gunsmoke homecoming
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Homecoming Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #09, Episode #34

After serving a seven-year prison term for killing his wife’s lover, Orval comes back determined to regain control of his house and business. Edna, his wife, attempts to convince her new husband and even Orval’s son to participate in a plan to kill him, but a passing salesman diverts her attention. Gunsmoke Homecoming aired on May 23, 1964.

Explore the plot and trivia of “Homecoming,” or watch the complete episodes below.

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Gunsmoke Homecoming Cast

Below are the actors who appeared in the Gunsmoke episode titled Homecoming:

  • James Arness as Matt Dillon
  • Milburn Stone as Doc
  • Amanda Blake as Kitty
  • Burt Reynolds as Quint
  • Phyllis Coates as Edna
  • Jack Elam as Hector
  • Harold J. Stone as Orval
  • Émile Genest as Frisbie (as Emile Genest)
  • Tom Lowell as Ethan
  • Howard Culver as Clerk
  • John Breen as Waiter (uncredited)
  • Loren Brown as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Chuck Hamilton as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bert Madrid as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Tom McDonough as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Fred McDougall as Bartender (uncredited)
  • Jimmy Noel as Judge Brooking (uncredited)
  • Rudy Sooter as Townsman (uncredited)

Full Story Line for Homecoming

Orval Bass (portrayed by Harold J. Stone) returns from a seven-year prison stint for killing his wife’s lover, determined to reclaim his home and business. Edna Lowell (played by Phyllis Coates) attempts to manipulate her new husband, Hector (Jack Elam), and Orval’s son into a scheme to murder him. Still, her plans unexpectedly turn when she becomes infatuated with a traveling salesman.

The situation intensifies when the Lowells discover Orval outside using their water pump. To their surprise, Orval is none other than Edna’s supposedly deceased former husband, who has served his time and now seeks to assert his rights to the farm. Edna insists that Orval signed over all property rights to her before his imprisonment. Still, Orval plans to challenge this claim in court, citing his inability to read and understand his signed documents.

Orval also learns of his son Ethan (Tom Lowell), who has taken the Lowell surname. Despite Edna’s efforts to alienate Orval, he asserts his presence, much to her dismay. She even tries to manipulate Hector into shooting Orval for trespassing, promising to support him in the act. However, when Orval appears unarmed, Hector refuses, much to Edna’s frustration.

Unbeknownst to the men, Edna encounters a traveling salesman named Joe Frisbie (Emile Genest), whom she sees as her ticket to escape. She concocts a plan with Ethan to incite a confrontation between Hector and Orval, hoping that one will be imprisoned, leaving her free to elope with Frisbie to St. Louis.

However, Edna’s plan backfires when she discovers that Frisbie uses her for amusement and has no intention of marriage. She realizes too late that she has been deceived, and the consequences of her actions prove more severe than she anticipated.

Full Script and Dialogue of Homecoming



Where you going?

Somebody's outside.

Some bum using the pump.

Well, take your rifle.

Oh, Edna, you can't shoot a man

for using the pump.

Well, don't be a fool.

That might just be a
pretext to get you out there.

Ain't even armed,
as far as I can see.

Hector, take your rifle.

Hey, mister, what
are you doing here?


You sleep in the
barn last night?

Sure make yourself
at home, don't you?

You might say that, I reckon.

You know you woke up my wife.

She'll go back to sleep.

Edna never did get up until
she was plumb good and ready.

How come you know her name?

How come you know
anything about her?

I don't know how long you've
been around here, mister,

but seven years ago, this was
my place, and Edna was my wife.

I think maybe you
better explain yourself.

That's easy.

I killed a man, and
they sent me to prison.

Seven years.
Seven terrible years.

So, Edna told me you was
dead 'cause she was ashamed.

Ashamed of herself, maybe.

What for?

She was taking up with a man.

I found out about it, and I went
straight to him, and I shot him.

Mister, I think everything
you told me is a lie.

Oh, do you?

Yes, 'cause I'd have heard
the story from somebody else,

even if not from Edna.

Well, folks around
here ain't the kind

to talk about such things.

I'm Orval Bass.

What's your name?

Hector Lowell.

What'd you come back
for? What do you want?

I come back for my rights.

What rights?

I worked hard for
this place, Hector.

The very land you're
standing on. The house, too.

I done well.

