Prairie Wolfer Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #13, Episode #10
Gunsmoke is a long-running American Western drama series with stories revolving around Dodge City, Kansas. The lead character is Marshal Matt Dillon, who works to maintain peace and order in town. Gunsmoke has a “Prairie Wolfer” title for two of its episodes.
The latter depicts the story of two fur trappers who found their furs worthless and Westward travel shattered. Out of desperation, they scheme a robbery, intending to flee to California. However, things didn’t end the way they wanted. Directed by Robert Butler and written by Calvin Clements, Prairie Wolf, season 13th’s 10th episode aired on November 13, 1967.
Meanwhile, if you’re searching for Season 09’s episode involving Festus Haggen, a prairie wolfer, you can find that here.
Read Prairie Wolfer, Season 13, Episode 10’s plot, including some behind-the-scene trivia, or view the Gunsmoke episode below.
Watch the Full Episode, Prairie Wolfer
Watch the full episode of Prairie Wolfer:
Gunsmoke Prairie Wolfer Cast
The following actors appeared in the Gunsmoke episode, Prairie Wolfer:
- Milburn Stone as Doc
- Amanda Blake as Kitty (credit only)
- Ken Curtis as Festus
- James Arness as Matt
- Jon Voight as Cory
- Lou Antonio as Rich
- Kelly Jean Peters as Adele
- Charles McGraw as Dolen
- I. Stanford Jolley as Grandpa
- Glenn Strange as Sam
- Ted Jordan as Burke
- Matt Emery as Trail Boss
- Fred Dale as Townsman (uncredited)
- Chester Hayes as Townsman (uncredited)
- Bert Madrid as Townsman (uncredited)
- Chick Sheridan as Townsman (uncredited)
- Lucian Tiger as Townsman (uncredited)
- Sid Troy as Townsman (uncredited)
Full Story Line for Prairie Wolfer
Matt leaves Festus in charge while he does some business out of town.
One morning, two prairie wolfers, Cory and Rich, deliver wolf skins they’ve gathered, hoping to make bounty money as per a notice three months ago. However, Festus tells them there is no more bounty on wolf skins. Seeing their disappointment, Festus suggests they visit Mr. Dolen, a storekeeper, to see if he’ll buy their furs and hides.
Trying to catch the last Springfield wagon train of the year to avoid spending winter in Kansas, the prairie wolfers decided to see Dolen. However, he would only buy them for ten cents a skin. Despite their efforts to sell the wolf skin even for half a dollar, Dolen remains cold-hearted, refusing to get the skins for more than ten cents each.
Out of desperation, Cory and Rich stole money from Dolen, hiding them in wolf fur. Shortly after, a freight agent named Nathan Burke took an interest in their pelt, thinking they’d make a nice winter jacket. Burke plans to accept their offer of twenty cents for each fur. However, Burke has to ride with the posse after Dolen asks Marshal Matt to organize one after the couple of cowboys who robbed him.
Meanwhile, Doc tells Festus that Matt is still paying a bounty on summer pelts, especially for those who have been preying on wolves since the notice started.
Cory and Rich return to Grandpa and Adele, Cory’s wife, to tell them to pack as they head to Springfield.
The prairie wolfers realized they got so much money from Dolen, which explains the posse riding to search for them. Still, Rich thinks they should keep it as it’s enough to last for their lifetime. Although Cory believes three hundred dollars is all they need, with the posse going after them, there’s nothing much he can do.
Meanwhile, Festus visits Cory and Rich to tell them about the bounty money. Since the pair wasn’t there, he delivered the news and the three hundred and one dollars to Grandpa and Adele. Blissful, Adele allows Festus to bundle up the wolf skins in the barn.
Shortly after, Cory and Rich return to their place. Adele excitedly tells him about the bounty money and that Festus is in the barn taking the pelts. Cory and Rich try to stop Festus, but a stash of cash falls from one of the wolf skins. With a gun aimed at his head, Festus encourages the wolfers to surrender since having the money has already caused them enough trouble.
