Abelia Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #14, Episode #08
Gunsmoke is a classic Western television series revolving around US Marshal Matt Dillon’s efforts to keep the peace in Dodge City. The show had a profound effect on the Western genre, deemed groundbreaking in its depiction of violence and realistic portrayal of the Western frontier. Directed by Vincent McEveety and written by Calvin Clements, Gunsmoke season 14’s eighth episode, Abelia, aired on November 18, 1968.
A gang of outlaws led by Judd Ward flee after robbing a bank in Garden City. They eventually reached where Abelia and her two children lived, a farmhouse on the outskirts of Dodge City. Afraid that the gang will harm her children, Abelia joins another gang member as they go to Dodge to search for a painkiller for one of the injured bandits. Later in the episode, Festus has a tracking job leading to Abelia’s house, where the gang has already left. Festus stays, helping one of Abelia’s children after being bitten by a snake. However, another problem occurs when the outlaws return to the farmhouse.
Check out Abelia‘s plot and trivia, or watch the full Gunsmoke episode below.
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Gunsmoke Abelia Cast
The following cast members acted in the Gunsmoke episode, Abelia:
- Milburn Stone as Doc
- Amanda Blake as Kitty (credit only)
- Ken Curtis as Festus
- James Arness as Matt
- Jacqueline Scott as Abelia
- Jeremy Slate as Judd Ward
- Tom Stern as Tom Cole
- Buck Taylor as Newly
- Jack Lambert as Gar
- Gregg Palmer as Wales
- Mike Durkin as Jonathan
- Susan Olsen as Marianne
- Jack Chaplain as Deeter Ward
- Bert Madrid as Townsman (uncredited)
Full Story Line for Abelia
A gang of outlaws stops by a farmhouse in a remote area north of Dodge City. The group fled after robbing a bank, with one severely injured and require immediate medical attention.
A widow named Abelia Johnson resides at the farmhouse with her two children. Abelia was reading her kids a bedtime story when she heard horses and footsteps approaching their place. They barge into her house, bringing their injured member, Deeter, inside. When asked about her husband, Abelia lies about him hunting in the hills. Judd Ward, the gang leader, sends Abelia with another gang member, Tom Cole, to go to Dodge and get some painkillers. Before they leave, Judd warns Abelia to do so as ordered; otherwise, he’ll harm her young ones.
With Doc out of town, Abelia and Cole manage to enter and search Doc’s office for the painkillers. Festus, watching the city, finds Abelia and calmly approaches her, but Cole knocks him out. Abelia stops him from shooting Festus but shoots Newly when he interferes from outside.
When Doc returns, they find out that his painkillers were the only medicine the pair stole. They also figured that their desperation to steal and kill would mean they must be in trouble with the law. Doc thinks it’s the same gang Marshal Matt Dillon was chasing. Festus starts tracking the wagon to identify the culprits.
By the time Cole and Abelia return, the gang members are already burying Deeter’s dead body. Judd and his gang head south, and before they do, Judd warns Abelia that they’ll return if they face any obstacles. Abelia assures Ward she prefers to mind her business and keep things to herself.
Festus tracks the wagon and arrives at Abelia’s place, immediately recognizing Abelia as the woman at Doc’s office that night. Terrified that the gang will return, Abelia denies Festus’ allegations and claims she has never been anywhere. Just then, Abelia’s son, Jonathan, runs to her, informing Abelia that a rattlesnake bit his sister, Marianne. Festus and Abelia quickly come to her rescue.
The snake bite incident caused Abelia and Festus to forget anything related to the Ward gang and the thieving at Doc’s office. Fortunately, Festus’ quick aid prevented Marianne from suffering severe consequences from the snake bite.
The children fall for Festus’ friendly demeanor, even allowing him to court their mother. When Festus brings up the incident in Dodge, Abelia continues to deny any involvement in the case. Considering it’s late that night and Dodge is far back, Abelia reluctantly allows Festus to stay and use the other bedroom in the house.
