gunsmoke dry road to nowhere
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Dry Road to Nowhere Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #10, Episode #28

A temperance activist aims to close Kitty’s saloon and ban drinking in Dodge. This Gunsmoke episode, Dry Road to Nowhere, aired on April 3, 1965.

Discover the storyline and exciting facts about “Dry Road to Nowhere,” or catch the episode below.

Table of Contents

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Gunsmoke Dry Road to Nowhere Cast

The following performers were featured in the episode titled “Dry Road to Nowhere”:

  • James Arness as Matt Dillon
  • Milburn Stone as Doc
  • Amanda Blake as Kitty
  • Ken Curtis as Festus
  • James Whitmore as Amos Campbell
  • Read Morgan as Pete Moreland
  • James Nusser as Louie Pheeters
  • Glenn Strange as Sam
  • Howard Culver as Howie
  • John Saxon as Dingo
  • Julie Sommars as Bess Campbell
  • L.Q. Jones as Wally
  • Walter Bacon as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Barton as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Nick Borgani as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Carol Brewster as Mrs. Moreland (uncredited)
  • John Daheim as Cowboy (uncredited)
  • Fred Dale as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Joe Garcio as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Chester Hayes as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Tom Kennedy as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bert Madrid as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Mathew McCue as Man Outside Saloon (uncredited)
  • Stephen McEveety as Young Moreland Boy (uncredited)
  • Arnold Roberts as Cowboy (uncredited)
  • Rudy Sooter as Townsman (uncredited)
  • George Sowards as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Max Wagner as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Al Wyatt Sr. as Cowboy (uncredited)

Full Story Line for Dry Road to Nowhere

A fiery temperance preacher, Amos Campbell (played by James Whitmore), arrives in Dodge with his daughter Bess (portrayed by Julie Sommars), aiming to eradicate drinking in the town. This stance doesn’t sit well with some locals, particularly Kitty Russell, the owner of the Long Branch Saloon.

Preacher Campbell had already clashed with locals like Dingo (played by John Saxton) when he attempted to take advantage of young Bess. Now, his preaching stirs discontent among cowpokes who frequent Dodge to quench their thirst. With danger looming, Kitty must ensure her voice is heard amidst the preacher’s fervor.

Campbell launches a campaign to outlaw alcohol in town, leveraging his success in other places and manipulating the democratic process. His charisma sways many citizens to support temperance, counting on apathy from those favoring alcohol consumption.

Kitty’s conflict with Campbell escalates, especially when she gives Bess a makeover, further complicating matters.

Full Script and Dialogue



A-Anybody'd think
I smelled of skunk.


Please go away.

It can't be that I'm
all that hard to take.

Must be lots of worse-looking
fellas than me, huh?

Oh, no!

No! (screams)


He harm you, girl?

I'm all right, Pa.

I didn't mean no wrong.

Oh, that's been
the sinner's tune

since Cain took Abel.

Why, a preacher.

Name is Campbell.
Unhitch your gun.

Oh, honest, I didn't
mean no harm.

I was just fooling with her.

Just drop it, boy.


I heard of you.

I never saw a preacher
with a gun before.

Well, I get lucky,

I put a rabbit in the
pot every now and then.

On your knees.

On my knees?

Listen, I ain't playing
no games with you! I'll...

On your knees.

Boy, I want you to read
to us from the Good Book.

I know it word for
word, mostly, but...

give or take a few "begats."

Mister, if you know
what's good for you,

you'll kill me right now.

No man ever put me
on my knees before!

Well, there's your
problem right now, boy.

I'm warnin' you, mister.

Just read.

Open the book and read.

The Lord'll guide your hand.


"I have sinned
greatly in that I...

"I have done.

"And now I beseech thee, O Lord,

"take away the in... in..."


"Take away the
iniquity of Thy servant,

for I have done very foolishly."

That's Second Samuel 24:10.

Go on, boy. Read.

How long you plan to
keep me readin' here?

Well, it pleasures
me to hear the Word.

I reckon Bess and I
could stand here and listen

as long as the light holds out.


"For... when..." David... was up

"in the morning,
"the Word of the Lord

"came unto the prophet Gad,

David's seer, saying..."

No, all I'm saying is

that when you sit down
to have soup with a man,

it's nice to have him around

when they bring
in the main course.

You think Delmonico's
service is getting slow?

