Blood Money Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #03, Episode #03
Gunsmoke is a long-running American television series about the old West. Unlike other Westerns of the time, Gunsmoke didn’t sugarcoat the violence and lawlessness of the Old West. However, the series also showed the audience that the West had good people. There are two Gunsmoke episodes entitled “Blood Money.”
The first among the two was Episode 3 from Season three, telling the story of Harry Speener, who killed a wanted fugitive for the $500 reward, despite the man recently saving his life. Marshal Matt Dillon tried to warn Speener that the people of Dodge despise those shooting for money, yet Speener felt the need to show off what the locals called “Blood Money.” Written by John Meston and directed by Louis King, the episode aired on September 28, 1957.
Meanwhile, if you’re searching for the episode from Season 13 where a gunfighter’s father shot his son’s gunhand to end his career, you’ll find that here.
Check out Blood Money‘s plotline and trivia, or watch the full Gunsmoke episode below.
Watch the Full Episode, Blood Money
Watch the full episode of Blood Money:
Gunsmoke Blood Money Cast
The following cast members acted in the Gunsmoke episode, Blood Money:
- James Arness as Matt Dillon
- Dennis Weaver as Chester
- Milburn Stone as Doc
- Amanda Blake as Kitty
- Vinton Hayworth as Harry Speener
- James Dobson as Joe Harpe
- Lawrence Green as Smith
- George Selk as Moss Grimmick
- Robert Nash as Grant
- Allan Nixon as Adams
- Chick Hannan as Barfly (uncredited)
- Fred McDougall as Barfly (uncredited)
- Earl Parker as Barfly (uncredited)
- Brick Sullivan as Bartender (uncredited)
Full Story Line for Blood Money
Harry Speener is heading to Dodge City to take a bartender position when his horse throws him off, leaving him with a broken leg in the middle of the prairie. A cowboy named Joe Harpe happens to cross the same route, saving the injured Harry upon seeing him about to shoot his horse. Harpe hauls Speener out of the sun to a grove of trees, then gives him water as requested.
Marshal Matt Dillon and Chester Goode came riding up, seeking a spring to get some water. Harpe goes defensive, aiming his gun toward the pair. Speener hears Dillon’s name and informs Harpe that he’s talking to a US Marshal, so Harpe immediately apologizes for his behavior and introduces himself. The three help transport the ill-tempered and constantly complaining Speener to Dodge City.
Doc tends to Speener’s injuries as soon as they arrive, informing him that he needs to be on crutches for around six weeks. Despite everyone’s help, Speener keeps complaining, specifically about being unable to work if he has to stay in crutches for a while.
Harpe stays in Dodge for a while and, feeling responsible for Speener, volunteers to pay for his medical expenses. Harpe’s friendly demeanor made the people of Dodge like him, including the marshal and Doc. On the other hand, many couldn’t stand Speener’s personality.
Back at the marshal’s office, Chester brings in Dillon’s mail. There he finds several wanted posters, including Harpe’s, indicating a $500 bounty reward. Dillon and Chester couldn’t believe that a kind person like Harpe would commit a bank robbery in Colorado. Still, as part of his duty as a lawman, Dillon has to arrest Harpe.
Dillon visits the Long Branch Saloon, only to discover that Harpe and Speener have already left. Chester arrives shortly after, telling Dillon that he met Speener earlier and, like him, couldn’t believe that Harpe was a fugitive. Immediately realizing what could have happened, Dillon reprimands the talkative Chester and goes after the pair.
Speener warned Harpe about his arrest and agreed to help him escape. When they took a quick rest out on the prairie, Harpe expressed his regret for robbing the bank. However, it appears that Speener wasn’t trying to help Harpe escape to pay him for saving his life. Speener was more into the $500 bounty reward he’ll receive for killing Harpe. When Speener gets the chance, he shoots Harpe in the back, immediately causing his death.
Dillon and Chester arrive too late, as Harpe is already dead.
On the other hand, Speener is more excited to receive his reward, regardless of how he killed Harpe. Dillon tells Speener he’ll get his prize as soon as he sends a telegram to Denver. Before they leave, Dillon warns Speener not to talk about the event once he returns to Dodge, as the people wouldn’t like the idea of blood money.