Festus prepares to bed in his longjohns when Abelia comes in to fetch her nightgown. Abelia finds Festus’ reaction hilarious, as he acts as if he is bare naked.
However, the situation escalates when the gang returns, except for Cole, who’s doing a task for the group. With all roads heading South blocked, they sent Cole to scout other trails as they sought shelter for the night. Assuming Festus is Abelia’s husband, the gang tells him to act sensible and let them do their thing until they leave the next day.
Abelia reveals the truth to Festus, claiming she did all they keep them from hurting her children. However, Festus has to do something before Cole returns, especially since he’ll recognize him not as Abelia’s husband but as the lawman he knocked out at Doc’s office.
Meanwhile, Dillon realized the Ward gang’s involvement in the break-in of Doc’s office and that they might have gotten a woman as a hostage to help them escape.
Festus waits until the guard outside falls asleep, then sneaks Abelia and her children into the cyclone cellar. He intentionally threw something to get caught and make the gang think Abelia and the kids ran off. Judd and another gang member split up to find the family, while the other stayed to guard Festus. Just then, Cole returns to the cabin, and despite Festus’ efforts to keep his identity, Cole recognizes him as the deputy from Dodge. Abelia shouts from the cellar, causing a commotion inside. The situation escalates as Cole threatens to shoot Festus and Abelia. Fortunately, Dillon bursts in to save Festus and Abelia’s family. He informs Festus that he has taken care of the rest of the gang.
Festus bids farewell to the family. Before he leaves, Abelia hints about inviting him to dinner on Sundays since she tends to make too much in case a neighbor passes by their place.
As the episode closes, Marianne tells Abelia that Festus is a nice man. Abelia agrees, stating he’s an exceptional man, hopeful that he’ll return.
Full Script and Dialogue of Abelia
Judd, a farm. Yeah, I'd just as soon we passed it up, get him someplace where we can get a bottle of whiskey down his throat and get the doctoring done. If you had a bullet in your gut, you'd be asking for more than whiskey. Just giving my opinion. I'm cold, Judd. Awful cold. Better walk the horses in, check it out. "With the return of the princess, the king d... d..." Decided. Thank you. "decided to report the knight." How'd you know that was "decided", honey? Remembered from the last time. Well, this old book is getting a mite handled. Read about the Billy Goats Gruff, Ma. No, I think we'd better save Mr... Mr. Billy Goat Gruffs for tomorrow night. How well known are you in Dodge? Nobody else here. Bring Deeter in. Where's your man? I don't see it's none of your business. - She's one needing quick manners. - Get some blankets. I asked you, where's your man? He's in the hills huntin'. Put him over by the fire. When do you expect him back? I don't know. Ma'am, you can expect us to be gone by morning, no harm done to you or your kids. Check that wagon by the barn. - You get to Dodge very often? - I ain't never been there. - There's no cause. - Well, you're going there tonight. With him. If the posse stops you, you're just a farm family. Now, get a coat for the ride. Look here, I ain't going off and leaving my kids alone. You heard what I said. Get a coat. Deeter? I'm... I'm dying, Judd. Oh, no. You ain't doing nothing your older brother don't call in turn. Judd. Deeter, Deeter, we gotta get some drugs. Some of them painkillers the docs are using. Can't... Can't cut into you without 'em, that bullet where it's at. I'm sending Cole into Dodge to get some. You just hang on now till he gets back. I hear tell you got a man in the hills. You don't look like the kind of woman who should be left alone too long. There's something about you, mister, recalls to my mind the pigs I slop in the morning. Lady, that's my brother over there with a bullet in him. Now, if you've a mind to try something foolish, you just remember your young ones here with me. Well, Newly, what in the tarnation happened? Well, I took a spill near Rock Creek, my horse went down, I had to leave the posse. Hurt you bad, did it? I hurt my wrist, can't hold the reins too well. Thought I'd better let Doc take a look at it. Well, old Doc, he went out on call, but I heard him say he'll be back in about a hour or so. Now, I'll go ahead on and make