Buffalo Man Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #03, Episode #18
Gunsmoke is a gritty Western television series showing the audience the dangerous situations faced in the West. At the same time, it also displays the effort of law officials like Marshal Matt Dillon, the show’s lead character, as they try to resolve and make the best out of their challenging circumstances. Among its episodes include Buffalo Man, a Gunsmoke episode directed by Ted Post and written by Les Crutchfield (screenplay) and John Meston (story). This episode is the 18th of season three, aired on January 11, 1958.
Doc discovers a dying man out on the prairie. He informs Marshal Matt Dillon about his discovery, so Dillon and Chester go out to investigate. Before they reach the buffalo hunters’ camp, the occupants show up, and they find themselves entangled in a situation not far from the half-dead man’s case.
Check out Buffalo Man‘s plot and trivia, or watch the full Gunsmoke episode below.
Watch the Full Gunsmoke Episode, Buffalo Man
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Gunsmoke Buffalo Man Cast
Here are the actors who appeared in the Gunsmoke episode Buffalo Man:
- James Arness as Matt Dillon
- Dennis Weaver as Chester
- Milburn Stone as Doc
- Amanda Blake as Kitty
- Patricia Smith as Abby
- Jack Klugman as Earl Ticks
- John Anderson as Ben Siple
- Abel Fernandez as Indian
- Dee Cooper as Townsman (uncredited)
- Clem Fuller as Townsman (uncredited)
- Tex Holden as Townsman (uncredited)
- Fred McDougall as Townsman (uncredited)
- Ted Smile as Townsman (uncredited)
Full Story Line for Buffalo Man
Doc returns to Dodge City with a dying man, who he presumed was a buffalo hunter. Covered by a blanket, the man was in his worse state, as if someone brutally cut him with a knife to suffer.
Marshal Matt Dillon and Chester leave town to investigate. They believe buffalo hunters were working over the herds supposedly belonging to the Indians and that what happened to the dying man was a sign that they had trouble with them.
The pair come across a camp in Pawnee territory, an Indian settlement. There they find a bruised and defenseless lady called little Abby hiding in a wagon. Abby discretely warns them to leave, telling Dillon and Chester that if “he” catches her talking to the both of them, “he” will beat her. Just then, a man with a horse named Earl Ticks walks into the camp, and while they’re talking, Ben Siple sneaks in behind them with a rifle. Abby warns Siple that Dillon’s a marshal, but that doesn’t stop Siple from knocking Dillon unconscious by hitting his head. Siple slaps Abby when she speaks about not hurting Dillon and Chester.
The buffalo hunters tie Dillon and Chester on a wagon wheel. Dillon and Chester realize how bad their situation is and how Abby could stay with such a person. Abby returns from the creek, apologizing for not giving Dillon and Chester food to eat. Dillon tries to convince Abby to cut them loose, but the lady is too scared to go against Siple’s orders.
Siple sees Abby talking to Dillon and Chester. Before he sets his anger towards Abby, Siple kicks Matt in the head, knocking him unconscious for the second time.
Later that night, Dillon and Chester hear Pawnee signals nearby their camp. Dillon alerts Ticks about this, who calls out for Siple to know what they’ll do next. Siple understands that Pawnees hate buffalo hunters and are not scared of them regardless of how mean they are. Ticks and Siple saddle up, leaving Abby and their wagonload of hides to direct the Pawnees’ anger to them.
The following day, the Pawnees reach the camp and confiscate the things they found. Dillon tried to communicate with the Indians, who revealed their hate towards buffalo hunters, cutting them badly with a knife. Dillon and Chester realize that the Pawnees are responsible for the dying man Doc brought in Dodge, so Dillon explains their situation. Promising to get the buffalo hunters for the Pawnees, the Pawnee sets Dillon and Chester free.
Meanwhile, the pair find Abby by the woods, terribly hurt by Siple. Dillon assures Abby that she’ll be fine since Siple’s gone, and they’re taking her to Dodge, where no one will hurt her again.
With the help of Doc and Kitty, Abby regains her health and vitality. As suggested by Doc, Abby promises to return after a week for a follow-up.
Moments later, Chester rushes to the marshal to tell him that Siple and Ticks arrive in town, treating Abby terribly like they did before. At that point, Siple slaps Abby again. Dillon arrives at the scene, telling Abby to head over to Long Branch. Dillon and Siple fight until the marshal knocks him down. Ticks, who finally realizes someone’s better than Siple, drags the defeated Siple, promising not to return.
On the other hand, Abby finally finds peace in Dodge City.