Dillon gives Speener his reward from government funds as the wire from Denver will arrive the following week. Dillon suggests Speener leave Dodge before the people discover the truth about Harpe’s death.
Despite Dillon’s warning, Speener hadn’t left Dodge and even went to the saloon, insisting he’s an honest citizen who can use his money however he likes. However, when he tries to play a game with the gentlemen in the saloon, they brush him off as the word about his “blood money” has already spread. Speener seeks protection from Dillon. All Dillon could do was remind him of his previous warning that since Harpe was well-liked in Dodge, the townspeople would not treat him kindly for shooting him for money.
Two locals find Speener in the middle of nowhere, severely injured after his horse kicked him again. However, after learning it was the same man that killed Harpe, they only left him a bottle of water before leaving.
Dillon and Chester eventually find Speener. Only this time, he’s dead.
Full Script and Dialogue of Blood Money
You miserable... What do you want to kill me for? Looks like you busted your leg, mister. You come to finish me off. Horse throwed you, huh? Dirty rotten animal. Ain't much of a reason to shoot a good horse- just 'cause he throwed ya. It's my horse, ain't he? I better get you out of the sun, mister. I can't move. Fetch me some water. Water will only shrink you up, laying out here. What are you aiming to do? Haul you over to them trees. There's a spring over there. I can't. My leg's broken. Now just fetch me some water. You'll die out here, mister. Now I'll move you as gentle as I can... No! Feeling better? You about tore my leg off. How long was you laying out there? I don't know, an hour maybe. Two hours. Traveling alone? Why? You don't look like a cowboy. What's that got to do with it? A fella like you ought not to be out here all alone. Get hurt too easy. I don't get hurt easy. That horse bucked me off. Oh, I hate horses. I've always hated 'em. That what was you doing riding one? How else was I going to get to Dodge... walk? You might have been better off. I'm a bartender, not a... not a fool cowboy. I got a job waiting for me in Dodge. You ain't in Dodge yet, mister. No. What's the matter? I think I hear horses. Somebody's coming. Good, let 'em come. I need more help than you're giving me. Hey, what are you going to do? Shut up. What are you, an outlaw or something? I said shut up. That's far enough. Who are you men? We're looking for water. You got a spring in there? Yeah. Good. Hold it. I said who are you? Name's Dillon. From Dodge. My name's Chester Goode. You don't worry me, and I ain't never heard of no Dillon. Well, then you shouldn't mind if we get a little water. Okay. But you'll have to drop your gun belt first. Sorry, mister. You heard me. Who is it? One of them's called Dillon. Dillon? From Dodge? That's what he says. Well, bring him in here. He'll help me. He's the US Marshal, you fool. A marshal? By golly, you are a marshal, ain't ya? My name's Joe Harpe, Marshal. What's the matter with your friend? Busted his leg. Oh? Well, there's a doctor in Dodge about 20 miles. I can't do it alone. You put that rifle down, we'll help you. Sure. What's your name, mister? Speener, Harry Speener. I don't recall seeing you around Dodge before. Oh, I ain't never been in Dodge, but I heard your name down in Tasgosa. I was working in a saloon down there. Oh, I see. That where you're from, too? Nah, I just happened along, found him laying there. Horse throwed him. I should never have come alone. I don't know nothing about horses. I hate horses- I always have. Well, I guess we'd better get you into Dodge. You aiming to drag me to Dodge? No, I've been drug as far as I'm going to be. I had to get you out of the sun. Well, you was mighty rough about it. Well, looks to me like he saved your life, mister. Why shouldn't he save my life? Well, of all the mean-tempered... Oh, that's just 'cause his leg hurts him so bad. I busted mine once, and I know how it feels. You don't know nothing how it feels. Nobody drug you around. Well, I guess we better get started. Chester. Yeah. You know that ranch house about a mile west of here? Yeah. Go on over there and see if you can borrow their wagon. All right. I'll get some splints on him. Yes, sir. What are your