my rounds, and why don't you go into Matthew's office and wash up, and directly we'll have us some coffee and a little sweetener. Thanks, Festus. What's holding you? There's all kinds of names here I can't read. Laud... Laud... Laudanum. That's what they call it. The times they've used it on us, can't count 'em. That's it. Just stand easy, right where you're at. Ma'am, I'm gonna have to ask you... Making sure he ain't gonna follow. You're not gonna kill him! I'm gonna peel every inch of you. Shut up! Get going. Come on. Yah! Yah! Newly? Newly? Help me get him upstairs. Easy, now. Easy. - Doc? - Shh. - Go on, just sit down there. - What for? Just sit down. I wanna have another look at that head of yours. Oh, it's all right. I'll tell you whether it's all right or not. Just hold still, now. Well... I guess it's not gonna bother you too much, although you may have a pretty good headache for a couple of days. What about Newly, Doc? Well, Newly's lucky. Matter of two inches and... Well, he's lucky. What do you reckon they could have been after, Doc? - Laudanum. - Laudanum? Sure. Painkiller, you know. It's the only thing that I can see that's missing. Well, if they was desperate enough to kill for it, they must be in trouble with the law, don't you figure? I've been wondering, it might be that same gang that Matt's after. You know, one of them got shot in that Garden City holdup. Yeah, but there wasn't no woman with the Wards, Doc. I'd better get to tracking. Hold on. You can't track a wagon at night. I know I can't, Doc, but that there was one of them little old narrow hill wagons, that they use up in the north hills there to get through them narrow trails with. Now, if I can get out there by sunup, it'll give me a head start on picking up a fresh track, don't you see? Doc, you take care of Newly, now. I'll take care of Newly. You take care of yourself. Judd, I got back as soon as I could. Why have you been away? I just had to take care of some business. Why don't you... go back to sleep now? But it's morning, Ma. Well, I know, but this is a special day. - What about our chores? - Well, I told you, it's a special day. You don't have to worry about your chores. Just you go on back to bed while I fix you some breakfast. Kids are all right. You done your job. Ma'am, my only interest is getting us out of here. We're leaving, but how do I know you won't send for the law? I got nobody's business to mind but my own. That's real fine, 'cause if we can't get by those posses to the south, we got no choice, we're gonna have to come back here, and if there's any law around when we do... I told you, I mind my own business. Mmm. Ma'am? Cole... he don't like kids. - Howdy, young 'uns. - Howdy, mister. What's your business, mister? You'd be the one all right. You ain't said nothing yet. Just who do you think you're bluffing? I'm sure as certain you're the one. Besides, them wagon tracks led right smack dab to your place. Get off my land! That fella with you, the one with the hard-barreled pistol, he your husband, is he? I ain't got no husband. I've been a widow almost two years. I don't know what you're talking about. I'm talking about taking you back to Dodge City, that's what I'm talking about, and this time you're gonna see the inside of the jail. I ain't never been nowhere but here, and I ain't going nowhere. You ain't even a passable liar. Ma, Ma, Marieanne's been bit! It's a rattler! It's all right, honey. Now, don't cry. It's going to be all right, now. We'd better get this tied off. It's all right, honey. - It's a little tight, but... - It's all right. We'll get you all fixed up. There you go. Just... Better get her into the house. Come on, darling. You stay with me, John. In here. Shh. Shh, shh, shh, shh. It's all right, honey. Don't cry, now. It's all right. It's gonna be fine. What I want you to do is just hold her real still, now. - Don't let her move at all. - Is she gonna die? Son, go get the sheet off of that bed and tear it up. Hurry up. Now, honey, I'm just gonna get all that old poison out. Just grit your teeth, darling. It'll be all over with in just a minute. Shh, shh. It's gonna be OK. Go get some hot water and fix a poultice. Is she gonna die? Of course she ain't gonna die. Didn't you never hear? Little girls don't never die from snakebite. Jonathan, tear that sheet. Is it gonna be all right? Oh, of course it is, honey. It wasn't nothing but a little bitty old