GUNSMOKE: Lost Episode - "Huckleberry Jones Wants Matt"

And now, a Spine-Chilling Adventure of

ALSO STARRING . . .

WILLIAM SMITH AS "HUCKLEBERR JONES," THE VILLIAN, WHO THANKS TO THE ACLU, GETS TOP BILLING IN THIS LOST EPISODE.
WILLIAM SMITH AS "HUCKLEBERR JONES," THE VILLAIN, WHO THANKS TO THE ACLU, GETS TOP BILLING IN THIS LOST EPISODE.
AMANDA BLAKE AS "(MISS) KITTY RUSSELL, OWNER OF THE LONG BRANCH SALOON AND MATT'S SECRET LOVE INTEREST.
AMANDA BLAKE AS "(MISS) KITTY RUSSELL, OWNER OF THE LONG BRANCH SALOON AND MATT'S SECRET LOVE INTEREST.
BUCK TAYLOR AS "NEWLY O'BRIAN," GUNSMITH IN DODGE CITY.
BUCK TAYLOR AS "NEWLY O'BRIAN," GUNSMITH IN DODGE CITY.
BURT REYNOLDS AS "QUINT ASPER," COMANCHE INDIAN TURNED BLACKSMITH. WHAT A POWERFUL LABOR UNION HE HAD.
BURT REYNOLDS AS "QUINT ASPER," COMANCHE INDIAN TURNED BLACKSMITH. WHAT A POWERFUL LABOR UNION HE HAD.
DENNIS WEAVER AS "CHESTER," IN A RARE CAMEO APPEARANCE. HIS INTERVIEW WITH HOLLYWOOD MAGAZINES ABOUT HIM RETIRING OUT OF FEAR OF GUNS, WAS NEVER PUBLISHED.
DENNIS WEAVER AS "CHESTER," IN A RARE CAMEO APPEARANCE. HIS INTERVIEW WITH HOLLYWOOD MAGAZINES ABOUT HIM RETIRING OUT OF FEAR OF GUNS, WAS NEVER PUBLISHED.
GLENN STRANGE AS "SAM," KITTY RUSSELL'S (AMANDA BLAKE) BARKEEPER IN THE LONG BRANCH SALOON.
GLENN STRANGE AS "SAM," KITTY RUSSELL'S (AMANDA BLAKE) BARKEEPER IN THE LONG BRANCH SALOON.
KEN CURTIS AS "FESTUS," WHO BLEW INTO DODGE CITY ONE DAY, AND LIKE MAGIC, WAS MATT'S DEPUTY REPLACING THE RETIRED-CHESTER GOODE AKA/ DENNIS WEAVER.
KEN CURTIS AS "FESTUS," WHO BLEW INTO DODGE CITY ONE DAY, AND LIKE MAGIC, WAS MATT'S DEPUTY REPLACING THE RETIRED-CHESTER GOODE AKA/ DENNIS WEAVER.
MILBURN STONE AS "DOC," THE ONLY DOCTOR IN TOWN, BUT HE DIDN'T "PRICE GOUGE" THE CITIZENS OF DODGE CITY.
MILBURN STONE AS "DOC," THE ONLY DOCTOR IN TOWN, BUT HE DIDN'T "PRICE GOUGE" THE CITIZENS OF DODGE CITY.
ROGER EWING AS "THAD," THE HUMBLE, PACIFIST EMPLOYEE OF MATT DILLON.
ROGER EWING AS "THAD," THE HUMBLE, PACIFIST EMPLOYEE OF MATT DILLON.

EVEN MORE GUNSMOKE PHOTOS

JAMES ARNESS "MATT, EMBRACES AMANDA BLAKE, "KITTY."
JAMES ARNESS "MATT, EMBRACES AMANDA BLAKE, "KITTY."
JAMES ARNESS AS "MATT DILLON."
JAMES ARNESS AS "MATT DILLON."
GUNSMOKE CAST.
GUNSMOKE CAST.
JAMES ARNESS, "MATT," AND KEN CURTIS, "FESTUS."
JAMES ARNESS, "MATT," AND KEN CURTIS, "FESTUS."
JAMES ARNESS, "MATT"  AND AMANDA BLAKE "KITTY."
JAMES ARNESS, "MATT" AND AMANDA BLAKE "KITTY."

OUR SCENE OPENS inside the Long Branch Saloon. We see Gunsmoke regulars, Matt Dillon, Kitty Russell, "Doc," (who we never knew his last name), Festus Haggan, and Thad Green, Quint Asper all sitting around a table--laughing, telling stories, sharing memories. Sam, the Long Branch barkeep is standing in one spot polishing one area of the bar.

THIS LOST EPISODE deals with the insanely-driven "Huckleberry Jones," played by veteran character villain actor, William Smith, who Matt sent to prison in Hayes City over ten years ago for allegedly stealing a mule from an old farmer living on the outskirts of Dodge City. Although Dillon couldn't produce any evidence that Jones had committed the crime, Jones was convicted just because the judge and jury was so afraid of Matt Dillon and the mad fits he sometimes threw when he didn't get his way.