plans, Harpe? Why, I'm going to help you get him to Dodge. Why? I don't know, you seemed kind of wary when we rode in here. Oh. Well, that's because I'm carrying a little money from my last job. Oh, I see. Can't blame a man for playing it close, can ya? No, I guess not. I'll get some splints. There you are. You're going to be on crutches a while. How... how long? I don't know- six weeks maybe. If you're lucky. Six weeks? I can't tend bar on crutches. How am I going to make a living? I think you'll make out all right. That's fine for you to talk. Well, if there's nothing more I can do for you, Speener, I guess I'll be going. That was a real rough ride you give me on that wagon. Yeah, I guess it was. I'd better be going, too. And the ride you give me was the roughest of all- I'll never get over that. I reckon maybe I should have put them splints on your leg before I moved you. It's a fine time to be thinking about that now, ain't it? You sure make it hard, Speener. Well, so long. Doc. You leaving Dodge, Harpe? Nope, I aim to do me some gambling first. I'm tired of working anyhow. I see. Well, I'll see you later. Yes, yes, Harpe. What in the world is the matter with you anyway? The way I heard it, that man saved your life. You a preacher or a doctor? Doc. Yeah? Come on along, I'll buy you a drink. Drink? Oh, no, no, thanks, Matt. I can't leave with that sorehead laying there. All right, but don't let him throw you. Well... next time you bring him in here, I have a feeling it'll be because, I hope, somebody shot him. Well, he's just a no-good, Doc. Yeah. It's this Joe Harpe that interests me. Harpe? Why, Matt, that's as nice a young fella as I ever met. Yeah, yeah, I know. He seems nice enough. Matt, you're worrying too much about it. Maybe you need that drink. I'll see you later. All right, Doc. I sure hope that that's the last ride we'll be making for a spell. Chester, I think this town life is making you soft. Town life? I ain't slept in a bed for a week. Well, it's a big country, you know. The law can't spend all its time in Dodge. You don't have to tell me that. Looky, there, Mr. Dillon. That's Joe Harpe. He's still in town. Yeah. Say, take the horses on down and pick up the mail on your way back. Oh, all right. Hello there, Matt. Hello, Doc. Marshal. Harpe. How was the trip? Well, we were just scouting around. Nothing in particular. How's things in Dodge? Oh, everything's been just like Sunday. No trouble? No, not... well, only trouble's with him. You know what he's trying to talk me into? What's that? Well, he wants to pay me the bill for that miserable Speener's broken leg. I never heard of such a thing in my life. Well, it's just that I made me a little money gambling and Speener ain't been able to work yet. Of course, it's been better than a month since we come in. He can work any time he wants to, Matt. He's been around town here without even a cane. Marshal, I know it sounds funny, but I saved his life, and I got to help take care of him now. Why's that? Ain't saving his life enough? It's a thing my pa taught me. If you save a man's life, then you're kind of responsible for him from then on out. Now that's an idea I never heard before. Well, by gosh, I never did either. But be that as it may, Speener is going to pay his own bill. I got my own ideas about that myself. Well, if you won't let me... I won't. Okay. I'll see you later, Doc. Marshal. All right. You don't look to me like you believe him. Yeah, yeah, I believe him, Doc. But, you know, there's something I can't figure out about him. Well, he's an awful nice fella. There's not a man in this town that doesn't like him. Yeah, yeah, he's an nice fella. I like him myself. Just quit worrying about him, Matt. I tell you, that Speener's the bad one. You worry about him. All right, Doc. I'll be up to see you after while. Yeah, I'll be back in about an hour. All right. Well, I got the mail, Mr. Dillon. Good. This one here looks awful official looking. Better open that up. Maybe my paycheck's in there. Yeah. Well, no paycheck. Just the usual wanted posters. Uh-oh. What's the matter? Look at this, Chester. Oh, my goodness. Well, that's... that's him. That's Joe Harpe all right. Yep. Wanted, bank robbery, dead or alive, $500 reward. Sheriff, city of Denver, Colorado Territory. Well, ain't that awful, Mr. Dillon. Yep. He's made