Full Script and Dialogue of Buffalo Man
The lawman's got a full-time job out here that spans the whole field of human problems. One man came to me because his sister had stopped going to church. And just recently, another complained that somebody had blown his neighbor's head off with a shotgun and left the rest lying in the road for the hawks to eat. That one I solved. But the girl is still spending her Sundays out picking berries. Sometimes I think I'd be better off clerking in a Philadelphia bank. But that's not the way it is. Matt Dillon, U.S. Marshal. Oh, hey, Matt. Hello, Kitty. Where you going? Well, I'm looking around for Chester. I think he's hiding on me. I can't say as I blame him. Yeah, the town's filling up fast, isn't it? It's gonna be a big night tonight. A couple of trail herds in from Texas. Sure is gonna be a big night. Well, these boys are going to spend everything they got here, Kitty. They sure go through a lot of misery for just a couple of nights howling, don't they? Yeah, they sure do. I guess I might as well get on over there and start making it worth their while. All right, I'll see you later. Right. Hey, Matt. Look. What's he got with him? I don't know. Doesn't look too good though, Kitty. Maybe you'd better go over to the Long Branch, huh? Matt, I found this man on the Pawnee near Turkey Bend. Dead? Well, he was dying. Must be a buffalo hunter. He was camping there and somebody came along and went to work on him with a knife. A knife? Yeah. Well, was he alone out there? Well, yes... well, no. There was another camp up the river a-ways, but he was alone. Did you try the other camp? No. No, I think that's your job. It's bad enough for me to bring him in. Why? Well, this wasn't a nice thing at all, I'll you. Whoever cut him up, meant for him to suffer, and he certainly did. About as brutal a thing as I've ever seen. Well, I better ride out there, Doc. I'll see you later. All right. Buffalo hunters, most likely, don't you reckon, Mr. Dillon? Yeah, that's what's got the Pawnees all stirred up, ready to go on the warpath. These buffalo hunters coming down here and working over the herds that are supposed to belong to the Indians. Well, that's the army's job, though, and the Indian Service to keep them hunters out of here. Let's go down and take a look. Maybe they had trouble with the Indians. No sign of it. Well, it's buffalo hunters all right. Yeah. There was a fire here sometime this morning. Anybody here?! Well, I'm... I'm sorry, ma'am. I didn't mean to scare you. Go away, please. Go away. What's wrong? Nothing. Just... just ride out and leave me alone. Now, look, ma'am, I'm a United States Marshal. If something's wrong, maybe we can help you. Don't make no difference who you are. If he catches me talking to you, he'll beat me. He'll beat you? Who? It don't matter. Just... just go on, please. Afternoon. Howdy. They're just... just riding through. They just now stopped right this minute. They're going right on. You're working pretty far south, aren't you? Well, you got to kill them where they are. You know this is an Indian reserve? You saying that Indians have more right to buffalo than a white man has? Around here they have. What's more, they're on the prowl. We saw a lot of Indian signs just over that ridge there. Kind of a bad place to go off and leave a woman alone, isn't it? Abby ain't my lookout. She's Ben Siple's woman. Who's Ben Siple? Fella standing there behind you. Hold it, mister. Get your hands up. This thing will make an awful big hole in a man, mister. Turn around. Get the gun, Ticks. Stand easy now. Don't turn around. I can treat people terrible, mister. Ben, they was just riding through. He's the marshal. Lawman, huh? I don't like lawmen, mister. Maybe you got good reason, huh? Mr. Dillon! Tie them up, Ticks. Ben, don't hurt them. They didn't mean no harm... Maybe I'll kill them, Abby. Make you watch. Upset you something awful, wouldn't it? Yeah, maybe that's what I'll do. Abby! Are you through? Yeah. Get that stuff out of here. You want I should feed them? You just let me catch you feeding them. Reach me that jug. Where you going? I got to go down to the creek to wash them. Go on then. Get out of here. What do you aim to do with them, Ben? I ain't made up my mind yet. Ain't it bad business? I mean, him being a lawman like he is? Bet he don't feel much like a lawman right now. You might as well give up, Mr. Dillon. That Ticks used raw gleenhide. Them knots ain't gonna slip. He knew what he was doing, all right. You know, he don't bother me so much as that other one. That Ben Siple... He's just plumb crazy, Mr. Dillon. I know it. If I'd known how crazy, I think I'd have taken my chances when he jumped us. Yeah. Well, what do you think he's gonna do with us? I don't know. I don't know. It's hard to tell with a man like that. He's got a big hate gnawing inside of him. It hasn't left him with much