NEWS HAS COME TO MATT DILLON that "Huckleberry Jones," has escaped from the Hayes City prison and headed to Dodge City to get even with him. Matt has also learned, thanks to an undercover "stoolie" he planted in the same prison cell as Jones, that Jones has become even more evil. Angry. And more-determined to teach Dillon a lesson after robbing him of five years of his outlaw life.

Camera cuts in with a tight shot of Doc and Festus arguing about real estate.

FESTUS: Now, Doc, you ol' scutter, ye' sit thare and tell me that I need to save my money and buy myself a little land and build a house so's I can quit sleeping on the cot at the jail house. But Doc, you ol' windbag, thare's gest one problem with that.

DOC: Yeah! What is it? You don't know how to count to three?"

FESTUS: Thare ye' do, Doc, you ol' cockle burr, I kin count to, uhh, two, and one makes three--see thare, you ol' buckskin, I kin do gest fine with countin! I need another beer, Doc.

DOC: What? More beer? No sir. Not today. I've already bought you three "cold one's," and that's it...now you listen, Festus, I was only trying to help you get on your feet...by the way, what was that problem you were talking about?

FESTUS: Well, now, Doc, you ol' hounddog, ye' see, now keep this twixt us, but Matthew don't ever pay me no money. None a-tall.

DOC: What? You work for FREE? What a "dunder head you are, Festus! Why haven't you asked Matt why he won't pay you?

FESTUS: Doc, you ol' snakeskin, I kin tell ya, but I need another beer. (DOC, VERY UPSET, MOTIONS TO SAM, THE BARKEEPER, TO BRING FESTUS A FROSTY MUG OF COLD BEER. FESTUS TAKES A LONG SWIG. THEN TALKS) ye' see, Doc, ye' ol' stump in the new ground, Matthew told me that Thad like to do something called day dreaming and needed his pay and mine, to get to something called a college to learn more about that dreamin' stuff. That's why.

DOC: You are more stupid that I ever said you were behind your back. Now, Festus. Matt is a fair man. I'm sure that if you talk to him, he will give you some money for all those times you've filled-in for him and took time to take dangerous prisoners to Hayes City. Why not ask him for some money? What have you got to lose, Festus?

FESTUS: (opens his mouth. Points inside): this here jaw tooth, Doc. The last time I mentioned my pay to Matt, he flew off the handle and back-handed me with his fist. I didn't mind so much him bustin' my mouth with his big fist, but breaking my other jaw tooth, the one I use to eat meat with, that kinda hurt my feelings.

DOC: (rises. Looks at Festus): I got to go. Enjoy that "last" beer, Festus. You are beyond my help or anyone's help.

MATT: Calling it a night, Doc?

KITTY: Yeah, Doc. Stay and we'll get out that special bottle of Peach Brandy I got as a call, oops, saloon apprentice in New Orleans.

SAM: (looks up) Miss Kitty! You need to go to New Orleans?

KITTY: No, Sam. Just talking. Just keep shining that one spot in my bar. I want it to look good for the cattle drovers who are coming in tomorrow and they want to really let off some steam.

SAM: Yes, 'im, Miss Kitty.

THAD: Need me to walk you home, Doc?

DOC: What kind of question is that, son?

FESTUS: Son? Doc, you ol' scally-wag, I didn't know you wuz Thad's daddy. That calls for more beer!

THAD: Okay, Festus. Sam! Bring Festus another beer! I was just offering to guard you against evil men, Doc. That's all.

QUINT: (smirks) nobody ever offers to walk me home when IM ALLOWED to come into the Long Branch. I can tell you that.

MATT: Huh? Oh, Quint, my horse's left front hoof, needs a new shoe. Can you get on that at first light?

QUINT: Yeah, but I have some important guests coming in the morning. Three ruling territory Comanche tribal chiefs who want me to interpret an old scroll they found in an old Army fort just east of here.

MATT: Have you forgotten who I am?

FESTUS (to Quint): I beat ya, Quint! This is Marshall Matthew Dillon, the fastest gun in the west. Most-honest a man that ever lived. And more generous than King Solomon. That's who!

MATT: (puts head down) Aww, Festus, that's mighty kind. But I still can't pay you a salary. You know. Thad's college tuition for learning more about day dreaming.

FESTUS: That's okay, Matthew. Just working next to a lawman like you is pay enough.

QUINT: Suck up! At least "I" get paid for what I do.

MATT: That reminds me, Festus. I need you to start, in the morning, washing that blanket you use on the cot you sleep on, and take that mattress out in back and give it a good beating. I think we have a case of lice in the jail and I cannot think of how they got in.

DOC: I can. (Winks at Matt. Motions with his head toward Festus. Then exits scene).

KITTY: That Doc. What a sharp mind for a man his age and after eight beers and six shots of red eye whiskey.

FESTUS: Whiskey? Did you say whiskey, Miss Kitty?

SAM: (stops polishing the bar) You want some whiskey, Miss Kitty?