I think just once I'd like
to have a meal with you

and not have you jump
up in the middle of it.

Guess I'll have to get
that new law passed, Kitty.

No crimes committed
during mealtime.

Hey, look who's here.

Marshal... Miss Kitty.

Well, Dingo, what
brings you to Dodge?


Well, first of all, I'm
gonna clean up a little bit.

I... had a little
accident on the trail.

And besides, Marshal...

a man runs out
of places to go to.

And I always did have a
special feeling for Dodge.

Dodge has always had a
special feeling about you, too.

Well, now, I wouldn't
exactly call that friendly.

It wasn't meant to be friendly.

(laughs) You call that
any kind of talk, Marshal?

I mean, did-did you ever
have cause to lock me up?

I had plenty of cause.

Just never had any proof.

Now, you start any trouble
around Dodge this time, Dingo,

you'll be out of here so fast,

you won't be sure
you were here at all.

You got no worry
with me, Marshal.

I don't plan to
give any trouble,

nor ask for any.

Glad to hear it.

Good to see you again, Marshal.

Miss Kitty...

I still wouldn't
sign on his note.

Oh, I don't know, Kitty.

You gotta give a man a chance.

He's had a chance, lots of 'em.

If you want some of my advice...

I'll tell you what I want,
is something to eat.

Come on, let's go.

What I mean is, Doc,

it's just a pure
waste of good time,

you a-standing up
here half your life

rolling them dang pills,

when right out
yonder on the hill

there's cures just a-growing
wild and free, as you might say.

Yes, I understand.

What you'd have me
do is just throw away

generations of medical
science and research,

throw it right out the window

and have my patients all eating
grass and herbs and things.

Well, Aunt Tory done
good enough with it,

I'll tell you that.

And who was that?

Tory Heebs.

Now, you take old
Bessie Kell, for instance.

He got so bad, he didn't
even have the strength

in his hands to
milk his cow with.

Aunt Tory had a remedy for it.

Well, Doc, I'll tell you.

In two days, he was
a-hooping and a-hollering

and a-hoorahing around

and he was a-squeezing
them cows so hard

that when the milk hit,
it was a-busting holes

in the bottom of the bucket.

Do you happen to recall

what remedy she used for that?

Well, as I recollect,

one was, uh... blessed thistle.

Cnicus benedictus.

And, uh, then they
was, uh... goldenseal.

Hydrastis canadensis.

What else?

That's all there was,

'less you want to count
what they was all mixed up in.

Oh, well, for heaven's
sakes let's count everything.

What was it mixed up in?

Corn liquor, the
best I ever tasted...

Festus, if you don't
get out of here...


(gunshots continue)

(men whooping)

It's old Wally and
the Lazy Q boys.

Yeah, just got back from
the cattle drive, I guess.

Let's go down and
watch the ruckus.

- You want to?
- No, no, no.

You go on. I'd better
roll some bandages.

If they get drunk enough,
they're gonna need 'em.

(men whooping, gunshots)

(men whooping, gunshots)

Looky there!

Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!

(whooping, shouting)

Hey, Wally!


Go! My boys! Ha, ha!


How'd you like to
take a ride, preacher?


Ride 'em!

Giddyup! Hyah!



You stay with the wagon, girl.

What's going on?

That's Pete Moreland's boy.

- Better get up to the doc...
- I'll take him, Marshal.

I reckon you've got enough
trouble to handle right here.

Know where the doctor's is?

Yes, I passed it on the way in.

Were you and your boys
responsible for this, Wally?

It was an accident, Marshal.

Didn't mean no harm.

It's true, Matthew.

I seen the whole thing.

Ain't one of us mean.

We're... just fun-loving is all.

Yeah, well, the fact
you're having fun

isn't gonna help that boy much.

No, sir.

Sure hope he ain't hurt too bad.

You'd better hope he isn't,

or you're gonna
be in a lot of trouble.

Now get your
boys off the street.

Yes, sir.

That preacher
your father, ma'am?

Yes, sir.

Well, did you
just get into town?

Yes, sir.

Where you staying?

Oh, Pa said something
about the hotel.

I'd be glad to take her
over yonder, Matthew.

All right, Festus, fine.

He just lays there like that,

ever since they
brung him in, Doc,

like a stone or something.

Never opened his eyes.

Well, Pete, I've
told you there's...

