Gunsmoke (1955) s03e21 Episode Script

Ma Tennis

starring James Arness as Matt Dillon.
I've seen a lot of young men come West full of big hopes and dreams, and then break themselves trying to work the land that often does nothing for them but twist their hearts and fill them with defeat, hatred and anger.
A lot of them turn pretty mean as a result but the meanest I ever ran into was a woman.
Matt Dillon, U.
That calls for another drink.
Oh, you're the one.
I'll play these.
Dealer takes two.
Well? And raise.
Up a little.
If you can beat that two pair.
Got them on the deal.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Your luck's bad tonight, young fella.
You sure you want to go on? Yeah, don't you tell me what to do, huh? Now, don't get riled.
I was just thinking you ought to save yourself a stake and maybe have a go at it again tomorrow.
Why don't you just shut up and deal.
Now, Andy, that ain't no way to talk.
He's just trying to help you.
He'd better help me! And dang soon.
He helped himself enough.
I could stop the game, you know.
You ain't gonna stop no game, mister.
Now, Andy You stay out of this, Ben.
Let's get out of here.
You've had enough.
I ain't hardly.
And don't you push me, huh? Here.
Cut them.
Gonna have a drink.
I'll be back.
Don't hurry.
Miss Kitty? Hello.
My name is Ben Tennis, Miss Kitty.
Yeah, I've seen you around.
Well, I don't get into town much.
My ma keeps a pretty tight rein on us.
Who's "us"? Me and Andy over there.
We run a ranch down at Crooked Creek.
I wanted to tell you who I was so you wouldn't think I meant nothin' bad.
About what? Well fella told me once that you brought him luck gambling.
Oh, that's the silliest thing I ever heard.
Yeah, well, maybe it is, but I sure wish you'd try again.
Please, Miss Kitty.
Well, do you wanna buy me some chips? Oh, sure, I'll buy you chips - but it ain't me that needs the luck- it's my kid brother over there.
You see he's been losing pretty bad.
Well, he's kind of hot-tempered.
Well, look, now, I don't want to get involved in any fights.
Oh, no, no, no, ain't gonna be no trouble.
Just, uh well, you might change his luck.
Please, Miss Kitty.
Well all right, I'll go.
Thank you.
I'm calling you, mister.
I hope you've got a good hand this time, young fella.
Will you stop calling me "young fella"? I mean, my name is Andy! Okay, nobody's crowding you, Andy.
You are- now, what do you got? Five little beauties, all hearts.
Andy, I'd like you to meet Miss How could you have five hearts? They were dumped right out of the deck, Andy.
Oh, sure.
And you dealt 'em, now, didn't you? Hmm? What do you mean by that? Well, I ain't won but two hands all evening.
Now, what do you think I mean by that? You're talking awful loose, young fella.
That's the last time you're calling me that Come on, now, Andy Get off of me, Ben! I'm not armed, kid.
Kid?! All right, now, everybody stand back.
Just-just keep away from me.
You killed him, Andy.
You stay back, too, Ben.
You've done enough shooting- you put that gun away.
Well, now, he was cheating me, wasn't he? No, he wasn't cheating you, and he wasn't armed, neither.
What do I care? You better care! I've already killed one man, Marshal.
Put that gun down, Andy.
Go on, put it down.
You pull that trigger, I'm gonna put a bullet in you on the way down.
Now, don't you move there.
You're scared, Andy.
No, not scared.
All right, then go ahead and shoot.
Put it down.
Yes, sir? Take him over and lock him up.
Oh, now, wait Take him.
All right, start walking, and walk straight.
Ben? Marshal, you got to lock him up.
I told you to walk- now, go on! You see this, Kitty? The dealer wasn't armed, Matt.
He told Andy he wasn't.
That's murder, Ben.
No, he was calling him "kid" and "young fella," and Andy hates that.
Well, he is a kid.
Spoiled rotten, too.
It's ma, I suppose.