KITTY: Ha, ha. No, Sam. Festus was just leaving. Weren't you, Festus?!

FESTUS: Well, I, uh, nawww, I wuz gonna stay and try to swindle Quint or Matthew out of another beer . . .

MATT INTERRUPTS

MATT: Festus! How many beers have you guzzled?

QUINT: I beat you to the answer, "whiskers," Marshall, he's had ten. I WAS ALLOWED to enter the Long Branch at 4 this evening and Festus had already funneled-down four beers then. I have counted six since then.

MATT: Festus, you better go to the jail and sleep it off. Never know when a bad man or evil gang is headed to Dodge.

FESTUS: (stunned) well, whatever ye' say, Matthew. I don't feel no funny feeling in my head.

QUINT: Cos' there's nothing up there!

ENTIRE CAST LETS OUT A LOUD HORSE LAUGH AS FESTUS LEAVES VERY UPSET.

THAD: Mr. Quint, I don't remember you being here that much, but what you said to Mr. Festus, was not a nice thing. Do you ever . . .hold it . . .

THAD'S FACE FREEZES. LOOKS STRANGER THAN USUAL.

MATT: What's the matter, Thad? Tell me. I'm Marshall Dillon!

KITTY: I love it when he gets angry.

THAD: I just need to take a few minutes to finish my daydream I was having when Mr. Quint and Mr. Festus was going at each other.

MATT LAUGHS AS QUINT LEAVES THE SALOON.

QUINT: You coming, Thad?

THAD: Huh, what? Me? Leave Mr. Dillon's side? Not on your life.

QUINT: (winks at Thad. Points to Matt and Kitty who can't see him point) Yes, Thad. YOU need to go with me. I got some new horse shoes from St. Louis I want to show you.

THAD: (gets up in a hurry) Ohhhh, boy! New horse shoes. Just like my daddy used to do. Let me see the new horse shoes he was putting on our mule...before he ran away with a saloon girl, some trashy gal name, Lou. I hated him for that.

MATT: Hold it, Thad. No angry talk around Kitty! Got that? Now go with Quint. And cool off.

THAD RUNS OUT THE LONG BRANCH SWINGING DOORS AS QUINT LOOKS AT HIM IN AMAZEMENT, THEN LEAVES WITH HIM.

KITTY: (whispers) Just you and me, Matt. Know what I'd like to do?

MATT: do some cross-stitching?

SAM: (stops polishing the bar. Looks up) Miss Kitty, you need some cross-stitch needles? I need some money for that if I am to go to New Orleans for you.

KITTY AND MATT CHUCKLE AT SAM.

KITTY: No, Sam. That's purely sweet of you to offer. Hey, why don't you take off?

SAM: Take off what?

MATT: Hey, none of that vulgar stuff around Kitty, Sam. That one trip you took to New Orleans two years ago has ruined your moral compass--drinking like a fish, spending your meager savings on cheap dancing girls in Baton Rouge. You better hold it right there and start treating Kitty with respect.

SAM: Uh, uh, Marshall, uh? I am sorry. I just forgot. I am sorry too, Miss Kitty. I will for for nothing for a week to punish myself for that vulgar outburst.

KITTY: Good, boy, Sam. That's why I like you. You always end up making me feel good.

MATT: Speaking of feeling good, I need to go check on my horse. Got to head out early tomorrow to see if that devil, "Huckleberry Jones," is nearing Dodge City. Oh, I'm sorry, Kitty. What was you said you'd like to do?

KITTY: (softly) Well, big boy. It consisted of me making you a late supper with all your favorites: sugar-cured venison steaks, collard greens in fresh lard, hot biscuits with fermented molasses and for dessert, well, you know...(WINKS AT MATT).

MATT (confused. Scratches his head) Kitty, you having memory problems? No, I don't know. You sit there and try to think of that "you know," while I go talk to, I mean, check on my horse.

KITTY: (frustrated) that's one lucky horse.

END OF ACT 1.

ACT 2

Our scene opens inside the jail the next morning before Matt was to leave in search of "Huckleberry Jones," who was rumored to be heading toward Dodge City.

Matt is slumped over this desk--looking through wanted posters to get a look at how Jones looks so he can arrest him if he comes into town.

Thad is taking a mid-morning nap in one of the empty cells.

FESTUS ENTERS THE FRONT DOOR OF THE JAIL HOUSE CARRYING A TRAY HE GOT AT DEL MONICO'S, A NICE RESTAURANT IN DODGE CITY.

MATT: Oh yeah, Festus. Breakfast. And man, am I starving. What did you get us?

FESTUS: Well, now, Matthew, I thought about it, and you know how I get when I get to thinking, I uh, got. . .

MATT: Festus, just tell me what I got to eat! I don't need all the details.

FESTUS: Okay. You got some fresh fried eggs, sunny side up; bacon, crispy, how you like it, hot grits with a pat of butter, two hot biscuits and this fresh cup of black coffee.

MATT: What did you get, Festus?

FESTUS: Oh, mostly the same thangs as you. You know me, Matthew. I want to be a lawman just like you.