scratch. Why, you'll be up a-jumping and a-hopping and a-traipsing around in no time at all. - Really? - Oh, of course. Now, you can mark me on that. Just as quick as you learn how to say the magic word. Magic word? Golly gum beat a polecat in the bear hollow. Golly gum... - Ouch! - Now, there you go. See? You're putting in extra words. You ain't supposed to do that at all. You're supposed to stay right with the words that I told you, now. You remember what they was? Golly gum beat a polecat in the bear hollow. Golly gum beat a polecat in a bear hollow. That's right. That's good. You done it just perfect. My grandpa died from a snakebite. Well, shoot, that's a... that's a whole different thing. You see, he was a fella and she's just a little bitty girl. Besides, to make sure, there's some snake oil out on my mule in the saddlebags. You run out and fetch it for me, will you? Their granddaddy did die of a snakebite. I'll never forget it. Well, maybe you don't have much faith in magic words or nothing like that, but it sure wouldn't hurt to have a heap of faith that the Almighty's gonna keep his eye on that little bug. Mister, I couldn't find no snake oil. Gad-dumb, you reckon I forgot to put that in? Guess I did. I'll fix you something to eat. What's the matter, son? I figured out you was just fooling me about little girls not dying. Oh? You figured that out all by yourself, did you? Well, I... I kind of figure it's up to us menfolk to kind of keep the womenfolk from a-worrying so much, don't you figure? I'm sorry. Well, that there's a mighty manly thing for you to be a-saying. Just let me tell you something, ma'am. If it wasn't for that sweet little girl a-laying in there, you'd be looking at the world betwixt jail bars right now. Besides, ain't your young 'uns a-wondering who I am? They're asking who you be. I told 'em you're the deputy from Dodge. I don't reckon you told 'em what I'm a-doing up this way, did you? I said you was looking for a horse thief. Oh, you got yourself mixed up in that too, have you? You know, you're not so funny, mister. Well, I ain't just a-cracking no ribs over you neither. You and that killer fella from Dodge... Well. Figured out a story to explain this fresh turned ground here, have you? Appears like that medicine you stole from old Doc didn't do no good. Now, what have you got to say about that? All I got to say is them two kids in the house occupy my time and my mind. Been a long time I found anything else worth a-thinking about. There, now. That's a mighty pretty leg, I'd say. And I'll just bet you that that old rattler didn't have but a little old bitty nip in him. - It was a good magic word. - Well, of course it is. Golly gum beat a polecat in a bear hollow always works, purt near. I gotta go tend to the dishes. Can you arrest anybody you want, Mr. Haggen? Well, the mainest ones is just them scamps and scallywags that ain't behaving theirselves. Do you know any other magic words, Mr. Haggen? - Oh, of course I... - We have our arithmetic lesson tonight. You go to school, do you? Ma gets books from the preacher. She teaches us. You can teach us tonight. - Well, I don't... - We're up to apples and oranges. Adding the apples. Yeah, well, adding apples always makes good reading all right. You mean you can read upside down? Well, that ain't the easiest thing there is to do, you know. You count the apples, add them together, and that's the right number. Oh. Well, let me see here, now. We got one, two apples, and one, two, three apples. - Now, who's got the answer to that? - Five. See how easy it is? Just like falling off a log, ain't it? All right, now, here, we got us a whole mess of apples this time. We got one, two, three, four, five... five... Well, it's your turn, Jonathan. You... Well, who's got the answer to that one? When we can't answer, Ma does. Well, shoot, you ain't never gonna learn nothing thataway, somebody telling you the answers. You're smart, Mr. Haggen. Reckon I know a thing or two. You married, Mr. Haggen? Well, that there's something I ain't never got around to. Wanna come courtin' Ma? Johnny and me'd let you. - Well... - You'd look prettier if you shaved. Well, who wants to look pretty? I'm getting a little tired myself, and you two look like you're plumb tuckered out. Now, go on, get to bed with you. Come on, sweetheart, you lay down there and let me cover you up. There you are. - Good night, Mr. Haggen. - Good night, darling. - Good