Them crazy cowhands, Doc,

looping through
the town like that,

not caring that a young
kid was in the street!

- Well, it was an accident.
- Accident?!

That don't make him whole again!

It don't take the
lump off his head,

it don't open his eyes!

Pete, why don't you just...

just simmer down.

He's gonna be all right.

Now I'm gonna tell
you something, Doc.

If it turns out that the
boy is hurt permanent,

I'm going after
the men who did it.

Whiskey-guzzling fools.

(knocking at door)

- Brother Moreland.
- Mr. Campbell.

Sister Moreland.

Just come by to see
how the young'un is doing.

Losing the battle, is he?

He's not losing anything.

He's doing fine.

Well, looks like
it could be the...

valley of the shadow.

Mr. Moreland...

you put your trust in the Lord?



In Thy name. Amen.

Boy... Boy, you wake
up, you hear me?

Boy... you wake up right now,

to the glories of
God's good world.

Boy, wake up.


You all right, boy?

I'm hungry, Pa.

Your ma'll take care
of that right away, son.

She's fixin' to make supper.

Why... why, it's like Lazarus,

back from the grave.

Is that so?

Well, he wasn't
anywhere as near a grave.

He was asleep,

because I gave him a
sedative this afternoon.

Well, maybe
that's the difference

twixt your calling
and mine, Doc.

You puts 'em to sleep
and I wakes 'em up.

Glad to be of any
help, Brother Moreland.

See you at the meeting.

What meeting?

Temperance meeting, of course.

8:00 tomorrow
evening, Front Street.

Well, you can sure count
on me, Mr. Campbell.

And there's a half-dozen
other folks in this town, too,

that'll stand up for temperance
against the devil himself.

Fine, fine.

You bring 'em all along, now.

Excuse me, folks,
I got work to do.

The Lord don't like His
servants to drag their feet.

No, no. Of course not.

Ladies. Lovely morning.

Oh, good morning, Reverend.

Good morning, Marshal.

We didn't have a chance
to introduce ourselves.

I'm Matt Dillon.

Campbell, Amos Campbell.

Yes, the Reverend
Campbell. I've heard of you.

Well, they do call me
"Reverend," that's true,

but I don't like to fly
under any false colors.

I am not ordained.

I'm just a simple man
who heard His word

and believes in His truth.

Can I interest you
in a cup of coffee?

Well, that's, uh,

that's very thoughtful
of you, Marshal.

Come in.

Thank you, Marshal.

Sit down. Make yourself at home.

I just had a talk with Doc Adams

about Pete Moreland's boy.

He, uh, tells me that you
laid hands on him last night...

uh, brought him out of a coma.

Well, there seems to
be some slight dispute

between the medical

and the theological
departments on that point.

Let's just say we're
all very grateful

that the lad survived.

I'll agree to that.

What did you want to
talk to me about, Marshal?

I understand you're a
temperance preacher.

You understand right.

Six towns in 17 weeks
and I'm just gettin' up steam.

Drinking here in Dodge is legal.

Under the law.

Under your law but
not under His, Marshal.

Well, I guess we
could argue that point.

I just want to say that if
you're gonna try and change

the drinking habits
here in Dodge...

you'd better do it with
ballots and not bullets.

Oh, I just use
this for varmints.

Till yesterday, I never
even pointed it at a man.

What happened yesterday?

It's not important.

Anything else, Marshal?

Well, just this:

Dodge is a rough town, Reverend.

I'd hate to see you and
your daughter get into trouble.

Well, I'm grateful
for your concern.

Don't worry about me,

and as far as that
girl's concerned,

I wish I was as
sure of my salvation

as I am of her character.

Her mother was
different, though.

Her... mother had a
taste for the fancy life.

She was a good woman,

but she had a taste for
the satin and the roses,

if you know what I mean.

But that girl, Bess,
she's solid and sure.

Got her feet firmly placed

on the path to righteousness.

Well, it isn't her
character that worries me,

it's her safety.

You try to stop people
from drinking here in Dodge,

some of 'em are
gonna get dangerous.

The Lord is my shield
and my strong right arm.

Thank you for the coffee, sir.

And if the Lord happens
to be looking the other way,

I ain't exactly ashamed
of my left, either.

Miss Bess, it ain't gonna
do nobody a lick of good.

Ain't gonna stop
nobody from drinking.

All it's gonna do is just stew
up a pot of trouble for your pa.