Adele comes into the barn, offering Festus to eat supper with them. However, Cory tells her they’d head to Springfield, with Grandpa and Adele heading first to hold their place in the wagon train. Too excited to draw suspicion, Adele hurriedly tells Grandpa they’re leaving.
Festus, Cory, and Rich meet a few townspeople Matt assigned to search every wagon that goes through the way. Burke, who the wolfers talked to earlier at a street in Dodge, vouched for them, saying they were on the road during the robbery. Festus also guarantees them that it’s foolish to search through the pelts.
The trio stopped by an old line camp to rest for a while. Cory tells Rich they’ll leave money, but Rich refuses, suggesting they get rid of Festus instead. However, Cory insists on not killing anyone. Tired of listening to Cory, Rich shoots Festus, much to Cory’s surprise.
Rich goes outside to dig a grave for Festus. Unbeknownst to him, Festus is alive. Festus tells Cory to cut him loose, to which he obliges. Cory believes none of his plans went well, seeing how things got worse as time goes. Festus talks sense to Cory, later implying that Rich’s greediness would cause more trouble.
Cory informs Rich that Festus is alive and planning to return to Dodge with the money. Rich shoots Cory after learning he won’t get any money, but he dodges it. A shooting ensues. Festus replaces the stash of cash wrapped with the wolf skin with a couple of cans from the shack. He sets it on fire, throwing it outside for Rich. Rich desperately sets the fire out, believing the money is burning, only to discover it’s an empty can. Devastated, Rich tried to kill Cory, but the latter was quicker, killing Rich in the process.
Festus returns the cash, letting Cory free.
Full Script and Dialogue of Prairie Wolfer
Whoa. What's the matter with you? That's the most disgusting thing I've ever seen. Well you ain't the prettiest thing I've ever saw the first thing in the mornin' yourself. What are you gonna do with the badge? What are you gonna do with a badge? All right, Mr. Smart-alecky, hoo-haw. I'm fixin' to wear it, just like Matthew told me to do before he rode out yonder to that Texas cattle herd that come in yesterday, to talk to them cowpunchers before they get their pay and get turned loose, and to talk to the trail boss and to tell him to hold them down so as there won't be no ruckuses when they are. Turned loose. I'm going back to bed. - Howdy, men. - Mornin'. You're the marshal, huh? Well, just holdin' things down while he's out of town, why? Been huntin' us wolves most of the summer. You expectin' me to do something with these, are you? We don't care what you do with 'em after we get our money. We got 43 wolf skins at seven dollars' bounty a skin, that makes three hundred and one dollar. You can put the odd dollar in your pocket. Some drinkin' from us to you for your troubles. You're sayin' you want some bounty money for these here wolf skins, huh? You can count 'em, we got 43 skins. I ain't argu-fying with you about how many there are, I'm just wantin' to tell you, that there ain't no more bounty on wolf skins. You ain't... you ain't joshin'? No, siree, I ain't a-joshin'. I ain't a feller to josh other folks' misery. Mister, we gotta take this slower. You had a notice posted outside this jail three months ago. It said anybody could collect seven dollars from the Dodge marshal for every wolf pelt brought into town. Now, I ain't denyin' that Matthew has been payin' bounties on wolf hides. But you can't get through your head is that he ain't doin' it no more. They done took it off, don't you see? It's our joinin' money. The wagon train makin' up at Springfield, that money's for us to join. We got homestake land waitin' for us in California. I know how you feel. Town people don't have any idea how I feel. I left my wife expectin' a youngun and a sick grandpa in a canyon all summer bringin' these pelts. They been half starvin' in a squatter shack, countin' on movin' out before winter. We got that money comin' to us! Just simmer down and hold your taters. Now, if you don't believe what I'm tellin' you, why don't you go out and talk to Marshal Dillon? You'll find him out there south of town in one of them cow camps. Could go down the street yonder to Mr. Dolen. He buys some furs