I set up the harness shop
in town with the profits.

Well... she got up after all.

Hello, Edna.

How's the boy?

He doesn't even use your name.

Calls himself Ethan Lowell.

You really did
take over, Hector.

My wife, my property, my son.

Well, she told me you was dead.

He is dead.

He died seven years ago.

You're kind of right, Edna.

It was that way.

But I'm back now, and
I'm here to claim my rights.

Well, you got no rights.

You signed 'em over
to me five years ago.

Oh, that's what they
got around to telling me

the other day when
I come out of prison.

Are you saying you
didn't read those papers?

Well, I never could read, Edna.

I forgot.

Well, they must
have read 'em to you.

Well, the guard that
brought 'em to me...

He couldn't read himself.

And besides, he
was late for dinner.

Well, it doesn't matter.

You signed 'em, and
everything is mine.

I ain't in prison no more, Edna.

I slept in the barn last night,

and tonight, I'm gonna
sleep in the barn again.

But in a day or so,

I'll be wanting to
move into the house,

so, uh, you and Hector
better find a place of your own.

Hector, you hold
that gun on him.

Do it!

All right, now get off
my property, Orval.

Shoot him on the
count of three. It's legal.

He's trespassing.


He's gonna kill you, Orval,
and it's all gonna be for free.

The law can't touch him.




You was lucky
this morning, Orval,

but don't let it
give you no ideas.

Come in.

Well, what got you
up so early, Ethan?

Oh, I don't know, Ma. I, uh...

I guess I got hungry.

Well, you're gonna have to fix
breakfast yourself this morning.

- I'm a busy woman.
- Why? Where are you going?

Well, if Hector ever
gets that buggy hitched,

we're going in to
open the harness shop,

and then I'm gonna
see Marshal Dillon.

The law? What for?

Orval's back.

Pa's back from prison?

Yeah, Hector's all upset

because I told him
Orval was dead.

I guess he'll get over it.

I hardly remember him.

You'll remember him, all right.

He's here to make
trouble, Ethan.

Oh, now, how can he do that?

Well, I don't know,
but I'm gonna find out.

Now, you eat a good breakfast,
'cause you're a growing boy.

Yes, ma'am, I will.

Oh, and don't be too
late at the shop, now,

'cause Hector'll be
needing your help.

I wished I had buggy.

I hate riding that
old horse into town.

Well, it's only
two miles, Ethan.

All right.

We'll get you a buggy
soon, now, I promise.

Well, hello, Doc.

How are you?

I, uh... not disturbing
you, am I, here, uh...?

No, no, not at all.

Good. Had your breakfast yet?

Oh, yes. Yes, a long time ago.

Oh. Well, in that case, I won't
have to go out and get you any.

No, you... What do
you mean, get me any?

Well, I'm looking out for
your best interests, Doc.

You know, I-I want
you to be comfortable.

I'm very comfortable,

and I was reasonably
happy until you came in.

You, uh, don't mind if I get
myself some coffee, do you?

- Oh, no, you go right...
- I want to talk to you, Marshal.


Did you know that Orval
Bass is out of prison?

- Ah. -No.
- Well, he is.

Orval got seven
years, I thought.

Well, he did.

By gosh, it been that long?

I just told you he's out. He
slept in the barn last night.

And he says he's gonna
sleep there again tonight.

And why not? It's
his barn, ain't it?

No, it isn't, Doc.

Whenever I divorced him, he
signed everything over to me.


The house, the land
and the harness shop.

Well, he wants
everything back, Marshal.

You know as well as I
do... he's got no rights at all.

He signed those papers!
The property's mine.

He's here to make trouble.

And I want him run
out of town or jailed

before there's a killing.

A killing?

Well, he did it
before, didn't he?

Well, has he threatened
you or Hector?

Just his being here
is threat enough.

Now, I want to know what
you're gonna do about it.

Well, I'm afraid there's not
much I can do about it, Edna.

Well, a fine lawman you are.

I can't throw a man in jail

just 'cause he wants his
property back, you know.

It's my property. My property.

Well, you say you've
got all the papers.

I don't know what
you're worried about.

I'm not worried.

You sound worried.

Well, why should I be?
There's nothing he can do.

Is there?

Well, Judge Brooking
will be along in a day or so.

Uh, he can take it to him

if he wants to and
get a decision on it.