Pa ain't scared of trouble.

He heard the call.

Yeah, but...

He could've just a-heard the
north wind a-blowing south,

but that ain't no reason
he's got to dry up Dodge City.

Well, he's gotta try.

Well, here, if you're
bound and determined...

Hold this. Let me
do the hammering.

Now give me a nail.

You see, it's like
pushing water upstream.

No more chance...

Why, there's men in this town

that ain't never tasted water.

Men that was weaned on whiskey.

Right straight from
milk to red-eye.

Why, it'd be like telling
them not to breathe no more.

You ain't a-gonna take
their whiskey away from 'em.

Miss Bess...

you don't reckon
there's a chance

you could soft-talk
him out of it, is there?

No, I'm afraid not.

You see...

Pa's... Pa's kind
of set in his ways.

Hello, Kitty. How are you?

You seen these?

Yep, all over town.

Kind of upsets you, don't it?

What makes you
say a thing like that?

Well, for heaven's sakes,

a temperance preacher in town,

shootin' off his mouth,

all this talk about
drying up Dodge, I...

Well, you're right,
that's-that's what it is, talk.

Just nothing but talk.

There's no preacher on earth
that can get away with this.

Is there?

Well, I-I don't know.

All he'd have to do is
get a hundred people

to sign a temperance petition

and he could bring it to a vote.

Only a hundred?

DOC: Well, sure,
that's all it'd take,

you see, to put
it on the ballot.

And then a simple majority'd
put you right out of business.

Well, I don't think there's
a hundred people in Dodge

that would sign
a petition like that.

Is there?

I wouldn't want to bet on it.

You, uh, understand, Miss Kitty,

this is strictly, uh,
against hotel policy.

I understand.

You won't tell
anyone I let you in...

I won't if you won't.

Well, I...

Well, he is a
preacher, Miss Kitty,

and that ought to
make a difference.

It's right here.

I'll tell you what
I'll do, Howie.

What, Miss Kitty?

I'll leave the door open.

Now, you can go on down
and take care of that desk.

All right, Miss Kitty.

CAMPBELL: Come in!


I made the clerk tell me
which room you were in,

so don't blame him.


For turning a hotel
room into a palace?

If I'd known there was this
kind of beauty in Dodge City,

I'd have come here years ago.

Don't you know who I am?

Don't care who, just
want to know what.

Nobody can tell me that
because a face so purely pretty

couldn't hide anything
but goodness and truth.

Sit down, ma'am. Sit down.

Now, what'd you want
to talk to me about?

Well, about the
posters for the meeting...

You've come to join up?

- Uh, Reverend...
- You've come to show

the rest of them the way!

You come to tell me
that you got the call.

I came to tell you that I
own the Long Branch Saloon.

My name is Kitty Russell.

You don't say.

The Long Branch?

Well, just goes to show
that you've got a mind

as well as a pretty face.

From what I hear, it's
the liveliest spot in town.

I do very well.

Understand you being worried.

Do I close you up,
it could hurt a mite.

That's what I came
to talk to you about.

I own a legal business.

I wanted to point it out to you.

You got folks?


Ever think what
it means to them,

how it hurts them,

how it sorrows their hearts

to know that every day
you put in some man's hand

the means of his
own destruction?

I don't force anybody to drink.


When a man's looking
at an angel's face,

he ain't apt to know
when the devil grabs him.

Now, you think
on that for a while.

We'll talk about
it later, maybe.

I appreciate your interest.

I'll see you back.

I-I didn't come here to talk...

Don't say me no.

A town as sin-heavy as Dodge,

a man couldn't really
call himself a man

if he allowed a
handsome woman like you

to walk out alone.

Wait a minute. Wait.

Would you believe that?


Uh, Miss Kitty.

You, uh, you got
yourself a new beau?

Not around here, boy.

I'm too old and you're too dumb.



What's the matter, ma'am?

Well, I don't know
what you'd call it,

but I call it a miracle.


Well... look at that now.

Um, Mr. Haggen... Pa, he, uh...

he put up most of the
posters this afternoon

and he's been helping me
with the speaking platform.

Ah... Well, if I hadn't seen it

with my own two eyes...

Appears like you and me

both got kicked by the
same mule, Miss Kitty.

The Lord chooses
all kinds of vessels.

You gotta look inside, Pa.

He knows the books.

Oh, fiddle, well, that
ain't nothing, there.