and hides. Maybe he'd figger they's worth a little something. I don't know. I'm sorry, I truly am. We ain't spendin' no winter in Kansas. That Springfield wagon train's the last one out this year. And if we don't make it, I can't see striking out all by ourselves. This town owes us three hundred dollars. I figure on collectin'. All right, let's cut it a different way. I'll pay the same price for calves, sixteen and a quarter. Countin' calves and cows alike isn't exactly sticking my hand in your pocket. The edge goes to you, son. Thirty days on good grazin' land, I'd be turnin' down 18 and half, maybe 19. Yeah, I know, but that means keeping your boys on the payroll for 30 days, and gambling that the market for cattle stays the same. I'm putting money in your pocket, John. Maybe I'll shop around. John, hold it, if I went to 17, would that lock it up? And a half, you'd have me thinking about it. Can I help you, boys? Hear you buy wolf pelts. You've got a deal, John. I guess your boys'll be needing some cash. Five hundred will take care of me. There you go. I'm going to the bank in the morning. - I'll have the rest for you then. - Fine. I guess neither one of us come out too bad, Mr. Dolen. Say, if you're doing any drinking, tell them to put it on the Dolen Company bill. Thank you. Wouldn't it be less trouble to trap commercial fur? We were after... the bounty money. Come to find they took it off, the bounty. How much were you expecting for them? Oh, I guess I leave... leave a fair price up to you. Well, they're more bother than they're worth, I'll take 'em off your hands for ten cents a skin. You're getting a favor. Last thing we want from townfolk is a favor. Well, sell 'em to somebody else. Is there anybody else in Dodge that buys wolf pelts? I'm afraid you're gonna find that a problem. - Mr. Dolen? - Hmm? Ten cents a pelt don't even seem close. Well, that's as close as I'm comin', fella. Maybe if you knew what we'd been through. I mean, we've been hunting wolves all summer, figurin' on makin' the wagon train headin' out of Springfield. Joinin' money is two hundred dollars. Now, we ain't got that much. If we had feedin' money, maybe the wagon master'd trust us to raise the joinin' money along the way. You're looking for charity or you trying to sell me some pelts I don't even need? I'm just sayin', now, if we got even a dollar a pelt, kind of a fair price, as you'd be gettin' two dollars in St. Louis. Now, you're trying to tell me how to run my business. Fifty cents a pelt. We could gamble on goin' to Springfield. Be enough to feed us there. Mr. Dolen, we can't take no more winter, not with my wife they way she is. I sure don't like to talk like this. I had me a young son dyin' last winter. My wife's scared with a new youngun comin' now. We gotta get some money to move on. How about you? Do I get your story when he's through? All right, sympathy I got, it's all yours. Now, ten cents a pelt, you can get yourselves a couple of bottles of whiskey, maybe get your wife a new hat. You ain't listenin'. I got me a woman starvin', I'm askin' fairness. A woman don't eat a hat, Mr. Dolen! We ain't animals! Hey, Adele, we could smell your stew clean down the canyon. It's simmered enough, just help yourself. Thank you. Hey, you brung 'em back, Cory. They didn't want 'em. Ain't no more bounty on wolves. You mean we ain't gettin' no joinin' money, Cory? 'Fraid not. Oh, that ain't fair. You boys hunted wolves 'cause they said there was bounty money on 'em. Ain't nobody's thinkin' about fairness to us, Grandpa. Are you sayin' we're spendin' the winter here, Cory? Don't seem to be much choice. You want me to fix you a plate, Cory? No, I don't feel like eatin' much. Oh, you need some hot stuff in you. Could we start out by ourselves? Wagons don't move west of Springfield by themselves. Are we losin' that government land? We ain't there to claim it, it never belonged to us, Adele. Well... we always managed somehow, Cory. You cryin' over our son's grave last winter be managin'? He just wasn't strong enough to live. A babe's as strong as the food he gets in him. A milk cow was the difference in him livin' or dyin' last winter. A warm roof. You just got a quit blamin' yourself for everything, Cory. Outright cheated us, Adele. Town of Dodge outright cheated