MATT: That's very sweet, Festus, but now it's time to chow down. Hmmm, hmmm. That smells good.

MATT AND FESTUS PUT THEIR NAPKINS INSIDE THEIR SHIRT COLLARS

THAD ENTERS THE SCENE

MATT: You sleep good, Thad?

FESTUS: Sleep? In the middle of the morning? And whilst I was sweeping the jail house, sidewalk, taking out trash, fetching Matthew his grub...you wuz- a sleeping, Thad?

MATT: Easy, Festus. Thad had another day dream attack and had to lay down. You understand?

FESTUS: I guess so. But you don't look sick, Thad. Oh well. Time to eat. Then back to work.

THAD (looks at Festus' meal): Mr. Festus, is that fresh bacon? Grits and with butter?

FESTUS: (sharply) Yeah, Thad. That's exactly what it is. My breakfast. You weren't here to give me yore order, so I guess you can do without.

MATT: Now, now, Festus. That's no way to talk to a fellow temporary deputy. Festus . . .come on. You know what this means?

FESTUS: But Matthew, I'm as hungry as a bear on a month fast. My sides is aching from not having some good food. All I been living on is beef jerky that Newly keeps in his gun store, which by the way, is boarded up, Matthew. Did you know that?

MATT: Quit trying to change the subject, Festus. You know what I want you to do. And yes, Festus, I was aware that Newly's gun store was boarded up. He retired six months ago. Didn't you even see him getting on the stage waving at us when he left town?

FESTUS: You beat the dickens out of me, Matthew. And after I paid for your breakfast and all. I remember when Newly left town alright. That was the day you had me cleaning the livery stable to give Old Man Walker the day off. You said doing good deeds for the public was part of my job. And as for do I know what to do, are you going to give Thad yore breakfast?

MATT: Oh, ha, ha, Festus, I'm not giving Thad MY breakfast, YOU are giving poor, weakly Thad YOUR breakfast. It's the sidekick thing to do. Hey, this evening, YOU can buy me a beer at the Long Branch. How about that, Festus?

FESTUS SLOWLY HANDS HIS PLATE TO THAD. THEN STARTS OUT THE DOOR.

MATT: Good boy, Festus. You go and make the morning rounds while Thad and I sit here and eat this delicious, balanced breakfast. Oh, ha, ha, and thanks for paying for my eats, Festus. You owe me one, ha. ha.

FESTUS: How come I owe you one when it wuz me who . . .

MATT: Go on. Get the morning mail while you are out. Thad, these eggs are really delicious--so fluffy and fresh.

THAD: Mr. Matt, I can't thank you enough for my breakfast.

MATT: Oh, that's fine. Glad to do it. I mean, Festus was glad to do it. Right, Festus?

FESUS IS FUMING AS HE WALKS OUT THE DOOR.

THAD: Marshall, that Mr. Festus looked plumb sore. Is he okay?

MATT: Oh, maybe he's a bit hot under the collar. He does that every time I gip him out of a meal. He'll get over it. Now eat up before you have another day dream attack.

THAD: Yes, sir. (THAD DIGS IN AND CHOWS DOWN AS SCENE FADES OUT).

END OF ACT 2

ACT 3

This scene opens with Matt, Thad, Festus, Doc, Kitty, and Thad sitting at a table laughing, having drinks, sharing stories. And having another great time. Sam, the barkeeper is still polishing the same spot in the bar.

MATT: Good one, Quint. Ha, ha. You mean those tribal chiefs were really fake Indians?

DOC: Fake Indians? Never heard of such.

QUINT: Yeah, I can't figure that, and you know how sharp-minded I am.

MATT: Did they take you for any money?

QUINT: Awww, no, Marshall. These guys were trying to fool me into believing they were Indians like me and wanted me to start going to their church over in Brown Owl Valley.

FESTUS: They didn't bamboozle you out of no money, Quint?

DOC: No, Festus, that's your job around here!

QUINT: No, Festus. I'm not dim-witted like you, I just gave them a $50-dollar donation to help buy the songbooks for their church. That's all.

MATT AND THE CAST ALL LOOK AT EACH OTHER AT QUINT'S COMMENT. THE CAST SETTLES DOWN.

A STRANGER SLOWLY WALKS THROUGH THE DOORS OF THE LONG BRANCH.

SAM: Help you, stranger?

CHESTER: Just a cold beer, Mr. Sam?

SAM: Chester, Chester, is that YOU?

CHESTER: Shhh, don't make a fuss, Sam. I just want some peace and quiet and enjoy this one beer, maybe a few more, and just relax.

SAM: (yells), Hey, everybody, it's Chester!

MATT AND THE CAST ARE SURPRISED. THEY WALK BRISKLY TO MEET CHESTER.

MATT: Chester, is that reall you? You look good, buddy. Your hands don't shake that much now. You are really looking fit as a mule behind a plow, Chester.

FESTUS: He never tells me that I look good.

KITTY: Me neither, Festus.

DOC: I cannot believe my old eyes. If it ain't Newly O'Brian! Newly, you old sea dog. Where have you been?