Is that right, son?

Go ahead, Mr. Haggen.

Like you said 'em to me.

- Well...
- Come on.

Go on, boy.

Well, there's...
Genesis, Exodus...


FESTUS: Leviticus...
Ah... Numbers...

Deuteronomy... Joshua, Judges,

Ruth, Samuel,
Kings... Excuse me.

I have a business to run.

You learn something
new every day.

- Well, Miss...
- Son, I'm sure proud of you.

To think I took you
for a drinking man.

I reckon I have did my share.

Until He touched
you on the shoulder

- and said, "No more," right?
- Well, no...

- He didn't...
- I knew He'd send somebody to help me.

I knew He'd put a
sword in my hand.

Son, I want you to get up there.

Get up there where the
light can touch you, boy!

- Get up there!
- Well, but I explained...

- Right now!
- No, I-I reckon...

Let the folks take a
look at you! Get up there!

- I promised Moss Grimmick...
- Be proud, don't be shy!

- That I'd come over and...
- Brothers and sisters, hark!

Hark here, will you?

Brothers and
sisters, come close!

Come in here!

I want to tell you the Word!

I want to show you something

and I want to
tell you the truth!

Brothers, come in.

Sisters, please move in here!

Move in here.

I'm gonna give you
something. It's for free.

Ain't gonna cost
you one thin dime,

no part of a dollar.

And for nothing I am
going to give to you,

in your very hands I
am going to give to you

the answer to
health and happiness.

Now, there's no lies,
no tricks, no fraud here.

No fast shuffle.

All I'm going to show
to you is one sinner.

One sinner!


That's all.

This man...

brothers and
sisters, this man...

this man here, who
has been redeemed.

He has been
snatched and delivered

from the gates of hell.

A man who once
carried in his soul

the poison of despair.

Am I seeing what I think I am?

You are.

Well, that's ridiculous.

Festus giving up drinking?

I can't believe it.

Well, I wouldn't put any
store in appearances, Doc.


Well, I... that's Festus,
ain't it, up there?

Yeah, it's him.

But I doubt very much
if he's taken the pledge.

I think he's just caught up
in that old man's buzz saw.

A man who wrestled
with the angel of darkness

and overcame him

and put away from
him the evil of drink

and wrapped himself
in the robes of virtue.

Robes of virtue?

This man...

brothers and
sisters, this man...

this man here, who
has been redeemed.

A man who has made himself

an upstanding citizen,

who can walk these streets

- and everybody's gotta respect him.
- Reverend...

What's the matter, boy, you
feel you gotta speak the truth

- steaming up in you, is it?
- I gotta get down. I...

- Oh, no, son, wait a minute.
- I get up this high

- and I get dizzy.
- Son... (laughing)

(laughing): Well, I...

I reckon you can't
hardly blame him.

A man who's come up
from the valley of the shadow

just naturally's got to
find the pure air of virtue

a mite thin.

- (crowd laughs) -Brothers
and sisters, think right now

on one thing, and
one thing only...

He glommed on to me
when I wasn't a-looking.

Wait a minute, Doc.

Golly Bill, you don't believe

all that stuff he was
a-spoutin' about me up there?

Just shows you how you
can be fooled about somebody.

You have coffee every day
with him for three years or more

and you think you
know all about him.

And then all of a sudden,

you discover that all along

he's been clothed
in the robes of virtue.

Now you quit that.

people of Dodge City,

and you can do anything

with Dodge City
that you so desire,

because, brothers and
sisters, it's in your hand.

It's there in your hand!

The right and the
obligation and the means

to change Dodge City.

The means, brothers
and sisters, is the ballot.

And with the ballot...
The secret ballot,

the most important weapon

ever invented in the
name of freedom...

With the ballot you
can change this town

from a center of sin
to a center of virtue.

And you can do it,
you can do it by voting,

and all you got to
do to get the vote

is to get 100 signatures.

100 signatures on a petition.

Now my daughter Bess
and Brother Moreland

are gonna pass among
you with just such a petition.

And I want each
and every one of you

to place your John
Henrys on a dotted line.

And... and then I want you to
take some pencils and paper

that they're going
to pass among you

and I want you to hustle around

and get the signatures of all
your friends and neighbors.

And for those of them
that need persuading,

there's gonna be another meeting

tomorrow night at
Brother Moreland's barn!