us. Seven dollars for every pelt brought down from the hills is what they said. Does no good thinkin' about it. Ain't right, havin' men believin' what they brought back'd be paid for. Where you going? I'm going for a walk. We don' it? You figure you got the nerve to take this to the end? Oh, it sounded real easy the way you said. Ain't nothin' real easy without luck. It's just I got some comin', I figure. What about Adele knowin'? She ain't knowin'. We're headin' into town to sell the pelts, that's all we're sayin'. - Can you see me? - Yeah. - Real good? - Good. - Mornin', Mr. Dolen. - Good morning, Festus. - Cup of coffee? - No, no thanks. Look, I'm moving some money from the bank over to my office. - I'd like to have a couple of men. - Couple of men? Yeah, deputies, to go with me till I get the cash in the safe. Oh, guards, you mean. Well, I'll be glad to go and help you. Well, I kind of like to have more than one man. Oh, fiddle, we ain't gonna have no trouble just goin' across the street. Besides that, there's a couple of deputies in town. All right, Festus, let's go. You know, once old Matthew heard the news the herds was movin' up, he got hisself five or six deputies to go out yonder and ride betwixt them herds, and a couple of deputies here in town. With over a thousand cowpunchers raisin' Cain, well, that's pretty good law-keepin', now you don't have to admit it to me... Yeah, I know that's the conversation, day or night, whether you want it or not. Oh, you bet your boots, folks is friendly in this town. You take old Matthew, Marshal Dillon, he keeps this place just a-runnin' as smooth. Course, right now he's got me in charge of runnin' the town... well, takin' care of it, would be more like it, I reckon, but this here badge, this here is the United States marshalin' badge. When a feller's wearin' one of these here, why, folks has just a tick more respect for you. You take that old Doc, he says I'm startin' to act up, because he's like a regular marshal, well... What are those hides doin' in this office? Is this here some of your special dealin' whiskey, is it? Go ahead, help yourself. Why, ordinary I don't drink this early in the day, but I will have myself a swallow or two, seein' it's a special label and all that. I told that Appleson never to sort hides in this office. If I told him once, I've told him a hundred times... I can easy see why they put a special label on that whiskey 'cause I wouldn't mind makin' whiskey like that... I only wish your ability was as big as your mouth. There ain't a place in Kansas you two can hide. Get your nose to that floor, mister. Get those hands behind your back. When you're finished, you can take care of the horses. Oh, nobody will bother them. I wonder how much money we got in them saddle bags. Gotta be enough so's we won't be eatin' herd dust for a while. Hurry and we can make the Texas border before night. We got it, we get out. That's my opinion. Not runnin'. We don't change a thing. You keep lookin' guilty, we'll be caught sure. You tie that knot so it would... so it'd slip? He ought to be able to shake them ropes loose in about five minutes. How much you think we got? Gotta be more'n three hundred, and that's what matters to me. I ask for two men, and I get one swilling my whiskey. Get on your feet. Well, now, that's what I call a wolf pelt. That's what I call it. - Yeah, real thick skin. - Well, that's just an old wolf. I know furs and pelts pretty good, I do. See plenty shipped past my desk every day. I'm the freight agent, name's Burke. You got a point, mister? Well, just that you got a real nice pelt, kind you'd like to make a nice winter jacket out of. Never mind. Never mind. - Wait a minute, you got blood... - Just leave me be! - Mr. Dolen... - Out of the way, kid. We don't mind comin' down in price if you can see your way comin' up. - Get out of the way... - Mr. Dolen, instead of a dime, you make it 20 cents, we gotta talkin' point. You're missin' out on a might good deal, Mr. Dolen. Twenty cents ain't too far from a dime! Twenty cents a pelt? Well, I'm not in the fur business, fellas, but I think you got a deal. What? Well, at twenty cents a pelt, I can't go wrong. You got a deal. How many pelts? Forty-three, we're selling all or none. Forty-three at 20 cents a pelt. Figure