night, Mr. Haggen. - Good night, Jonathan. Ain't no call for you to be feeling smug, Mr. Haggen. Ma'am? My kids look on any man that comes along as maybe being a daddy to 'em. Well, now, I wasn't thinking nothing. If you think for a blessed minute that... Especially the likes of you after what you done in Dodge. I told you, I ain't never been to Dodge. Ma'am, I got me a feeling you're in trouble, and I don't think you're the kind of a woman to go traipsing around with the likes of that fella that shot my friend, Newly. Now, if you are in trouble, why don't you tell me? Maybe I can help you, don't you see? Do you need three ears to understand? I ain't never been to Dodge. I'm saying you're lying. And I'm telling you you're wrong. And you can take me into Dodge and I will still keep saying you're wrong. And I'm fixing to take you to Dodge too, just quick as that little young' un in there gets well. I'm not gonna use that room over there. I don't care if you use it, if you got a mind to. Much obliged. - What do you want? - I forgot my nightgown. Well, you could have at least gave me a chance to get decent. Oh, hush. I've seen a man in his long johns before. I don't give a hoot if you saw a naked jaybird. A she-male ain't got no business a-busting into a room that's done occupied by a fella of the opposite sex. I knocked. And you can just scoot yourself on out. Get, get. You know, Mr. Haggen, I'll bet the folks in Dodge feel real safe with you wearing that badge. Well... your man got back. Why'd you fellas come back? All the roads to the river are blocked. Gonna have to put us up for another night. I don't see, um... Cole, that fella that took me into Dodge. What happened to him? He's just doing a little job for us. He'll be back before sunup. Wells, see if the coffee's hot. Judd, suppose we get that posse taking a look up this way before Cole gets back? That's a risk we gotta take. He'll be along as soon as he checks that north rim to see if the snow has blocked them passes. We better stand guard. You take the back of the house. I'll watch the front. Wells, you get a little sleep. Don't reckon you'd care none if we shut the door so we could get a little bit of sleep? You just act sensible like your woman did last night and we'll get along real fine. Thanks. Now, why couldn't you just have came out and told me? Them two young 'uns in there are the only why in my life. I'm not about to do anything that's gonna get 'em hurt. They'd already told me that they might come back, and they said if I had any lawmen around here, they'd get my kids. Well, I'll tell you this, we'd better do something before that Cole fella gets back here, 'cause he's gonna remember me as the fella that he rapped on the head in Doc's office, and they're gonna see you as the woman that's been a-fooling them all this time too. I know. Suppose there's any chance that... that he wouldn't recognize me as, well, seeing as how it was so dark in Doc's office? You got a face that ain't easy to forget. Reckon it is one of a kind all right. It's a good face. Obliged to you, ma'am. My name's Abelia. You might as well start using it. Abelia, you reckon you could wake the young 'uns up and keep 'em quiet if need be? Is there any hiding place around here where them gunnies wouldn't think of looking at? There's the cyclone cellar, but I don't see what good it'd do to hide. They'd just find us. No, not if they thought that you'd ran off. Well, how are you gonna make 'em think that? Just leave the doing to me. $1000 REWARD WANTED TOM COLE ROBBERY ASSAULT That's him all right. Tom Cole. Well, he rides with the Ward brothers. - You sure about this, Newly? - I'm positive. It's hard to forget a man's eyes over a gunsight when he's pulling the trigger. At least now, for what it's worth, we know who we're looking for. Well, what about the woman? There wasn't any woman with 'em, Doc, when they hit Garden City. There was a woman with 'em here. And Festus told me the wagon they used wasn't a regular farm wagon at all. It was one of those narrow kind like the hill people use. Now, do you think that maybe they could have picked up a woman hostage up there someplace? Well, I guess they could have. There's a few farms scattered back in among those hills. All right. Newly, I'll tell you what. You stay right there in bed and rest up till he tells you to get out. He'll stay in bed till I tell him, until I finish playing checkers with