QUINT: Shhh, Doc, this is Chester. You remember him. He used to loaf, I mean, "work" for Matt many years back.

CHESTER: Now, now, Mister Dillon, I just come to town to get some supplies and have a few beers. It gets mighty lonesome way out there where you told me to live after you told me to retire from the Marshall's office.

MATT: Well, Chester, I hated to do that, but your nerves got so bad, well, I just couldn't trust you looking after things when I had to go out of town. Nothing personal, Chester, and you have to admit that stunt you pulled the last Fourth of July before you retired was a doozy.

THAD: Mr. Chester, what did you do?

DOC: (bursts into laughing) I had nearly forgot that, Matt. Tell us what Chester did on that certain Fourth of July.

FESTUS: Yeah, I'd like to hear that too, so I can hold it over your head.

QUINT: And you call us Indians savage.

KITTY: Now, Chester. You don't have to talk if you don't wan to. Just stand here by yourself and drink beer. Sam, this man's beer is half price.

CHESTER: I thought I'd sit with you all and talk.

KITTY: Hey, we understand how your nerves cannot stand crowded places.

QUINT: So that's why your one and only girlfriend left you cold, huh?

FESTUS: Girlfriend? What girlfriend?

MATT: here now, let's settle down. Well, Chester here, was in charge of keeping order in our streets on that Fourth of July, you know, making sure that there wasn't any fights or men getting drunk in public. That sort of thing. I had made Chester dress up in our national colors: red, white and blue and wear a top hat and white beard to look like a man from the Revolutionary War. Well, Chester, had to "answer Nature's Call," and there was no place for him to "go," so he tried to go through the side door of Del Monico's and a few rough neck drovers saw him and mistakenly thought he was as a thief and lit into Chester and beat the fire out of him.

THAD: Wow, Mr. Chester. You actually got the fire beat out of you?

CHESTER: Now see, Mister Dillon, what you got started? Young fella, it was not as bad as Mister Dillon is telling it.

MATT: Now, Chester. Don't be a tough guy here. We all know how you detest physical contact with people.

FESTUS: Bet that's why his girlfriend left.

CHESTER: Now, folks, these men was rough. I mean rough. They was about six of them--drunk on whiskey and meanness. Just looking for somebody to beat up. And "I" got elected. Oh, how they beat my head and skull. Made bruises all over my face. Blacked both eyes. It was pure horrible, I tell you.

DOC: How did you fight them off, Chester? I forgot.

QUINT: Me too. But then again, I wasn't a civilized man then. I was still running with my cousin, Red Bear and his brother, Mad Bull. At the times we had.

CHESTER: Well there was this citizen of Dodge City who was walking by the alley and saw me face-down in the dirt with these six rough necks taking turns stomping me like I was a bale of cotton. So this citizen took it on their self to help me out. I would have died then and there if they hadn't helped me.

DOC: You are as bad as Festus, Chester. Who was it?

THAD: Yeah, Mr. Chester, who was it that saved your life? Hurry and tell me before I go to bed. I feel funny again, Mr. Dillon.

MATT: Wait a minute, Chester. Yeah, Thad. You look kinda flush. You head over to the motel and tell them to give you a room for the night with a good, soft bed and to put it on m tab. See ya' in the morning.

THAD: Gee, thanks, Mr. Dillon.

FESTUS: I've seen it all now. First he sleeps all day. Eats my breakfast. Drinks free beer. Don't hit a lick at a snake. Then gets a sweet set-up from Matthew. I sure need to thank about what I am doing working as a temporary deputy.

MATT: Shhh, be quiet, Festus. Go on and tell us, Chester, who it was who saved your life?

CHESTER: Wy' she's standing right here among us...it was Miss Kitty!

ENTIRE CAST SAYS: Miss Kitty???!!!

CHESTER: You bet it was Miss Kitty. She tore into them rough necks like a Texas twister with her parasol swinging right and left and teaching them rough necks a lesson. Never seen a man fight as good as Miss Kitty. Did I ever thank you properly for doing that, Miss Kitty?

KITTY: Awww, now, Chester. Yes, you did. I let you clean out my storage room for nothing. Remember, you sait it made you happy to do for someone who had just saved your life.

CHESTER: Yes, ma'am, but that job took nearly a week. Shucks, I feel kinda bad now.

MATT: Why, Chester?

CHESTER: Well it don't matter now, but whilst I was cleaning the storage room, I helped myself to a cold beer while Miss Kitty and Sam was having lunch at Del Monico's. Guess I plumb forgot. Sorry, Miss Kitty. It sure feels good to get that off my chest.

KITTY: a FREE beer? Okay, Sam. He pays FULL PRICE for what he has drank and what beer he drinks while he's here. I'll teach you to help yourself to my beer.

FESTUS: (grins like a fox) payback's rough, ain't it, Chester?

THEN AS EVERYONE IS CHATTING, ANOTHER FIGURE ENTERS THE SCENE.

MATT: New around here . . .NEWLY! Newly O'Brian! Good to see you, Newly! Have a beer on me!