(crowd talking)

Would you like to sign?

CAMPBELL: I am certain,
if you drink yourself...

Howdy, Miss Campbell.

You are the most
nervous girl I ever saw.

I ain't gonna hurt you, honey.

Would you leave me alone?

You love that old man out there?

He's my father.

Well, then, you ought to try

and be extra nice to me.

I don't understand.

are they going to go

to spend that gold,
brothers and sisters?

That old buzzard
made me eat crow.

The last man that did that to me

is pushing up daisies.

Could happen to your pa.

Unless, of course, you, uh...

are going to return!

Change my mind for me, honey.

continues indistinctly)

(whooping, laughing)

Oh! Well, now, sweetie,

the fun's right inside.

- (screams)
- You join me right here.

- Ha, ha! Looky here!
- (men cheer)

(overlapping shouting)

You get right up there,
you sweet little thing.

(men clamoring)

I don't see a
ring on her finger.

Care to dance, ma'am?

(men clamoring)

I'm not gonna have any part...

Break it up, break it up.

Now, lookit, if you
want entertainment,

I pay my girls real well.

Help her down.

- Yes, ma'am.
- Go on. Beat it.

Looks to me like you
made the wrong turn.


What are you doing,
Kitty, recruitin'?

Oh, if I were a man,
I'd break you in half.

If you was a man,
it'd sure be a waste.

You'd better stay here with me

till your father's through
with that meeting.

What's the trouble, Miss Kitty?

CAMPBELL (in distance):
Friends and neighbors,

sisters and brothers...

What'd you say to her, anyway?

Aw, heck, nothing.

Just tryin' to help is all.

Just warning her,
that old buzzard

out there means business.

Brothers and sisters...

Why, he ain't nothing
but a bag of wind.

Oh, just don't fool yourself.

(scoffs) He's just
beginning to get in his stride.

CAMPBELL: With the ballot
you can change this town.

Why, in a couple of days, he'll
have this whole town knotted up.

I'll tell you what:

I'll give you... eight to five

that by Friday morning
this place isn't even open.

And friends, think
what it's gonna mean.

Now just, please, think
what it's gonna mean.

It's gonna mean... that a man,

a man can come
home to his little house,

to his wife and his young'uns

and he's gonna have
his full month's pay

still in his pocket!

Yeah, well, with my wife
that won't last very long.


- Brother!
- What?

Brother, you made
one wrong pick.

Don't make it worse!

(crowd laughs)

Folks, I'll tell you,
whiskey dims the eye

and it sets the hand a-shakin'

and it sours the stomach

and it makes your
heart beat faster

and it makes a man
feel weak and low.

Reverend... I don't
feel weak or low.


Brother, brother,

brother, brother,
in your condition

I don't think you
can feel anything.

(crowd laughs)

I reckon if the devil come

and stuck you with
his pitchfork right now,

that you wouldn't even
know your pants was burnt.


You hear that?

- Do you hear that?
- Hmm.

He's got 'em laughing now.

But he can just as
easy turn 'em mean.

the jawbone of an ass.

- (crowd laughs)
- I seen him do it.

CAMPBELL: Folks, I'll tell you,

whiskey dims the eye and it...

Tell me, uh, is it really true

that your pa dried up
six towns this year?

Yes, ma'am.

And it's just like here.

People don't think he can do it

and they don't pay him no heed,

but when he talks to
folks with young'uns

and storekeepers and regular
preachers at the churches,

he gets people so stirred
up at these meetings,

the first thing you know,
he's got people voting.

Well, you can't tell me

that he got more'n
half the people

in these six towns to
vote for temperance.


He didn't have to.

A lot of the people
in favor of drinking...

well, they never
bother to vote at all.


I see.

Uh, you know, it
strikes me that, um...

you're not as concerned with
all this temperance business

as your pa is.

It's not... it's not
that, Miss Kitty.

It... (sighs)

It's just that...

well, Pa's been beat
up half a dozen times

and shot at twice,
and... (sighs)

and now this.

Dingo says he's gonna
get even with Pa for...

for throwing him in the mud.

I understand.

You know what?

I'm gonna have a little
talk with the marshal.

Oh, I'd sure be
beholden to you, ma'am.

Pa's old.

At times he's-he's
cantankerous, but...

he's all I got since
Ma died, and...

if something ever
happened to him...

Don't you worry.

It won't.