Always making a baby out of him, got me doing it, too.
Guess I got to tell her about this.
I don't know your ma, Ben, but don't get her hopes up.
Andy is in bad trouble.
Ma's a strong-headed woman, Marshal.
She can be pretty fierce.
Well, Andy's committed a murder, and he's gonna stand trial for it.
Maybe so- but I don't envy you none, not with Ma.
You don't know it, but you got some trouble coming, too.
Guess I better get riding.
Here's your breakfast.
Oh, go away and leave me alone.
Eh, the law says that we owe you a breakfast, so you're gonna get it- here it is.
Coffee and bread? Who made that law, some carpetbagger? What you need is a good thrashing.
You gonna give it to me? Well, I could, and I would, too, only we just don't thrash our prisoners here.
Another law? Huh? All right, yeah, you're smart.
You go ahead, there it is! You can either eat it or leave it be! How was the prisoner this morning? Oh, he ain't changed none.
That coffee and bread I took in there for him, he won't even touch it.
Well, he won't be around long, Chester.
I'm writing to Judge Blaine right now.
We're gonna get him a trial as soon as possible.
Well, I just wish he'd done his killing somewheres else.
I don't cotton to a body that won't eat their breakfast.
You Marshal Dillon? Yes, ma'am.
My name's Tennis, Marshal.
How do you do? This is Chester Goode.
I didn't come here to jaw.
What's the, uh, shotgun for, Mrs.
Tennis? It's to put people where the cold weather won't bother 'em.
I sleep with this shotgun, Marshal.
Carried it ever since I was 18.
But I didn't come here to talk about that, either.
Came here to see your son, huh? Ben says he killed a man.
An unarmed man, Mrs.
You're holding him for murder.
That's right.
Gonna try him? He'll be tried.
Then hung, I suppose? Well, that's up to the judge.
Andy ain't got much of a case, from what Ben tells me.
Well, he's young - the judge might take that into consideration.
What's the judge to care? 'Tain't his son.
There's been one too many killings in our family already.
They took my boys' father and hung him, just before Andy was born.
I worked the ranch as best I could, and I raised them two boys all alone.
Nobody helps me at all.
What'd they hang your husband for? They said he killed a man.
Did he? What difference does it make? Marshal, Andy ain't gonna hang.
I got my buggy outside.
He's leaving with me.
Tennis Either one of you make a move, and I'll blow the marshal to heaven.
I ain't afraid of dying and I ain't afraid of killing, neither.
Let me tell you something.
Shut up.
You there.
Uh, me? Go get Andy, bring him in here.
Well, I You heard me! Mr.
Dillon? Better do what she says, Chester.
Remember- any tricks, and I shoot the marshal.
Well, I wasn't gonna do nothin'.
This isn't gonna do you any good, Mrs.
It's gonna keep Andy from hanging.
I'll find him sooner or later.
You know that.
Andy ain't gonna run, Marshal.
He's gonna stay on the ranch, right there in the house.
And anybody comes after him, they're gonna have to fight me.
Fight you? You think that's gonna make a man out of him? You think a hangman would? Hello, Ma.
You young fool.
What'd you have to go and kill a man for? Now, Ma, you ain't heard my side of it.
I'll hear it later.
The buggy's outside- go, get in it.
Sure, Ma.
Now, don't think you're gonna shoot him while we're driving out of town, Marshal.
I don't shoot unarmed men, Mrs.
He's just bad-tempered, that's all.
People oughtn't to get him riled.
He ain't no coward, Marshal.
What do you call hiding behind a woman's skirts? I'm his ma, ain't I? What difference does that make? You come meddling, and I'll blow you into half.
You mind, now.
Now, that woman's a real menace, Mr.
Marshal, ain't that young Andy Tennis driving that buggy? Yeah.
He killed a man last night, didn't he? Yeah.
Then why ain't he locked up in jail where he belongs? You got a job, mister? Certainly- I work in the printing office.