a lot of friends here, Chester. You gonna arrest him? Well, can't you just pretend that you didn't get it or something? You can stay here if you want to, Chester. No, no. Now, Mr. Dillon, I didn't mean that. All right, then you take the Lady Gay and Delmonico's. I'll go down the other side of the street and meet you at the Long Branch. All right. If you see him, come let me know. Yeah. Hello, Kitty. Oh, hi, Marshal. Well, you look like you've been eating cockleburs. I'm looking for Joe Harpe. He was in here a while ago. The usual. Then that Speener came running in here and said something to him, and they both left. Speener? Somebody ought to take that man out and bury him somewhere. Well, I couldn't find him anyplace, Mr. Dillon. I looked all over for him. Miss Kitty. Chester. What's all this about, anyway? Well... well, Joe Harpe's wanted for bank robbery, that's what. I don't believe it. Well, you know, that's just what Speener said when I told him- he just couldn't believe it. Now wait a minute. You told Speener? Well, yeah. I mean, I seen him down there. Chester. Next time I'll have to send you out with a potato stuck in your teeth. Speener dashed in here and warned him, Chester. No. Well, now that just goes to show, Mr. Dillon. He ain't as bad as we thought. He was just waiting for a chance to do Harpe a real good turn. Sure looks like he did it, too. Come on, let's get the horses. We'll see you later, Kitty. Yeah, sure. Well, you think that they left town? If they're smart, they did. Hot. This place you picked ain't very well hid. Oh, I guess not, but... we won't be here long. Come on, sit down, take it easy. You ought to go on back to Dodge, Speener. This ain't no kind of life for you. Besides, you done enough for me. I ain't done half enough to pay you back, Joe. I can get away alone now. You know how you hate riding and horses and all. One more day won't hurt me. We'll split up tomorrow. And then if there's anybody following us, they won't know which trail to take, see? I shouldn't have done it. What? I shouldn't have robbed that bank. I never done nothing like that before. Well, it's done. You sure you only got $600 out of it? I ain't even got that now. No? Well, it don't matter. I mean... well, you had fun with it. I got to get out of here. Sure wasn't thinking when I unsaddled in a fool place like this. Wasn't your fault. You was too excited to notice. I'm noticing now. All right, we'll move out. You finish your coffee and I'll fill the canteens. ? ? There's Speener, Mr. Dillon. I don't see Joe Harpe anywheres. Well, I think I do, Chester. Hi, Marshal. Chester. Putting up a lot of smoke, aren't ya? Just to help you find the place, Marshal. So you shot him in the back, huh? I tried to talk him into giving himself up, but, uh, he wouldn't listen. Then he tried to draw on me. Don't lie to me, Speener. What difference does it make how he was killed? He was an outlaw, wasn't he? Yeah, he was an outlaw. $500 worth- if you lived long enough to collect it. What are you saying? I'll send a telegram to Denver. You'll get your reward. Let me tell you something. If I were you, I wouldn't talk about this around Dodge. A lot of men don't take to the idea of blood money. You got no right to talk like that, Marshal. I ain't done nothing wrong. Shut up, Speener or I'll kill you myself. Let's go find something to scratch out a grave with. Well, I found him like you said, Mr. Dillon. Over here, Speener. I've been waiting around like you said, Marshal. I haven't talked to nobody. Got a wire from Denver this noon. Everything's all right. Your money will be here in about a week. Oh. Oh, I thought maybe it had come now. There it is. But I thought you said it hadn't come yet. I'm paying you out of government funds in the meantime. Oh. Oh, well, that's, uh, that's fine. Just fine. I didn't think you'd mind how you go it. Oh, now, Marshal, I only done my duty. Count it, Speener. Oh, I'm sure it's all here. I said count it. 353, 354... Satisfied? Yep. $500, all right. Speener, nobody knows about this yet. Everybody thinks I killed Joe Harpe. And my advice to you is to get out of Dodge before they find out who did kill him. What for? I didn't do nothing wrong. Tell me something, Speener. Joe Harpe the first man you've killed? Of course he is. You know, there's men around Dodge that have killed ten or a dozen and thought nothing of it. But I can't guarantee how they're gonna take to your killing one man. Well, they can't do nothing... 