Miss Kitty...

It's perfume, from Paris.

Must've cost you
a fortune of money.

It was sort of presents.

- Here, uh... try some.
- Oh...

Pa ever catched me
smelling that good,

he'd keep baptizing me
till the devil was gone.

Is that why you've
never done anything

about your clothes or hair?

Pa'd have a fit.

For the first few
minutes, maybe.

But I never knew a man yet

who objected to a pretty girl.

Come on.

Sit down.

Well, I say he can't do it here.

Nah, that's what they
said in Hutchinson

and Cottonwood Falls

and he still dried 'em up.

This ain't Cottonwood Falls!

This is Dodge.

It don't make no difference.

If you're gonna stop him,
you gotta stop him now.

Before he gets that petition
signed and it goes to a vote.

Once them ballots is in,

there ain't nothing
anybody can do.

Well, what are we waiting for?


Let's go.

All right, hand 'em up here.

Hand 'em up
here, folks. That's it.

Oh, that's fine. That's grand.

Now, don't forget the
meeting tomorrow night.

And don't forget to
bring all your friends.

- Are there any more?
- Reverend, Reverend...

- Hand 'em out out there.
- Reverend, Reverend,

- Reverend...
- What is it?

What is it, Mr. Moreland?

"The Lord hath girded me
with His strength to battle."

That's Second Samuel 22.

Good Book don't
care for a coward.

Hold your places,
folks; hold your places.

I got an idea that the
Lord is about to test

the mettle of His believers.

"Do not provoke
violence, but if it comes,

"let us teach them the strength

that is in the arm
of the righteous."

(crowd murmuring)

These fellers mean
business, Mr. Campbell.

Yeah, that's the
impression I got, too.

We got no quarrel with you.

Well, you got it with
the Long Branch,

you got it with us.

I never knew a drinking man

who was any good in
a fight without a gun.

Preacher says no guns, boys.

Just, uh... man to man?

Man... to man.

"It is more blessed to
give than to receive."



(grunting, shouting)

(grunts) Ow!


(men shouting)

The man said no guns.

Oh... oh, yeah.

- (gunshot)
- Hold it!

Hold it!

That's enough!

All right, it's all over.

Now get up from there.

Break it up.

Move on.

Leave that gun alone.

You can all pick up your
guns at my office afterward.

Now get off the street.

All of you.

You all right?

Just gettin' my wind.

I'll tell you, Matthew,

you'd been here a minute later

and I'd've had 'em all skinned
twixt the fat and the feathers.


Do you supposed you can
pick up the rest of these guns

and take 'em down to the office?


(breathing hard)

- You all right, Mr. Campbell?
- Hey, Marshal, Marshal!

How are you?

Strange, I seem to
have loosened a tooth.

- (laughing) -Well, you're lucky
you didn't do more than that.

I hope you're satisfied.

Well, it's not Sodom
and Gomorrah,

but it's a beginning.

Well, I'm afraid
you're wrong there.

It's the end.

Now, if you can't control your
people any better than this,

I'm not gonna let you hold any
more meetings here in Dodge.

Control my people?

Marshal, we were holding
a peaceable meeting here

and we were attacked.

Now, I'm not a violent man,

but when violence
is visited upon me,

I find it hard not
to reply in kind.

And I want to talk
to you, Marshal!

I want to talk to
you about protection

for my temperance
meeting tomorrow night

at Moreland's farm!

Mr. Campbell, I'm sorry,

but I'm afraid I can't
protect you and your group

against the entire town

if this is the way
things are gonna go.


I hope you understand that.

Oh, yes, yes, I
understand that, Marshal.

I understand.

Mr. Haggen.

Mr. Haggen, you done nobly.

I'll see you
tomorrow night, sir.

Where's my daughter?

Well, I don't know, sir.

She hasn't been in her
room since early this morning.

Somebody must have seen her.

Why don't you try the
Long Branch, Reverend?


I said, why don't you
try the Long Branch?

That's where she
was last time I saw her.

I wouldn't believe
you if you was dying.

All you gotta do is
go look for yourself.

- Liar!
- All you gotta do

is go look for yourself.

Ooh... I just never...

I just, honest to
goodness, never would...

Well, it's high time you did.

You look absolutely beautiful.

I want you to keep the dress.

Oh... oh, thank you, Miss Kitty,

but I just couldn't.