FESTUS: What is this? Free food for Thad. Now free beer for Newly?

NEWLY: Hey, Thad, Festus, Mr. Quint, Doc, Sam, and you must be "Shaky" Chester. Matt has told me all about you.

CHESTER: "Shaky?"

MATT: Let it go, Chester. Now let Newly talk. We sure could use some intelligent conversation.

CHESTER LOOKS HURT AT MATT'S REMARK.

DOC: Another beer, Sam. Say, Newly, what brings you back to Dodge?

NEWLY: I'd have to say the stage, Doc.

MATT: But you retired. Shut down the gun store. What do you intend on doing now that you are back in Dodge, Newly?

FESTUS: More beer, Sam!

KITTY: Don't move, Sam. He's not pulling a "Chester" on us too. If he drinks, it's pay first.

MATT: Aww, Kitty. It's a celebration. Go easy.

KITTY: (glaring at Matt) Are you gonna start with me, Matt? I wouldn't do that if I were you. I get pretty cranky when I haven't had any "manly company," if you know what I mean?

CHESTER: So that's why you fought them rough necks like a wounded Grizzly. Go figure.

MATT: Shhh, later, Kitty. I'm off duty tonight. The first night in eight years. I've got the night off.

FESTUS: So you want me to look after thangs tonight, Matthew?

MATT: Yeah, Festus. Thanks for doing that. You can work for Thad. He's had more schooling than you and I would just feel more comfortable if HE was running the jail and you were in the field.

THAD: Thanks, Mister Dillon. As my first order as fill-in marshall, Festus, buy me a beer!

CAST LAUGHS 'AT' FESTUS WHO IS REALLY HURT NOW.

FESTUS (talking to himself as he gets Thad a beer) So that's how it is. No schooling, but I can do the brute work--do the rounds, clean the jail cells, clean the livery stable, some life I got. I just wish that one day I could be treated like a man. A real man. And respected too.

MATT: Better hurry with Thad's beer, Festus, or he might fire you, ha, ha, ha!!

CAST LAUGHS.

DOC: That's it, Thad. Burn Festus good. He deserves it after all the beer I've bought him.

MATT: Awww, Festus. Come on. I was just making fun of you. Don't be angry. A good sidekick can't be angry and work for Thad.

KITTY: Festus? Work? Please!!!! (laughs outloud)

CHESTER: Uhhh, Mister Dillon, need me to, uhhh, you know, help out, uh, like in the old days?

MATT: Say, that's a big idea, Chester. I will pay you and Thad "extra," if you two would just stay inside the jail while Festus works outside. He loves working outside. Right, Festus?

FESTUS: Uhh, well now . . .

MATT: Sure he does. It's all settled.

QUINT: Well, folks. I hate to drink for free and run, but I got some blacksmith work to do tomorrow, so I will bid you all a peaceful trail.

FESTUS: There he goes with that Indian talk again.

QUINT LEAVES THE LONG BRANCH. BUT BEFORE HE CAN WALK THROUGH THE SWINGING DOORS, HE STOPS. FROZEN IN HIS TRACKS. AND JUST STARES OUTSIDE INTO THE DARK NIGHT.

MATT: Quint! What's the matter? Forget where you live? I let you start living in that old miner's shack on the east side of Dodge. Quint? Quint?

FESTUS: Wonder what's come over him?

DOC: Don't ask me. I am not a doctor of the mind. Looks to me like he's scared.

SAM: (stops polishing) Miss Kitty! You want me to see what's wrong with Quint?

KITTY: No, Sam. Thanks, just keep polishing that one spot in the bar. Those cattle drovers will be here in a little while and I want the place to really be spic and span.

SAM: Excuse me, Miss Kitty. I don't mean to be a smart alec, but the cattle drovers just came through here a couple of hours ago.

MATT: And didn't stop? That doesn't sound like thirsty drovers wanting to let off steam to me.

SAM: Well, all I know is that they walked up to the doors while Chester was telling his harrowing, life or death story and then commence to laughing so hard that they nearly fainted. Said this was a "panty waist" saloon and left. Yelled, "We want a manly saloon so we can be mean and be manly all night long."

KITTY: And you just let them leave, Sam? You didn't try to run them down and tell how clean the Long Branch was with all your cleaning?

SAM: That was another reason they left. Said this place smelled too much like a ladies rest room, and not like a saloon with smoke, whiskey and sweaty men smells. Sorry, Miss Kitty.

QUINT: Uhh, Matt. You--had--better--come--here.

MATT: Why, Quint? What's wrong?

FESTUS: Thad, you going to find out what's wrong?

THAD: No, Mister Festus, (yawn) I feel a nap coming on. Miss Kitty, can I use one of the rooms upstairs for an hour or so? I need to stack some ZZZZ's.

KITTY: Sure, Thad. Help yourself. But don't go into my room. Matt and I have to go up there in a few minutes and uh, "talk."

SUDDENLY, QUINT THROWS HIS HANDS UP. WALKS BACKWARD TOWARD MATT AND THE CAST.