sense. He's capable of doing almost anything. Well, you know, I just can't understand why a woman like that Abby would stay with a man like that. I'm... I'm sorry I didn't get you nothing to eat. They wouldn't let me. It's all right. Abby... Come here. You know, it's not really food that we need. I don't know what you mean? Yes, you do. If I was to cut you loose, they'd kill me. No, he wouldn't. You wouldn't be here to stop them. You'll go off, and I'll be here alone with them? No, Abby, all men ain't like Earl Ticks and Ben Siple. My pa was. He beat me. I never know'd any other men. Abby, listen, we'd find some way to stop them somehow. You can trust us. You really a marshal, or you just saying it? I'm a marshal. If he was to find out, he'd kill all of us. He's mean enough to. Abby, get away from here quick. Go on. Abby! What are you up to? Nothing, Ben. I wasn't doing nothing. Talking to them, wasn't you? Planning something, maybe? No. You ain't done nothing, what are you scared of? I'm not, Ben. Sure you are. You're scared half to death. What have you been doing? Nothing. I was just... coming back from the river. Where's them dishes you took with you? I left them there to soak. Sure you did. I'll go finish them right now. That's a good idea. I'll go with you. No, Ben. It's about time you was taught another lesson. You forget too easy, Abby. Ben, please, I didn't do nothing. Don't take it out on her, Siple. I was planning on taking it out on both of you before I'm through. What kind of man are you, anyway? Man enough to put you in the fix you're in. You and anybody else I take a notion to. Nobody ever beat me out on nothing yet and nobody ever gonna. Let me tell you something, Siple... Shut up! You dirty pig! Abby. Mr. Dillon? Do you feel all right now? Oh, yeah, I... I guess I'm all right, Chester. I tell you, that Ben Siple, he ought to be hung for kicking a man like that when he's tied up. Well, I'll tell you one thing. I could hang him myself right now. I don't reckon that we're gonna get no help at all from Abby. No, no. I just can't understand what makes a woman stay with a man like that. Well, I guess it's like she said, Chester. She's never known any other kind of man. And Siple's not going to let her know any other kind either. He's got her half scared to death. Oh, he just treats her something terrible. Just awful. Well, he'll get what's coming to him. He's long overdue. What is it, Mr. Dillon? Wait a minute. Well, that's just a coyote. I've been hearing him off and on while you was asleep. Those last two weren't. Well, that... That last one was an Indian. Ticks! What do you want? Come here. Don't you try nothing. All right, what's the matter? Did you hear that? What? No, I didn't hear nothing. Well, it's coyotes, that's all. If you're gonna hunt in Indian country, you'd better learn how to recognize them. Indians? That's right. What do I care about a couple of Indians? There's more than a couple of them out there and they're not scouting this camp for nothing. Listen, you trying to trick me some way? I'm not trying to trick you, I'm telling you there's Indians out there and they're not friendly. Sip...? Sip...? Siple! Siple! What's the matter? There's Indians out there and they're yapping at each other like coyotes. I heard them, you fool. I was out there in the bush trying to spot them when you yelled. It's bad, Siple, it's real bad now. I told you the Pawnees didn't like buffalo hunters moving in on them. Come on, let's get out of here. Oh, shut up! Let me think. Probably take all night working themselves up to it. More than likely come in about sunup. Yeah, but I ain't gonna be here at sunup. We sure won't stand no chance dragging that wagon. You think I'm gonna fight Indians over a wagonload of hides? We'll have to leave it. Where's Abby? Never mind her. You mean you're gonna leave her here? Why not? Well now, what about them? Maybe if we leave the Indians something to pleasure themselves with they won't be too concerned about us. I hope they get you. I hope they get you and hurt you real bad. Ah, you hope all you want. You know they're gonna get you. Come on, let's get out of here. So long, lawmen. He ain't even human, Mr. Dillon. You know, I was thinking that... we ain't no buffalo hunters. The Pawnees ain't got nothing against us. Yeah, but do you know how to speak Pawnee? Well, no, of course, I don't. Then how are we gonna tell them? It's funny, Mr. Dillon, what a body will think of at a time like this. Yeah. You know, crazy things like... things that you haven't thought of in years. Things like what? Oh... like when you was a kid, you know, and, uh... I used to think about running away and joining the circus. You did? Yeah. Oh, I used to dream about it a lot, you know. Dream about the lions and the tigers and all like that. Well, that's pretty good dreams. Yeah. Yeah, I liked them fine. I... I always thought that maybe