a dime is four dollars and thirty. Double the four-thirty, you get eight-sixty. I think I got that much right here. I advise you to use a nice, strong lye soap on 'em. Some we found, uh, dyin' of sickness. Well, it wouldn't be rabies. At least... they weren't foamin' at the mouth none. - Nathan. - Yeah, Sam. I'm gatherin' posses, and I want you to take the south end of town and get everybody together that can ride. Something wrong, Sam? Mr. Dolen here was robbed by a couple of cowboys. They said they're making for the Texas border. - I'll get right to it. - You men get to your horses. Call for a posse means every able-bodied man in town. - It's your duty. - Ain't got no saddle horses, Mr. Dolen. Just this ol' buckboard mare. Hyah! - Hey, Doc... - Easy now. It don't hardly hurt none at all, now. Just the same, I don't want you riding out with any posse that might not ride back. Now, come up to the office, so I can clean that up and have a little better look at it. Well, I gotta get started, Doc. Hey, you got a sore head, mister? You hush your mouth, I ain't no... Hear, hear, quiet down. Get on out of here. What's the matter with you? Good heavens, you no sooner get a badge on and you got everybody in the whole county mad at you. Now, what caused that? Aw, them knuckleheads been chompin' on me 'cause I told 'em that they took the bounty off of wolf skins. Well, what did you tell them that for? They didn't do that. Who says? - Well, Matt said. - Matthew said... Yes, the state is still paying bounty on summer pelts, for those who were out hunting when the notice went up. - Golly, I gotta tell 'em, then. - You don't have to tell them now. Right now, you're coming up to the office so I can examine that thick skull of yours, and I'm not planning on carrying you. Come on. Sure ain't my day. Whoa. Couldn't sell 'em at all, Cory? Guess Dodge just ain't the place to sell pelts, Grandpa. So, we kinda figure we'd be moving on, headin' to Springfield. - What? - Springfield? - Cory, what are you... - Cory, that don't make no sense. Now, I gotta good feelin'. Maybe we can sell some of the pelts along the way, store up some supplies, and maybe we can get somethin' in the way of work on the wagon train for our joinin' money. Never join up with no money, Cory. We'd have no way to live in Springfield. That wagonmaster, he's got a lot of expense makin' up a train. We can always come back here. Now, you two get the travelin' wagon packed. Rich and me's gonna give the pelts a little brushin' and trimmin' kinda pretty 'em. Everything's gonna be all right. Cory always knows what he's doin', so we'd best pack. How much you figure we got? Gotta be what we need. Anythin' left over after join' money, we'll buy maybe a saddle horse. Them's ten dollar bills. Hundred ten dollar bills. A whole thousand dollars. Look there, them's twenties. Look at there, there's another twenties. We got us a bag of trouble. They must be about... Oh, there must... Oh, how much? Fifteen or twenty thousand. We had us money comin' fair, joinin' money. Now, it's like we be bank robbers. Cory, you're talkin' crazy. Robbin's the same, no matter how much you get. There's a big difference. You intendin' somethin'? I don't intend to leave it out for Adele and Grandpa come in here and see. Well, I just didn't like the way you was talkin'. Cory, there's enough money here to last us for the rest of our lives. We never set out to do nothin' like this. Well, of course, we didn't, but we did it, just the same. Cory, I take my chances at hangin' against keepin' this money. Sure ain't no changin' it now. All's I wanted was what was comin' to us. Three hundred dollars was all. - Ow! - Hold still. Well, that hurts worse than it did when I got hit. Well you hadn't ought to get hit. Well, I know I hadn't ought to, but, uh... I'm just a dumbbell. Well, it wasn't altogether your fault. Yes, it was. It was, too. I was poochin' out my chest on account of that marshalin' badge I was wearing instead of acting like a good marshal ought to. You were strutting around like a peacock, all right, but Ben Dolen just got outsmarted that's all. - Matt, how are you? - How is he, Doc? Oh, he's all right. He just got hit in the head, that's all. He'll be his old self in a little while, for whatever his old self's