I knew there was a
reason he came back.

Now, why didn't you tell
me that in the first place?

So, that's his little game, huh?

Yeah, to get the judge to
give the property back to him.

Well, he won't get away
with it, I promise you that.

That man has caused me
all the misery he's going to.

You sound like it was you

that spent that
seven years in prison.

Oh, sure, Doc. Stand up for him.

You men always stick
together, don't you?

Well, it won't do
any good this time,

because I'm going to hang on
to what's mine, no matter what.

Maybe Orval feels
the same way about it.

Did you ever think of that?

He signed the papers,
all clear and legal.

It'll be up to Judge Brooking
to decide if Orval takes it to him.

Of course he'll take it to him.

That's what he came here for.

But I'm not worried.

There are more than one
ways to skin a cat, Marshal.

And I know a couple
of them myself.

This is gonna be easy.

Real easy.

You men think you're so smart.

You're idiots, all of you.

Well, you know, I
was married to her,

I think I'd feel a
little safer in jail.

Can't you think of some
good reason to lock her up?

She keeps on that way,

she's liable to
give me a reason.



You ain't...?

Orval Bass, your pa.

I thought so.

You growed.

Well, did you expect
me to stop growing

just 'cause you was
locked up in prison?

Edna had seven years
to teach you, hadn't she?

Teach me what?

To hate.

Oh, no. You, uh...
you got it all wrong.

Mom, uh... Mom doesn't
even talk about you.

And she won't let nobody
else talk about you, neither.

You work in the harness shop?

I work some.

And you ain't gonna take
it away from us, either.

Yeah, Mom told me how you
come here to make trouble.

I thought you said she
didn't talk about me.

Well, uh...

well, she did this morning.

Why don't you and I have a
beer and get to know each other?

I know all I need to.

My pa's done seven years' time

for murder.



You're new here.

How's that?

Uh, I mean, you wasn't
here seven years ago.

No, I wasn't. Did
I miss anything?

Nothing good.

I take it you've been
away for seven years.

I sure have.

You married?

No. Why?

Don't ever marry a pretty woman.

Is that what you did?

I thought she was
pretty, but she turned out

to be the ugliest
thing I ever seen.

She ran out on you, huh?

If she hadn't, I would have
met you a long time ago.

- Oh, uh... I'm Orval Bass.
- Quint Asper.

You gonna stay around
for a while, Orval?

Well, if things go the
way I want 'em to, I'll stay.

And if they don't, I
guess you can go back

where you came from, huh?

No. No, I'll never
go back there.

I'll die first.

Well, you feel kind of
strong about that, don't you?

So would you, Quint.

So would any man.

Well, I'll see you later.

Gonna look the
town over some more.

All right.

All right, there
you are, Mr. Brown.

Oh, thank you.

Oh, now, uh, don't forget
about that horse collar.

Oh, I'll bring it out
myself soon as it gets in.

Well, fair enough.
So long, Hector.

So long.

You finish packing that
stuff for Garden City?

Why? Is there a big hurry?

It's got to go out on the
afternoon stage. You know that.

Oh, sure, but, uh,
which afternoon?

This afternoon!
Today, doggone it!

Oh, now, take it easy,
Hector. Don't get all het up.

You're-you're an old
man. It's bad for your heart.

And you're a spoiled young
pup that needs a whippin'.

Aw, now, what would Mom say
if she heard you talking like that?

How long are you gonna
hide behind your mother?

Well, right now, I'm gonna hide

behind a big, tall
glass of cold beer.

Stay out of that cash box.

Well, now, if I'd done that,

I wouldn't have no money
for beer, now, would I?

Ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Aw, it's enough just having
you ashamed of me, Hector.

You rotten,
good-for-nothing kid.


Well, how dare you
treat Ethan like that.

Oh, here we go again.

Now, don't pay any
attention to him, Ethan.

He's just a
cross-tempered old man.

I'm going out back. I can't
stand any more of this.

He's always trying
to push me around,

then-then starts calling me
names when I won't stand for it.

Well, never mind him.

Come on over here
where he can't hear us.

There's something I
want to talk to you about.

It's about your pa, Orval.

Oh, yeah. I seen him
outside about an hour ago.

- Well, were you nice to him?
- No.

Well, you're gonna
have to change that.

- What?!
- I talked to Marshal Dillon.