someday it'd... You hunt buffalo? No. Buffalo hunter gone. Leave us like this. For Pawnee to kill? Why? We and buffalo hunter are big enemies. You no hunt buffalo? Never? Never. We kill all buffalo hunter. Teach white man leave buffalo to Pawnee. Another camp, find hunter. Cut him bad... with knife. Mr. Dillon, they's the one that killed that other hunter. Yeah, I know. Buffalo hunter wants you kill us. But buffalo hunter gone. You no find him. Let us go, we find buffalo hunter for you. Big enemies. We punish buffalo hunter for you. Boy, that was taking a chance, wasn't it? Yeah. We're lucky 'cause, you know, they didn't even take our horses. Come on, let's get out of here. Chester, we got to find Abby first. Well, whoa. Abby... My gracious, I... I plumb forgot about her. It may be too late anyway, but we got to look around. Come on. Chester. Yeah? Abby. Ben, please don't hurt me no more. Abby, Siple's gone. Nobody's gonna hurt you now. Marshal, Ben hit me. He hit me something awful. I know, but don't worry about that now. Better go hitch up the horses. We'll take her back to town in the wagon. Yeah. Please don't... don't let him hurt me no more. Please. Abby, now listen to me. We're gonna take you back into Dodge and nobody's ever gonna hit you again. I promise you that. Do you think you can move? All right, come on. Well... I heard you were up there. I thought I'd come up and see how you were doing. Just fine, Marshal. I guess Doc can't find nothing more to fuss about. Well, no, I think I've done about all I can for this young lady. I think turning her into a raving beauty is about all that could be expected of me anyhow. Now, Doc... She sure looks different than that girl we picked up out in the prairie a few weeks ago. Well, most of it's the dress and Kitty gets the credit for that. She helped me make it. Well now, I'm in favor of Kitty getting credit where credit is due, but it took more than that dress to fix you up after the shape you was in when Matt brought you upstairs. I know. I didn't have no idea just plain living could be so nice. I guess I have both of you to thank for it. I'll tell you, you drop by the office in about a week and I'll have another look at you just to be sure, huh? All right, Doc. Good-bye. Good-bye. Good-bye, Marshal. Bye, Abby. An amazing vitality. That's youth for you. There's no medicine like it, Matt. Guess you're right. That's something you and I just know about from memory, huh? Well, speak for yourself, Doctor. Well, all right, I know I'm a little older than you are. But you lived a lot harder. Yeah, you don't seem to strain yourself too much, do you? What do you mean by that? Well, I mean, you always seem to get a lot of rest. I get a lot of rest? Well, I'd like to have you follow me around about 24 hours sometime. Your feet would be dragging and your tongue would be hanging out. I never figured passing out a few pills was very hard work. Passing out a few pills? I want you to know that 90% of everything I do is surgery. Setting broken bones, digging bullets out of people, delivering babies in the middle of the night. Mr. Dillon! It's them! Them? What do you mean? Ben Siple and that Ticks. And they seen Abby and they grabbed her and they're just treating her something terrible. Come on. Putting on airs, are you? Think maybe you're too good for us, huh? About time you was taught another lesson, Abby. No, Ben! Please! Come here! Hold it! Ah, so you really are a marshal. Abby, you want to go with him or you want to stay here in Dodge? I never want to see him again as long as I live. All right, then you go on over to Long Branch and find Kitty. What do you think you're doing? This ain't no business of the law, mister. You know, Siple, you made me break a promise. I told her nobody'd ever hit her again. Planning to interfere with a man's natural rights? I'm gonna teach you a lesson. Well, you made your mistake, mister. You get him on that wagon and get him out of town. And don't ever come back. I sure will, Marshal. I ain't never knew Siple could ever be beat. ? ? Hyah. Hu-yah. Giddup.
Behind the Scenes Information and Trivia
The fight scene in this episode between star James Arness and guest star John Anderson inspired a well-known educational film produced by the American Cinema Editors. The film stayed relevant as a training tool for editing students worldwide.
Two years later, guest stars Jack Klugman and John Anderson work again as co-stars in The Twilight Zone: A Passage for Trumpet (1960).
INSP confuses this episode with another from the series, Season 13’s “The Gunrunners” (#21).
Looking for More Gunsmoke Episodes?
Gunsmoke is a fantastic show to watch alone or with whoever wants to join you! It’s an American Western television series, and all episodes were broadcast in the U.S. by the CBS network. Buffalo Man is the 18th episode of Season 3.
You can find more about any of the Gunsmoke episodes here.