worth. Good. I was just over talking to Dolen. He has the idea they were Texas drovers that did this. That couldn't be much more than a guess, being as he was blindfolded. Matthew, I didn't get but a little peek at 'em. See, they... they was wearin' them old hides and them tow sacks. I couldn't see an inch of their skin. Then there's something funny about this because men who were that careful to hide their identity aren't just gonna let it slip that they're headed back for Texas. I sure wish I could help you, but... like I was tellin' old Doc, here I was just too busy being proud of this badge. Well, what about their voices? Did they sound like Texans? Shoot, I didn't hear 'em say anything, Matthew. All I done was turned around, and whap, they hit me. Dolen said they talked like they had a mouthful of mush or somethin'. Well, I'll tell you what I think. I think those men could be walking around the streets of Dodge right now. - Reckon they could be? - Sure could. Be a whole lot safer for 'em to kind of lay low till things quieted down a little bit. Now, look, I got to head up to Hays City to make an identification in that Barskin murder trial. But I'll have men covering the roads and trails out of Dodge before I leave. - Well, I can do that... - You stay where you are. Take over when Doc gets through with you. I'll see you later. - All right. - All right. Doc, I just haven't did one thing right since I put this badge on. Well, I kind of got to agree with you there. But it wasn't all your fault. Old Dolen was partially responsible. I don't know, ever since he come to town, he seems to like to walk around and flash a lot of money. I guess he figures it gives him prestige or something. But no prudent man takes twenty thousand dollars out of a bank. Twenty thousand dollars? Well, yes, I heard he was gonna make a lot of cash deals today, so he just took the whole bundle out of the bank. You know what it is, he's just an arrogant man, that's... he's just arrogant, that's all. Twenty thousand dollars. That's a heap of money, ain't it? If it'd been less money stole, they wouldn't be searchin' anybody. We could take our wagons right through. Well, it'd sure be a chore takin' the wagons through them hills. If they got posses on the roads, they got posses in the hills, and anybody headin' that way is goin' to cause attention. You know somethin' else that's been on my mind? Us living in that old squatter shack. What if some posse it in their minds to look us over real good. Let's get back. - Howdy, ma'am. - Howdy. I just wonderin' if I hit on at the right place or not. I was lookin' for a couple of fellers that spent the summer huntin' wolves, expectin' to get some bounty money. Oh, that'd be my husband and his friend, Rich. Oh, yes'm. Well, are they around, are they? No, they went to trip rabbit snares, bein' we're leavin' so soon. Yes'm. Well, I just wanted to tell 'em I'm plumb ashamed of myself for not gettin' my facts straight in the first place. But I got some good news for 'em. For you, too, I reckon. I'm fixin' to take them skins off of your hands and givin' ya three hundred and one dollars for 'em. This is our joinin' up money. It's too good to be true. Yes'm. This here's the onliest good thing I did today. You couldn't've done nothin' to make us happier. Powerful glad of that, ma'am. Ma'am, I got me some marshalin' chores to do in town, on account of that big holdup we had. - Holdup? - Oh, yeah, we had us a big'un in there. Oh. Reckon it'd be all right if I just kinda bundle up them skins myself, so as I can be gettin' on back? They be in the barn, Marshal, you just help yourself. Much obliged, ma'am. Oh, Grandpa. Cory. Cory! I got us a surprise. What's that? It's a big one. - Well? - You gonna guess? I'll tell ya. I got the bounty money. We're gonna get it anyway. Real fine. Who gave it to you? The marshal from town. He said he made a mistake when he allowed you weren't entitled to it. He's in the barn now, takin' the pelts. I better go thank him, then. I'll fix your supper for you. Do, I'm real hungry. - Oh, howdy, fellas. - Howdy. I got a heap of good news for ya. - I'm fixin'... - Adele... Adele already told us. Oh, she done told you. Ain't that the best news you ever heard? Sure is. We'll take these pelts to town for ya, save