The circuit court judge is
due here any day now, Ethan.

Now, if Orval goes
to him and asks him,

he could review that case.

Well, what would that mean?

Men stick together, Ethan.

Why, that judge could give
everything back to Orval.

Huh, that'd kind of leave
us out in the cold, wouldn't it?

Well, I'm not gonna
let that happen.

Well... how can you stop it?

I'm not going to
stop it. They are.

- Who?
- Orval and Hector.

They're gonna have a gunfight.

Now, if Orval gets
killed, that's fine.

If Hector gets
killed, it's still fine.

They're bound to send Orval
back to prison with his record.

You don't particularly
think too much

of either one of 'em, do you?

What I care for is the
house, the land and this shop.

Now, you go find Orval, make
up to him, get to work on him.

And I'll get started on Hector.

Oh, you are smart, Mom.

So are you.

- Now let's get to work.
- You bet.

Oh, this is gonna be fun. Mmm.


Come out here.

There's something I
want to talk to you about.

Orval Bass.

Well, hello, Kitty.

Kind of like seeing
a ghost, huh?

Well, it has been a long time.

It's been even
longer for me, Kitty.

I can imagine. How
have you been?

Fine. Fine.

This calls for a drink.
What'll you have?

Well, I ain't had a drop
in seven years, Kitty,

but a-a beer will be fine.

Two beers, Freddie.

You know, as I recall, you never
were much of a drinking man.

Well, I was too busy
working and saving my money.


Edna got it all,
took everything.

I remember hearing about that.

Uh, you signed everything
over to her, didn't you?

I didn't know what
I was signing, Kitty.

I never could read.

Well, here's to
better luck, Orval.

Thanks, Kitty.

What are your plans?
You're gonna stay in Dodge?

I'm gonna get my
rights, Kitty. That's first.

But if you signed
everything over to Edna...

There's a circuit court
judge coming in a day or so.

I'll explain everything to him.


- Miss Kitty.
- Hello, Ethan.

Uh, I want to talk to you, Pa.

- I'm busy right now.
- Oh, no. That's all right.

I've got some work
to do in the office.

- I'll see you later, Orval.
- You bet, Kitty.

Um, why-why don't
you go find a table,

and I'll get a
beer and join you?

Are you ready for another?

No, this is enough.

Uh, barkeep, one beer?

Thank you.

Uh, Pa, first off, I want to...

I want to tell you I'm sorry for
the way I talked this morning.

And what changed your mind?

Well, now, you got to
believe me. I am sorry.

All right.

Well, something
happened after I seen you.

Changed my mind
about everything...

You, Mom, everything.


I feel like I suddenly
growed up real fast.

Well, I, uh... I went into
the shop, you remember,

and, uh, I heard 'em talking...
They was out in the storeroom.

- Who was?
- Well, Mom and Hector.

Well, uh...

uh, th-they was talking about
you, so I-I listened, and, uh,

I-I got curious, and I-I
sneaked up to the door, and I...

Ethan, I don't care
what they say about me.

What if I tell you they
was planning to kill you?

Kill me?

Yeah, Hector's gonna
do it first chance he gets.

He had a chance this morning.

Yeah, Mom told me about that.

Well, uh... he changed his mind.

And I know why.

See, if Mom loses
everything, so does he.

Now, Hector's slow, but
he figures things out in time.

How's he gonna figure this
out... Shoot me in the back?

Don't make no difference
to him how he does it.

Who cares how you
get rid of a mad dog?

Th-Them's his words, Pa.

All right, let him come.

Well, that's fine,
Pa, but you see, uh...

you won't see him coming.

He's gonna ambush you, or, uh,

catch you in the dark,
or asleep or whatever.

Now, there is only one way out.

And what's that?

You got to start
carrying a gun, Pa.

And the first chance you
get, you got to shoot him.

- I don't want no gun.
- Now, you got to start carrying a gun, Pa.

- Now take it.
- I'm better off without it.

And you got to let Hector
see you're carrying one.

It's the only thing
that'll slow him down.

Look, if I start carrying a gun,

and Hector starts
carrying a gun,

sooner or later, we're
gonna have to shoot it out,

and then somebody's
gonna get killed.

Well, now, maybe that's
what it's got to come to.

Not if I can help it.

It won't be your fault.

Now, I-I'll be there to tell
how you was forced into it.

