're all against him.
Oh, nobody's against him, Matt, you know that.
You probably have to sit up and hold his head the whole night.
Well, I don't know about that, but I guess I'll sleep in the office anyway.
He's gonna feel pretty rocky in the morning.
Well, that'll do him good.
He can contemplate his sins.
Well, I'm kinda tired.
I'm going to bed, Matt.
I'll see you in the morning.
Good night, boys.
I'll go along with you, Doc.
Good night.
Good night, Marshal.
Good night.
Don't move.
Marshal, what are you doing here? I'm just trying to get some sleep, Ledbetter.
You don't sleep here in the office.
No, no, this is Chester's bed, all right.
Where is he? I don't know.
I said where is he, Marshal? So you never heard of Chester before, huh? Of course I heard of him.
What do you want with him? He shot my kid brother.
He killed him.
What? Back in Stone County.
He never told me that.
I reckon he's trying to forget it.
What happened? He shot him in cold blood.
Him and my little brother was having a fight.
That doesn't sound like cold blood to me.
Why don't you tell me the truth? Why shouldn't I? My poor brother wasn't doing nothing.
He was just courting a girl, that's all.
Of course, maybe he was doing it a little rough like and maybe he had had too much to drink, but that wasn't no reason for Chester to try to stop it.
It must've been a little rough like if Chester had to kill him.
I ain't here to argue that.
I want Chester.
I told you, he's not here.
Where are you going? Sit down.
Now don't be so nervous, Ledbetter.
You got the gun.
Stay away from that door.
I'm just gonna close it.
What are you doing?! Now get back there! Where is he? I said he's not here.
If he ain't back there, there's just one place he could be.
Why don't you go find him then? Sure, if he ain't sleeping in here, he's sleeping in one of them cells.
That's why you banged the door, ain't it? Yeah.
Yeah, you walked right past him when you came in here, Ledbetter.
Get out of that doorway, Marshal.
Nope.
I'm gonna shoot you if you don't.
And you'll shoot Chester if I do.
Move, I said! No.
I'm gonna kill ya, Marshal.
I'm gonna do it! Duck, Mr.
Dillon! Duck! Well, Matt, he's all through.
Chester, for a man that had a little too much to drink, I'd say you did all right.
Oh, no, Doc, I just, you know, happened to have the gun.
You you locked me in.
You forgot to take the gun.
Yeah.
That was pretty careless of me.
Mr.
Dillon, you know'd I had it and you was gonna let him shoot you so that, you know, it'd wake me up.
So I guess that, uh well, I was wrong when I said that nobody cared about me.
I-I, uh I'll get some air.
Well, I guess it's all over.
Yeah.
Just don't understand why he never wanted to talk about it.
Unless it was Doc, you know, some things a man just doesn't like to talk about.
I know.
I didn't mean it was anything he'd be ashamed of.
It wasn't that.
I'm sure it wasn't.
What do you say we go out and sit with him, huh? Maybe he'd like to have a little company.