'cause it was legal. Yeah, it was legal. I earned this, and I'm gonna double it gambling. There ain't nobody gonna stop me. Okay, I warned you. I'm gonna get rich. This is my start, and I'm gonna get real rich now. Get out of here, Speener. Go on. I said get out. Oh, Marshal... I'm about to go in there. I've been thinking over what you said, and it just ain't right. I'm an honest citizen. I can use my money any way I want. Evening, Marshal. Hello, Red. Well, sit down, Matt. You want a drink? No, thanks, I came in here for one, but I changed my mind. Why? You mind if I sit in, gentlemen? This ain't no penny-ante game. Oh, you think I ain't got money? There's $500 in there. Well, I'll show you. $500? Give me that. Where'd you get $500, Speener? It's none of your business. Now give me that. One story had it you rode out of town with Joe Harpe. That's a lie. I'm not gonna ride anywhere again. Not on a horse. I never did figure the marshal shooting a man like Harpe, even if he was wanted. Now give me that money. It's mine. Yeah, I guess it's yours, all right. And I guess maybe I know how you earned it. Give me that. Matt? It's all right, Kitty. He's too much of a coward to draw. Marshal... Now he's running to you, the dirty sneak. Did you have to give him that money? Marshal, Marshal, you saw what he done. You saw him. Now you ain't gonna let him get by with that, are ya? No, no, I guess I'll have to talk to him about that. Talk to him? I can't understand why he didn't kill you. Kill me? Yeah, without waiting for you to draw your gun. Now look here, Marshal. You're supposed to protect people. Speener, I'm afraid I've done about all I can for you. Now that it's out, you're sure to get killed. Joe Harpe was pretty well liked around here, you know? From now on, around Dodge, you're as good as dead, mister. And I don't want the bother of it. Now suppose you get out of here, huh? Go on. Get out of here. It's up to the ace. Mr. Dillon, over here! Here he is, Moss. I told you that the boy would find him. Good morning, Marshal. Hello, Moss. Is something wrong here? Well, I really ain't sure, Marshal. Well, it's the horse, Mr. Dillon. The horse? He looks all right to me. Well, it ain't the horse. I mean, the horse is all right. It's that, uh... Marshal, look here. See that mud? Yeah. That's red mud. You know where that came from? Well, about the only red mud I know of comes from Granby Springs down about 20 miles south of here. That's right. Well, why? What's all this about? Well, Harry Speener rented this horse. That's right, Marshal. Right after you run him out of town last night. Sold his other one. He swore he'd never ride again. So? Well, he should have bought this horse instead of renting it. He never intended to bring it back. He was stealing it, that's what. Moss, the horse is here now. What's your complaint? Well, I guess I really ain't got one. Where's Speener now? Well, that's just it, Mr. Dillon. This horse come back alone. It looks to me like that somebody just maybe went and killed him after all, don't it? Well, maybe we'd better go find out. Help. Help. Help. Help. Wait. That's the man that murdered Joe Harpe. Yeah. After Harpe saved his life. Help me. You gotta help me. Horse kicked me. Smashed... smashed my side. I'm hurt bad. Water... Water. Wait. Wait! Oh! No! Don't leave me! Wait! Wait! I didn't do nothing wrong! It was legal! You got no right! I didn't do nothing wrong! I'll kill you. I'll find you and I'll kill you both! Well, looks like somebody was here, all right. But he ain't been shot, Mr. Dillon. It looks like it was his horse again. You mean, like before? Yeah. Only this time, Joe Harpe wasn't here to help him.
Behind the Scenes Information and Trivia
Joe Harpe’s character name is mistakenly listed in the closing credits as “Joe Sharpe,” while Harry Speener’s name appears as “Harry Spencer.”
Looking for More Gunsmoke Episodes?
Share a bowl of popcorn with your family and friends as you watch the Gunsmoke series! It is an American Western television series in the U.S., running for 20 seasons from 1955 to 1975. Blood Money is the 3rd episode of Season 3.
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