You can outshoot Hector easy.

Easy and for free.

There ain't nothing
for free, Ethan.

Hello, Marshal.

Put that gun away quick.

Uh, we'll, uh...
we'll talk later.

Where are you staying?

I'll be sleeping again
in the barn tonight.

I built that. I didn't
build the Dodge House.

You're right, Pa.
I'll see you later.

Hello, Marshal.

Well, hello, Orval.
Welcome back.


Orval, I hope you're
not holding any grudges.

Well, you done
your job, that's all.

Glad you feel that way.

Edna been in to see you yet?

Yeah, as a matter
of fact, she has.

- Quite a woman.
- Yeah.

Marshal, you heard
that saying about, uh,

there's some good in everybody?

Ain't that the
most foolish saying

you ever heard?

I'll see you around, Marshal.

- Uh, Mr. Frisbie?
- Yes?

I'm sorry, sir, but
I forgot to find out

whether you'll be
with us again tonight.

Oh, yes. Yes, I'll
be here tonight.

I'm looking forward to it.

Well, thank you, sir.

It has nothing to do
with you, my friend.

No, I'm just thinking

there must be at least one woman

in this town I can make happy.

Of course.

Well, I, uh, wish you luck, sir.

- Well, I'm already in luck.
- Oh, no.

Not her, Mr. Frisbie.

That's Edna Lowell.

She's married.

Doesn't matter, my friend.

Doesn't matter at all.

Eat your dinner and
get back here, Hector.

I don't want to spend the
whole afternoon in the shop.

I'll be back, Edna.

Can I help you, mister?


You're the most beautiful
woman I ever saw.

Well, you got a lot
of nerve, haven't you?

I would have said
it if I was to die for it.

You might just have. That
was my husband who left.

When I first saw you
out there in the street,

I knew you were married.

A woman like you
would just have to be.

Doesn't seem to
matter too much to you.

I done no harm. I mean none.

You're from the east?

Yeah. St. Louis.

I'm a traveling representative
for many firms there.

But, unfortunately,
not in harness.

Been in Dodge before?

No, no, this is my first trip.

I take it you and your
husband own this shop?

I own it.

Oh. You're a very
enterprising woman, Mrs...

Mrs., uh...?


Edna Lowell.

Joe Frisbie, ma'am.

At your service.

We don't have many gentlemen
around here, Mr. Frisbie.

A lady like you shouldn't
be living here, anyway.

Well, where should I be living?

Mm, someplace
you'd be appreciated.

Someplace where's
there's life, color, excitement.

Not a dusty,
drab town like this.

No, you're... you're
out of place here.

You, uh... you
don't belong here.

I don't belong in
St. Louis, either.


Why, you'd be the
toast of St. Louis.

All the women would
hate you, but the men...

You would have the
men on their knees.

Ah, that's crazy
talk, and you know it.

I wish I could prove it.

Well, there's not
much chance of that.

No, I'm afraid not.

You staying in Dodge long?

Well, I plan to leave tomorrow.

But, uh...

Mrs. Lowell, I'm
a very lonely man.

I have no family, no ties
anywhere in the world.

My life and my time are my own.

I can come, I can go.

Today... tomorrow.

What's the difference?

Due east of town
about a quarter of a mile,

there's a grove
down by the river.

What time?


Good day, Mrs. Lowell.

Oh, Joe... I've got to get back.

Not yet, Edna.

You're a persuasive
man, but it's late.

- I've got to get back.
- No, you can't leave so soon.

- Somebody'll miss me.
- Yes.

I will, if you leave.

Oh... Joe, tomorrow's
another day.

Yes, but I'm not
talking about tomorrow.

I'm talking next month.

Next year, and the years after.

Oh, Joe, do you mean that?

You know I mean it, Edna.

Look, I've been
waiting all my life.

It's been a hard
and lonely time.

But it's worth it now.

Oh, Joe.

Tomorrow. I'll meet
you here tomorrow night.

And you'll give me
your answer then?

Yes. Yes, I will.

Come on.

Wait'll Hector sees both
of us up at the same time.

He won't believe it.

Well, Orval's out
there, all right.

Washing himself.

What's that, his breakfast?

Oh, I figure, uh,
you feed a man,

you gain his confidence
more than ever.

I always said you were smart.

- Is Hector up?
- Oh, he's getting up. Why?