MATT: What on earth is wrong, Quint? Oh, this is one of your Indian ceremonies, right?

QUINT: If you all will just be quiet, I will tell you what's wrong . . .there is this . . .

HUCKLEBERRY JONES: Man, and I mean a real man, ME, who wants to talk to a Mister Matt Dillon.

THAD: Good night, folks.

MATT: You must be the notorious, escaped convict, Huckleberry Jones and his gang of convicts. Put those guns down. Now. I am the law around here.

DOC: That's telling them, Matt. Sam, more beer!

FESTUS: I heard that.

HUCKLEBERRY: You must be joking, Dillon! Me and my evil convict gang are not going to do what you say. And we will do what we want. When we want. And as much as we want. Now, YOU and this hairy-faced rube, drop them gun belts. NOW!

MATT: Better do as he says, Festus, Newly. Forget it, Chester. You never wore a gun--afraid it might go off and shoot yourself in the leg.

CHESTER: Now, Mister Dillon, I don't . . .

HUCKLEBERRY: Shut up! All of you! After I show you what I have, I bet you will all sing a different tune. Bring him in, men!

HUCKLEBERRY JONES' GANG OF CONVICTS BRING IN LOUIE, THE TOWN DRUNK.

MATT: Hey, it's Louie! Chester, you remember Louie! How ya' doing, Louie?

FESTUS: Matthew, I don't think this feller holding a gun to Louie's head is in the mood to socialize.

MATT: I'm still the law around here. Now mister . . .

HUCKLEBERRY JONES: Huckleberry's the name. You recall sending me to that filthy hole in Hayes City, Marshall? On a crime that I didn't do? Huh? Do ya?

MATT: Well, now that you mention it, I do remember a Huckleberry Jones. Is that you?

HUCKLEBERRY: Shut up! Men, get their guns. And Dillon, here is what we want: one-hundred and fifty thousand dollars, some food, a case or two of whiskey, and a wagon with fresh horses. If you don't get them . . .NOW, this old drunk gets it. Understand?

LOUIE: Please, Marshall Dillon! I don't mean any harm...I'm only a town drunk and . . .

MATT: Who are you again?

LOUIE: You know me, Matt. I have slept it off many times in your jail. I am only a drunk, but I want to live. Give these men what they want.

MATT LOOKS AT NEWLY WHO LOOKS AT DOC WHO LOOKS AT KITTY WHO LOOKS AT FESTUS.

FESTUS: Why you all gawkin' at me like a mule who gest eat a bitter weed?

MATT: Well, Festus, I think this Huckleberry fella has got us. We have no guns. No deputies. And I think, for Louie's sake, we better give them what they want.

FESTUS: Well, Matthew if that's what you want. Sun's coming up. The bank will be open in an hour or so, can you wait that long Mister Huckleberry?

HUCKLEBERRY: You bet we can. Set us up, mister barkeep...liquor all around...JUST FOR US. The rest of you fools sit down in the floor in a circle with your backs to each other while my convict gang ties you up with this stout rope. Now sit down. All of you!

MATT, NEWLY, CHESTER, DOC, AND KITTY ALL SIT DOWN IN THE FLOOR AND ARE TIED WITH ROPE WHILE FESTUS JUST STARES AT HUCKLEBERRY JONES. SAM IS STILL POLISHING THE ONE SPOT IN THE BAR.

HUCKLEBERRY: Wait! Wait one minute! Hey, barkeep! Hand me that shotgun you keep under the bar!

SAM: What, this ol' thing . . .(HANDS SHOTGUN TO HUCKLEBERRY)

HUCKLEBERRY: Nice shotgun. (POINTS AT SAM. SHOOTS HIM. SAM FALLS BEHIND BAR). Now that should show you that I mean business.

MATT: Mister, that was not a nice thing to do. You will be in big trouble when I get you again!

HUCKLEBERRY AND HIS GANG ONLY LAUGH AT MATT AND THE CAST.

TIME GOES BY SLOWLY. MATT AND THE CAST DO NOT TRY TO GET FREE. HUCKLEBERRY AND THE GANG DRINK, LAUGH AND SMOKE THE TIME AWAY.

HUCKLEBERRY: Hairy face! You there. Take one of my men and you go to the bank NOW and get "OUR" one-hundred and fifty-thousand dollars...GO!

MATT: Huhh? (Yawn) You won't get away with this, mister!

HUCKELBERRY: Mister, you are too 'tied up' to mess with us. Ha, ha, ha.

KITTY: (whimpers) Matt, do something. I don't want these savages a hold of me..I bet none of them have seen a woman in years . . .

MATT: What was that, Kitty?

KITTY: (with a romantic look on her face) Never mind, Matt. It it means saving Louie, I will be glad to be ravished by these sex-hungry convicts!

FESTUS AND ONE OF THE CONVICTS RETURN WITH THREE SACKS OF MONEY

HUCKLEBERRY: Well, that certainly looks good. Nice job, men.

FESTUS: Ye' better count it. Make shore it's all there!