Ooh, if Pa ever catched
me wearing this...

Well, he doesn't
have to catch you.

Why don't you just pack it
away until you get married?

Don't look like I'm
ever gonna get married.

Pa keeps me so...

Well, it's high time your
pa learned that he just can't.

Now, come on with me.

- But... the dress...
- Come on, come on.

(indistinct chatter
and laughter)

Where is she?

Where is who, sir?

My daughter.

I was told she was here.

Well, I-I don't know, sir. I...

KITTY: Gentlemen,
I want you to meet

the prettiest girl west
of the Mississippi.

(men whooping, cheering)

Miss Kitty... it's Pa.


You'd do this to me?

You'd hold me up for shame?

I didn't mean to hurt you, Pa.

Didn't mean to hurt me?

You come to...

the pleasure
palaces of the devil

and you didn't mean to hurt me?

Oh, I-I'm-I'm not
standing agin you, Pa.

It was an accident,
my coming here.

And-and Miss Kitty here,

she didn't do nothing but
just try to make me pretty.


Now... you get upstairs.

You take this off.

- Now just a minute...
- You stay out of this!

Don't you raise
your voice to me,

you stiff-necked old billy goat!

A Reverend or no Reverend,

I'll have you kicked right
out of here on your ear.

Why, he ain't no
Reverend, Miss Kitty.

He just calls himself that.

My daughter!

That's right.

Your daughter.

Your young, pretty,
flesh and blood daughter

who has the right
to feel like a woman

instead of a dried-up
testimonial to a man

who's so narrow-minded,

he can't even see
what he's done to her!

I can see what
you've done to her.

Does the fact
that she's prettier

than you've ever seen her

automatically make her bad?

It... it's all
right, Miss Kitty.

It's all right.

I'm going now, Pa.

I'm sorry I made you ashamed.

I wouldn't... never
have come here at all

if it hadn't been for him.


He been at you again?

I come here to
get away from him.

He said if... if I wasn't nice
to him, he's gonna kill you.

You stay away from
me, you old coot.

Tried to teach you the...

path of righteousness once, boy.

Looks like I'm gonna have to...

give you another lesson.

You stay away from me, you hear?


No, Pa!

What's the matter with you?

What's the matter with you?!

Are you crazy? I'll kill you!



(groans, grunts)

All right, Reverend,
hold on now.

Hold on. That's enough.

Get him out of here,
boys, Take him to jail.

- Yes, sir.
- Arm down, Reverend.

All right, all right,
Reverend, are you hurt?

Matthew, look here at this.

The Lord... is my
shepherd... Marshal.




Oh, Pa!

I... think this is yours.

You, uh... you
smell mighty nice.

Just like your ma.

You kind of... kind
of look like her, too.

Now, look here...
you get upstairs...

and you take off that dress.

I got to give it back?

Who said anything
about giving it back?

That's no kind of dress to wear

when you're trying to get
temperance petitions signed.

Temperance petitions?

Pa, you ain't gonna
keep on with that now?

Girl... the world ain't changed

just because you growed
up in the last few minutes.

Now, we got work to do, so git.

Marshal, thank
you for all you done.

Miss Kitty...

thank you for taking
care of my little girl.

My pleasure.

Now if you'll excuse
me, I got some...

petitions to get signed.

Well, what are you
gonna do now, Kitty?

I'm gonna make sure that all
my friends are registered to vote.

KITTY: Wally,
Pat, come on, boys.

We got some work to do.

I'm gonna need all the
help I can get. Come on.

What are you grinning
about, Matthew?

Well, I was just thinking,
for the first time in his life,

the Reverend Campbell
may be in for a lickin'.


Behind the Scenes of Dry Road to Nowhere

Regarding the bullet and the Bible, earlier in the episode, Kitty gifted a dress and necklace to the preacher’s daughter. When the preacher noticed her wearing them at the Long Branch, he abruptly removed the necklace, revealing the embedded bullet. Surprisingly, the bullet remained intact, while the necklace did not fare as well.

Books Worth Reading:

Looking for More Gunsmoke Episodes?

Make Gunsmoke your next binge-watch choice for relaxing solo time or quality family viewing! This American Western TV series, aired on CBS, ran for an impressive 20 seasons from 1955 to 1975. Dry Road to Nowhere marks the 28th episode of Season 10.

You can find more about any of the Gunsmoke episodes here.

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