Well, I figure if, uh,

he knows that we're feeding Pa,

it might help promote things?

Make him mad.

You're right.

Now, just what are you
going to do with that?

Well, now, Pa can't kill
nobody without a gun, can he?

You're thinking
real good, Ethan.

I'm afraid my mind's
on other things.

Well, nothing's happened
to make you feel different

about things, has it?

Now, why would you say that?

Nothing, except,

you usually do most
of the thinking, that's all.

Breakfast ready?

What's that?

Where you going?

This is for Pa.


I reckon he's
hungry, like any man.

He slept in the barn
again last night, Hector.

Well, that don't mean
we got to start feeding him.

- Hey, come back here.
- Oh, wait a minute.

Now, you can't blame Ethan.

After all, Orval is his pa.

Maybe Ethan ought to start
sleeping in the barn, too.

I don't think you mean
that, now, do you, Hector?

Nah, I guess not.

Let him stay,

feed him, buy him a suit.

What do I care?

You should care a whole
lot... if you weren't afraid.

That man out there has come back

to take away
everything we've got,

and you're not doing
one thing about it.

What am I supposed
to do? Am I...?

Well, mm-hmm.

I'm supposed to shoot him.

He's making a
fool of you, Hector.

Pretty soon, the whole
town's gonna know about it.

It hurts me to see that happen.


I know you're not a coward.

But you got to show
the world you're not.

Well, already,
people are talking,

- just since yesterday morning.
- How do you know that?

Well, women hear these
things quicker than men, Hector,

and it's gonna get worse.

That man's gonna shame you.

He's gonna ruin your life.

You've got to stop him.

All right.

All right, I'll run
him off right now.

Well, take your gun.

I don't need no gun.

I sure do thank you
for the food, Ethan.

Well, you didn't think

I was gonna let you
starve out here, did you?

You'd have pleased your
ma and Hector if you had.

Well, pleasing them
ain't hardly my aim.

Well, I found out
that Judge Brooking

is due in Dodge tomorrow.

Maybe I can get my
thing settled real fast.

I, uh... I hope so.

You know, I, uh... I never
thought much of Hector,

but, uh, even so, I-I didn't
think he was as bad as he is.

I want to tell you
something, Ethan.

I ain't scared of Hector.

He got no more sting
than a pretty butterfly.

Oh, you think so, do you?

I'll show you the
kind of sting I got!

- Look out with that thing!
- You get out of here, Orval.

You stay away from this place!

I don't never want to see you
around here again! Now move!

Here, Pa. Catch.

That gun don't
make no difference.

I'm still telling you
to get out of here!

Now, look out!

I ain't gonna stand
here like no sheep.

Go ahead, Pa, shoot!
Now's your chance.

He'll miss, Hector. Get him!

Edna's wrong. I couldn't
miss you from here.

Here, Ethan!

No, Pa, you use it!

Now, Hector. Now.

Oh, he ain't armed now.

Well, it don't matter. Kill him!

I'll be a witness.

He was about to shoot
you. It's self-defense.

I can't kill an unarmed man.

Yes, you can. Now, Hector, now!

All right, leave him alone.

Let him sleep here.

Let him get fed here.

And if he needs a
new pair of boots,

go get them for him!

I'm sick of the whole thing.

How come you didn't shoot
me when you had a chance?

- I was afraid.
- Afraid of what?

Of Edna.

She'd have got rid of the
pitchfork and told the law

that I shot you in cold blood.

That you was unarmed.

Well, Ethan here was a witness.

I got an idea Edna would have
found a way to handle Ethan.

Oh, now, that ain't true, Pa.

True or not, I
wasn't chancing it.

How'd you know
I wouldn't kill you?

I had to take that chance.

All right, Orval. Let
me tell you something.

Next time, it's
gonna be different.

Next time we meet, I'm
gonna be wearing a gun,

and if you ain't no coward,
you'll be doing the same thing.

Don't be a fool.

You wouldn't stand
a chance against me.

Maybe so, but next time we
meet, I'm gonna be shooting.

You better be doing the same.

Oh, he-he means it, Pa.

I know him.

Oh, he'll be carrying
a gun, all right.

I suppose.

- Well, then, take this!
- I don't want it now.

But you heard what he said.

The next time he sees you,
he's gonna start shooting.

He ain't gonna see me.