Why? What about it? Well, I thought maybe you were after my job.
Now I don't have to worry.
You've got no call to talk like that.
Oh, wait'll I tell everybody about this.
You're going to be the laughingstock of Dodge, Marshal.
I don't see you laughing.
Well, you just wait.
Oh, you don't have to pay him no mind, Mr.
You know, that's a pretty good idea, that old woman's keeping the boy by her side like that, but it's not gonna work forever.
Wha-What do you mean? Well, he's gonna get tired of that.
We'll ride out there in about a week.
Right now, I'm gonna get me some breakfast.
I don't see nobody, thank Heaven.
She's probably inside.
Well, I wish I was inside somewhere.
That old woman's waiting with a shotgun.
She's got a bead on me right in my belly.
I can feel it.
That's probably what she'd aim for, all right.
What in world is she? Is that a grave? Let's go see.
Dillon, she's got that shotgun right there by her side.
Do you see that? Let's get our hands up.
Make it look like we're friendly, huh? That just makes me a bigger target is all.
What are you doin' here, Marshal? Maybe you better tell her we ain't doin' nothin', Mr.
We just came to talk to you, Mrs.
I suppose you come to talk about Andy.
You're too late, Marshal.
He's dead.
This here's his grave.
I just buried him.
Buried him? What happened, Mrs.
Tennis? What difference it make? He's dead.
How he died might make a difference.
Why don't you leave me be, Marshal? You can't hang him now.
Go on back to Dodge.
I'm sorry, Mrs.
Tennis, I know how you must feel.
but I've got to see that body in there before I can make a report.
I'll kill anyone that touches that grave.
Maybe you better just tell me what happened.
All right, I'll tell ya.
Ben talked Andy into giving himself up and standing trial.
And Andy was gonna do it.
So? I told you no son of mine's ever gonna hang, Marshal.
You trying to tell me you killed your own son? Better than hangin', ain't it? Where's Ben? I run him off right after.
And he ain't never comin' back, not while I'm alive.
Tennis I know.
You want to arrest me.
You just confessed to a murder.
Would they hang a woman, Marshal? No, I don't think so.
All right, you can arrest me.
But I ain't comin' to town till tomorrow.
Tomorrow? I got things to do here.
And I'll come in by myself.
Either you trust me, Marshal, or I won't come in at all.
All right, you come in tomorrow.
Come on, Chester.
Dillon, that woman's crazy.
You can't trust her.
She'll show up.
Well, I wouldn't bet on it.
Oh, hello, Doc.
Golly, I never saw anything like it.
Now what's the matter? Well, you're the only man in town that gets paid whether you work for it or not.
Now wait a minute now.
This is part of my job, you know.
What's part of your job? Well, what I'm doing here.
Well, what are you doing? I'm thinking.
Well Oh, well.
Well, be careful about it.
Awful careful.
Yeah? Why? Seems to sap your strength somehow.
I don't know.
Y-You think too much, Matt, if you're not careful, you'll waste away.
And then you're liable to come up to my office sometime Doc, let me tell you something.
All right, what? Look here.
By golly, Chester told me about that, and I didn't believe it.
Neither did Chester.
Hello, Mrs.
What are you doing here, Doc? Well, Marshal and I're just having a little chat here this morning, kinda killing time.
Gossipin', huh? Sittin' around telling lies when you ought to be working.
That's just like you city folk.
Well, you gonna lock me up, Marshal? No, Mrs.
Tennis, I'm not.
What? I can't take you to trial.
What are you talking about? I wasn't thinking too clearly out there yesterday.
I realized that later.
See, I have no witness.
Now, you say you killed Andy, but I have to have somebody else to testify to that.
I never heard no such things.
That's the way the law reads, ma'am.
There ain't no witness.
There's Ben, but you ran him off.
I don't know where to look for him.
No, he said he was goin' all the way out to California.
Well, then there's no case.