him. - Sounds like you're beating him, huh? - Ask him. Irish luck, just Irish luck. Marieanne, wake up. Why, Ma? Why, Ma? We're gonna go hide in the cellar. - Is a twister coming? - Shh! There's some men outside, some bad men, and we're gonna hide until they go away. And there's one of 'em sleeping right in yonder and we don't wanna wake him up, now. Just as quiet as a cottontail on green grass. Hear me? Shh, real quiet. Don't stop! Keep running, keep running! Don't stop! Go on! All right, hold it, farmer. That's enough. - What's going on? - Looks like the woman got away. - Kids too? - I don't know. - Did you see them? - No, but I heard 'em, right over there. - Wells, what happened in there? - Huh? Well, I was just dozing and... Mister, when we catch up with them, I'm gonna come back here and fix you good. Then that's gonna give me a little time, 'cause they got places to hide in there a pack rat couldn't find. Take him inside and watch him close. If he moves, shoot him. Inside, plow pusher. While we're waiting for Judd to bring back your woman and your brats, we might as well have us some hot coffee. Go on, fix it. Well, they couldn't have got much farther than this. Too dark to read signs, Judd. Better split up. Call out if you see anything. Well, how about it? Ain't hot enough yet. Well, it looks plenty hot to me. What's the matter? Judd? It's Cole. Judd, I'm back. Where's Judd? He and Gar are out looking for the woman and kids. Her man came back, slipped her and the kids out the window. That sure were a fool move. Judd weren't gonna hurt 'em none. So... had herself a man. I had her pegged for lying. Sit yourself down, Cole. The farmer here was about to pour some hot coffee. Sure could use some. What took you so long? My horse threw a shoe, near froze. Where's the coffee? Get to pouring, farmer. I figured you might want some eggs to go with it. Hustle it up. You stay put. No matter what happens, you stay put. All right, hold it. Now, call the other one. Go on, call him. Wish Judd'd get here. How about them eggs? Don't I know you from somewhere? I... been down around Panhandle some. No, not that far back. You being such a big fella, I thought you might want a extra one. That voice. That voice. - Deputy. - Deputy? He ain't no farmer. He ain't her man. He's the deputy from Dodge. - Say your prayers, Deputy. - No! Don't kill him, please! Don't kill him! Please! Well, I'll be... Judd and Gar are riding around there out in the night and you be right here all the time. Nice game you two played. I got a game for you. It's gonna have you dancing. No! Them's your last words, Deputy. Come on, Abelia. Matthew, there's a couple more of 'em out yonder. Yeah, I know, Festus. They've been taken care of. Abelia, this here is Matthew Dillon, the marshal of Dodge City. It sure is... good to see you, Marshal. Sure you can't stay for supper, Mr. Haggen? Well, I'd sure like to, ma'am, but I reckon I'd better get on and try to catch up with Matthew on the trail. You mean you ain't coming back to spark Ma? - Well... - Uh... that old cow's loose again. Why don't you kids go and see if you can't tie her up? - Goodbye, Mr. Haggen. - Bye-bye. My kids kind of speak up. They ain't too much for talking polite. Oh, they... they wasn't unpolite at all. Fact is, you must be mighty proud of them two young 'uns. Yes, I am proud. Well, it was sure plumb pleasurable meeting up with you. I just wish that we could have met up under more pleasuresome times. But, then, Dodge City, see, it ain't so far from here to where you won't maybe be seeing me ride by. I could even get close enough to where I'd wave down here to you. Well, if you come that close, well, you might as well come close enough to holler a hello. That's kind of what I had in my head. The fact is, Sundays I always cook up more dinner than me and the kids can eat, so... Just in case we happen to get a neighbor passing by. Well, I'm sure fixin' to keep that in my mind all right. Well, I reckon I'd better be getting on. You just take care of them young 'uns, now, and take care of yourself, you hear me? OK. - Bye. - Bye-bye. Bye-bye, young 'uns. Take care of your ma, now. Bye, Mr. Haggen. - Thanks. - Bye-bye. He's such a nice man, Ma. He sure is, darling. A very special man. You said that about our pa. Did I? Will Mr. Haggen ever be back, Ma? I don't know. I don't know.
Behind the Scenes of Abelia
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