Not until after I talk
to Judge Brooking.

He'll be at the Dodge
House tomorrow afternoon.

I'll be staying there tonight.

I want to be there to see
him when he comes in.

Okay, Pa. Well, I'll...

I'll see you at the
Dodge House tomorrow.

And, uh, you keep out
of Hector's sight, now.

I ain't scared of
Hector, gun or no gun.

That's the way.

I'll, uh... I'll see you later.


Oh, Joe, I was afraid
you wouldn't be here.

Who wouldn't be here,
knowing you were coming?

No man's ever talked
to me the way you do.

No man's ever loved
you the way I do.

Well, Edna, what
have you decided?

Do you still want me, Joe?

You know the answer to that.

Well, it'll take a little
time, but I'll come.

You knew I would all the time.

Yes, but, um, when?

How long have I got to wait?

Well, it was almost
settled this morning.

- What do you mean, "almost?"
- Well, Orval and Hector.

They were... they
were gonna fight,

and at the last
minute, they didn't.

Uh, Edna,

are you sure this
is the only way out?

Well, it's the best way.

I-I mean, two birds
with one stone.

What could be better?

Yeah. Nothing, I suppose.

Providing you can make it work.

I'll make it work.


I've got more reason
than ever now.

Oh, wait a minute, Joe.

Well, what's the matter now?

Nothing. I want to enjoy things.

I want everything
to last forever.

It's gonna last forever.

I'll sell everything
here, Joe...

The house, the land,
the harness shop.

Yeah, that would be the
smartest thing to do, Edna.

And we'll buy a little
business in St. Louis

so you won't have
to travel anymore.

Mm, just like we
planned last night.

And we'll go to one of
those fancy restaurants

you told me about, and
we'll drink champagne.


And we'll listen to
music, and we'll dance.

The whole night, if you wish.

At about dawn, we'll
ride home in a carriage.

Oh, Joe, we'll do
it all, won't we?

All of it.

And more.

Well, you about finished?

Yeah, with this stuff, I am.

Yeah. Well, I got to admit,

it isn't as good as
fresh-caught antelope.

Hey, that, uh... that kind
of gives me an idea, Matt.


- Why don't we...?
- Quint, don't even mention it.

I just can't leave Dodge.

I didn't ask you to leave Dodge.

Well, you didn't have to. I
saw that look in your eye.

It tells me that you got a
yen to get out in the prairie.

Well, a little fresh meat
never hurt anybody.

Besides, it's good
for a man's soul

to sit around a fireside
at night, you know.

Yeah. Listen to the
sound of the coyotes.

Yeah, get up in the morning,
catch a few fish for breakfast.

Maybe go out hunting.
When you get tired,

take a little nap under
the shade of an old tree.

What's to stop us
from going right now?

All we'd have to do would
be saddle up and leave.

But you can't go, right?

No, I can't go.

Marshal, you're
in a sad business.

I'm beginning to
think you're right.

Well, I hope you
got a good excuse.

Well, Judge Brooking's
gonna be at the Dodge House

this afternoon. Orval Bass
is gonna be there to see him.

I didn't know that.

Think the judge is gonna
give him back his property?

Uh, I don't know. If he does,
it's liable to lead to trouble.

If he doesn't, it's
liable to lead to trouble.

Say, how about some
more coffee here?


He and the judge went into
Dodge House about a half hour ago.

Did he have his gun?

Yeah, he finally took the
gun and put it in his belt.

Good, good.

Well, Hector's
wearing his, isn't he?

You bet he is.

Ah. I-I told Pa

that Hector's really on
the shoot for him today.

Oh, I worked on him real good.

Well, looks like

we're finally gonna get a
little action around here, huh?

Well, they're, uh,
both primed, all right.

We can't fail now.

Oh, I hope not.

That Hector's been stuck
in my craw too darn long.

And getting rid of your
pa at the same time...

That really is
something to celebrate.

You know, being nice to him

has been the hardest
part of this whole thing.

That's been worth it.

We're-we're gonna have a
fine time, aren't we, Mom?

I mean, after we
get rid of them two.



Oh, sure we will, Ethan.

Is something wrong?

Well, no, of course not.

Well, you... don't
sound too sure.

Now, don't be silly.

gonna work out fine.

You just keep an
eye out the window.

I want to know the minute Orval
comes out of the Dodge House.