MATT: Festus! What are you doing, being nice to them?

SUDDENLY SAM, THE BARKEEPER STANDS UP BEHIND THE BAR.

SAM: Well, Marshall, we don't want Mr. Huckleberry and his gang to go away with a bad image of us here in Dodge, do we?

MATT: But, but, but, uh, choke, Sam! You were shot dead! What are you doing alive?

SAM: Call it luck, Mister Dillon. Just good luck.

HUCKLEBERRY: You mean ready to ride.

GANG: Yeah, Huckleberry! The sooner the better!

HUCKLEBERRY LOOKS AT FESTUS, SAM AND LOUIE.

HUCKLEBERRY: What about you three? You ready?

FESTUS: You bet your union suits I'm ready. I've been ready for almost six years.

SAM: Six years? I've been ready since I been working for this witch, Kitty!

LOUIE: And to think of all the years I "acted" like a sot drunkard to throw off suspicion and help Sam, Festus and Huckleberry plan every move of this robbery. Pretty smooth, fellas.

CHESTER: Say, what about me?

LOUIE: Oh yeah, good work, Chester. That "scaredy cat" front you used worked like a charm. We just took this money as easy as taking a drink of booze. Let's go, Huckleberry.

MATT: I can't believe it. Festus, Sam, Louie and even good-hearted Chester?!!! Before you go, men, tell me why, Festus, if you really know, why all the Judas acts by men who I trusted?

FESTUS: (speaks eloquently) Well, it's like this, kind buffoon constable. I may assume the blame for all of this, for I was the one who came here when Mister Chester so-called "retired." I got tired of being treated like a dog day in and day out. Festus get me this. Get the mail. Work for Thad, I think that did it. Now I don't feel so bad at taking all the bank's money. And poor Sam and Chester, always taken for granted. A man can take just so much, Marshall. So we bid you all a hasty farewell.

HUCKLEBERRY: Nice doing business with you, Dillon.

NO ONE SPEAKS. AN HOUR GOES BY. NEWLY FINALLY UNTIES THE ROPES HOLDING THE CAST AS PRISONERS.

NEWLY: What are you doing to do about this, Mister Dillon? I will stay and help round up a posse if you like.

MATT: Huh, Ohh, yeah. Posse. That's a good idea. You do that, Newly.

NEWLY EXITS.

DOC: Well, if I didn't see it, I wouldn't believe it. You need me to stay, Matt?

MATT: Naaah, Doc. Head on home. You need some rest.

DOC EXITS.

MATT LOOKS AT KITTY.

MATT: You thinking what I'm thinking?

KITTY: Ohhh yeah, big boy. Let's head to my room. But let's be extra quiet to not wake Thad.

MATT: Thad? Thad who? (WINKS AT KITTY)

THE END.

DISCLAIMER: no animals were harmed or property damaged while this script was being written.




Thank YOU for Watching, I mean reading this hub!

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Comments 6 comments

PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

Kenneth,

Thank you doing this hub---My Daddy loved this show, so I read it aloud just in case his spirit was visiting me. (We never know about the unknown.) I remember, we all had to be quiet on Saturday when "Gun Smoke" came on.

I would always go outside and swing, as at that time I did not care for the show. The men were too old for me to care--this is country girl talking---.

However, my Daddy loved it, and thanks for thinking of this--it make a weekend brighter.

Your Hub Friend,

Bobbi


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

What a hoot -- and what a tremendous lot of work! Congratulations on a fantastic Hub and bringing back lots of memories to those of us old enough to remember -- and I'm one! Best, Sis


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

My Dear Friend, Bobbi,

"Thank you, from the heart, for your sensitive comment!" "I am like you. My dad (and)mom loved Gunsmoke. And after my dad passed in 2006, my mom's Saturday was this: Get up at 4:30 a.m., have her coffee, breakfast, alone, and watch westerns all day long. She and dad were married 68 years. And now, thanks to you, My New GOOD Friend, you have just rekindled some priceless memories I have stashed away of both my parents...especially mama." "Bobbi, thank you. And IF there is ever ANYTHING I can do for YOU...do not hesitate to write and I will do whatever I can to help you."

Sincerely,

KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, Angela! I sincerely thank you also, for your sweet comment. I was beginning to worry last night about IF anyone read this. I think someone asked me a few months ago if I had a Gunsmoke "lost" script. Lo and behold...looka here! And as our mutual pal, Matt would say, "Hold it right there," I appreciate everything you have ever said to me, Angela.

God bless you.

Now to rest until Monday.

Kenneth

PS: "Huckleberry Jones," is now reformed and working for Church's Chicken somewhere in Arizona. Just thought you would like to know.


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Kenneth,

I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I never was a fan of Gunsmoke. Now, there is a sign of a great writer.

Voted up and away!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Thank you ever so much, Dearest Susan. This was, believe it not, hard to write, but Gunsmoke and Bonanza today, are still on TVLand and my faves when Im not stuck to the keyboard. Thank you, DEAR SUSAN for just being there for me when Ive needed your words and support the most.

With Care,

Kenneth

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