I'd just be wasting the court's time.
Sure of this, Marshal? I'd arrest you otherwise, Mrs.
There's no case- not as long as Ben is gone.
Ben's gone.
I told you.
As long as he is, you're free.
Why didn't you tell me this yesterday? Just wasn't thinking too clearly, I guess.
If you'd get out and do a little work instead of sitting around jawing with Doc Adams, you might get to thinkin' better.
Hmm? That is absolutely the worst bunch of nonsense I've ever heard what you told that woman.
It doesn't matter, Doc.
Not as long as she believes it.
What do you mean? She didn't kill anybody.
She didn't? Nope.
But I'm sure gonna find out who did.
What are we doing here, Mr.
Dillon? We'll tie up the horses here.
Tennis ranch is only about a mile over that way.
You mean we're gonna walk? As soon as it gets dark.
You really think that woman was lying about Ben leaving the country.
You think that he's gonna come riding in? I don't know, Chester, but we'll soon find out.
Where are we gonna wait? I guess the barn's as good a place as any.
Doggone woman is about as reliable as the lead steer in a stampede.
You've been awake all night? Yeah, for all the good it did.
Well, maybe the old woman wasn't lying.
Maybe Ben did run off to California.
Yeah, well, it could be.
I've been wrong before.
Yeah, I know.
Well, I mean, it don't, it don't make no difference who's right or wrong, though, does it? No, not as long as we get our prisoner and don't go back empty-handed.
We'll go back half starved if we stay out here much longer.
You know I ain't ate since yesterday noon.
Must be them.
You got a bandana or something? Oh, yeah.
Now, listen, you get back here and I'll be over here.
When I grab him, you go for the horse.
Oh, yeah.
Good, Mr.
Why, th that ain't Ben.
That's Andy.
I thought he was dead.
She'd never kill him, Chester.
That's what was wrong with the whole story.
Well, then that's, that's Ben's grave out there.
Andy must have killed him.
Now listen to me.
I'm gonna let you go, but one wrong noise out of you and I'm gonna crack your skull, you got that? I didn't! I said quiet! I couldn't do it.
Ben tried to take you back to jail, didn't he? And you shot him.
Oh, no.
Your ma wanted me to think it was you in that grave so's you'd be free.
She was willing to go to jail so you could be free.
Will you listen to me? Ma killed Ben, not me.
Why didn't you lock her up anyway? 'Cause I didn't believe her story.
Andy? Andy?! Andy? It's her.
Andy, you hear me? All right, now answer.
Go on.
I hear ya.
What are you doing in there? I see you ride up.
Tell her to come on in.
Come on in here, Ma.
Give me a hand.
Hello, Mrs.
What'd you have to ride in here for? I ran out of food and I got hungry.
Ma, they're gonna take me to jail.
That's right, Mrs.
And I'm not gonna take him into Dodge where you can walk in with a shotgun either.
Where you taking him? There are a lot of towns.
He can be tried anywhere.
And hung.
I told you that's not up to me, Mrs.
He'll get a fair trial.
You taking him now? I'm gonna leave Chester here with you so you can't follow us.
Marshal can I talk to him a minute before you take him? Please, Marshal? All right.
In there, Andy.
Wait a minute.
Chester, check that room.
Let's make sure there's no way out of there.
Yes, sir.
No, there ain't no way out of there.
There ain't even a window.
All right, I'll give you a minute, Mrs.
What a rotten, no-good kid he is.
He was willing to let his own ma go to jail for him.
Where you gonna take him? Oh, I don't know.
Abilene, Hayes.
There's a lot of places.
Look, you're gonna have to stay here with her till evening.
Now keep that gun on her if you have to.
Dillon, I-I guess I didn't look too good.
I didn't He killed Ben, too.
You'd have found out.
I had to do it.
I couldn't see him hang.
Dillon, you you gonna put her in jail? Yeah, this time, I'm gonna put her in jail.