Where's Hector?

He's out back, but I
can get him any minute.

Well, they're-they're
loading up the stage.

Wish I were getting on it.

Yeah, would be fun, wouldn't it?

Mm-hmm. Never
mind the stage, though.

You keep your eye out for Orval.

I wonder what...

he and the judge are
saying to each other.

I don't know, but if this
doesn't work out right,

that judge hasn't
heard the end of it yet.

Oh, it'll come out
fine, Mom. It's got to.

I'm not really worried.

Hey, there they are.

I'll get Hector.

I'll be out on the street.

There he is, Hector.

Good luck.


Now, hold everything, Hector.

I don't see no gun on you.

Why don't you
shut your big mouth

- and listen to me a minute.
- What kind

of a coward are you?

All right, you blamed fool.

I got a gun, but
I ain't touching it

till you hear what I got to say.

Maybe you didn't hear me, Orval.

I got a gun on,
you got a gun on.

You said you got
something to say, get it said.

Now, get it over with.


Joe, where are you going?

Hello, Edna.

- You're leaving town.
- Yeah. Yeah, I got to go.

I just had a telegram.

I got to get back to St.
Louis as soon as possible.

You're sneaking out. Well, you
weren't even gonna say good-bye.

Well, I, uh... I didn't
want to upset you, Edna.

- That's not true.
- Look, I was gonna write, honest.

That's a lie, Joe. You're
running out on me.

Edna, I know how
it must look, but...

You told me you'd
never leave me,

that it would last forever,

and I thought you
were telling the truth.

I said I'd even sell the shop,
the house, the land, everything.

- Yes, and I appreciate that.
- I'd do all that,

just so you could buy a
business of some kind in St. Louis.

Just so you wouldn't
have to travel anymore.

Edna, listen to me...

How about those
fancy restaurants

you were gonna take
me to in St. Louis?

How about the champagne
and the music and the dancing?

We can still do all that.

It's just that you've got
to trust me, to believe me.

Look, I'll be back
as soon as I can,

so just don't make
a big thing of it, huh?

"A big thing?" Why, it's
my whole life, my future.

You'll get over it.

You lied to me.

Everything, every word was a lie

just so you could have a
little fun while you were here,

so you wouldn't be
bored. You monster!

- You beast!
- Now wait a minute, Edna.

You had fun, didn't you?

I mean, uh... you
weren't bored, huh?

You rotten pig!

You're no better than
anybody else, Edna.

You're fixing it
so's your husband

and your ex-husband
will shoot it out, ain't you?

Don't you go
lily-white on me now!

I could kill you.

Don't do it, Edna.

You'd make my
wife and my four kids

real unhappy.

Whoa. Hyah!

Well, I'll be doggoned.

Hector, I feel sorry for you.

I don't. I been a dang fool.

I seen the judge, Hector.

He said there ain't
anything I can do about it...

All the property goes to Edna.

For keeps?

That's right.

Yeah. That's too bad.

Now I feel sorry for you, Orval.

- You know something, Hector?
- What's that?

I wouldn't want to
live here anyway.

I'm heading west.

I wouldn't want
to live here, either.

Could you use a partner?

A couple of old fools like us?

We'd get into all
sorts of trouble.

- Mm-hmm?
- Let's saddle up.



You was gonna
leave me, wasn't you?

Now, what are you talking about?

Just like that, you
was gonna leave me.


You never did care about me.

Now, don't you talk like that.

I will be here just long enough

to pack my things,
saddle my horse and go.

Now, Ethan...

You was using me!

Just like you were using Pa
and Hector, you were using me.

Well, I couldn't trust
you no more, Ma.





Behind the Scenes of Homecoming

The INSP TV network, renowned for airing Gunsmoke, mistakenly conflates this episode with a later installment from Season 18, also titled “Homecoming” (episode #16, #579 in the series).

In an uncommon turn of events, none of the main characters appear in the last 10 minutes of the episode, lending an unexpected twist to its conclusion.

Looking for More Gunsmoke Episodes?

Do you have a taste for timeless and sophisticated television series? If so, Gunsmoke is the perfect choice for you. Whether enjoying it solo or with cherished company, this iconic 20-season television show, which aired from 1955 to 1975 on the CBS network, is guaranteed to alleviate any boredom. Homecoming serves as the 34th episode of Season 09.

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

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