you the bother. Aw, fiddle, it ain't no bother a'tall. I'll just bundle 'em up and throw them in back of my saddle. You fellers had enough bother frettin' about that bounty money. Now, if that ain't the limit. - Take his gun? - Yeah. Just wanted what was comin' to us, mister. That's all we wanted. I don't reckon it's too late to set things straight, if you got a mind to. Doin' what? First place, givin' back what don't belong to you. So we spend all our lives in prison, huh? I don't know how a judge'd look at it, but I'll tell you one thing, you're both in for a passel of trouble if you keep this here money, - I'll guarantee ya that. - Cory. Adele's comin'. Hide that gun. Mister, you get back to tyin' them pelts. Be wearin' this. Now, be quick about it. I'll do any sayin' to Adele. Wonderin', mister, if'n you might be eating with us before you leave for town. Yes'm, I'd... I'd be proud to share your table with you. - Much obliged. - I'll set your plate. Hold on, Adele. There be no time for entertainin'. It'd be right neighborly, seein's he come out here from town, all the way. I was figurin' on you headin' out for Springfield. Now? - Today? - If you feel up to it. You and Grandpa could meet us out there. Oh, yes, Cory! Why aren't you comin' with us? We can't afford to wait much longer. We might lose out. Now, you two can hold us a place on that wagon train. Oh, Cory. We're going to California at last. This feller here says these pelts be ours to sell once the regular marshal in Dodge makes a count and record of them. Rich and me figure we head along the river. Trade off against flour and sugar. If we trade right, we might come in with 50, 60 dollars' worth of supplies. Mister, I hope you'll allow us. I'm just too excited to cook a meal, let alone eat one. Yes'm, to tell you the pure-truth, I ain't got much of a appetite myself. We're truly obliged to you for everything you've done, mister. Yes'm. Well, just wait'll Grandpa hears. Mister you can stand up and take that gun belt off. You say one word before we make it out of here, you're comin' out second best. That's pretty plain to see. What ain't so plain to me is which way's the toad gonna hop once we leave this place. We'll figure somethin'. Once we get across the Kansas state line, which is where you're taking us, you and that badge of yours. US marshal's gonna take us through a posse. You figure us bein' in Springfield, maybe tomorrow night. But if we ain't there, well you got the money, so there'll be no trouble movin' west with the wagons. I mean, if somethin' holds us up, you just keep goin' on. - We'll catch up. - What you figure to hold you? Maybe nothin'. Jus' thinkin' of all the hard luck we had. Oh, Cory. You got to think of the good things that'll happen. Like what's happening now. And what'll happen tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that. I guess you'll be ridin' just ahead of us, Marshal. See you in Springfield, you hear, Cory? Grandpa. Giddap. Here comes another wagon. Ease her up. You know them men up there? Feller headin' up the posse is Sam, barkeep at the Long Branch. Friend of mine. You try to keep in mind now, that the minute it looks like we don't get through, you and your friend might be dyin'. What's your name? Festus Haggen. Well, Festus, I'm Cory. This here's, Rich. We know each other real good. You might say we got acquainted, yeah. You're just seeing us off to the river, that's all you need to say. Howdy, Sam. - Hi, Festus. - Everything all right, is it? Well, not much is happenin'. I hope you boys don't mind a little searching. I gotta John Doe warrant if you figure you need one. These here fellers is friends of mine, Sam. You can save yourself the trouble. Festus, I can't go against the marshal's orders. Now, anybody headed for the state line, I gotta search them. Those are his orders and they're gonna hold till he gets back from Hays. All right, boys, go ahead. From the skin out? Them's powerful orders, Sam. Well, we don't go that far less we get a stranger looks like he hasn't got any business around Dodge, kinds stretches it out as far as searching goes. Sam, I know somethin' about these fellas. They're trying to peddle pelts taken from sick wolves. You won't find anything on 'em. See, they were... they were in the street when the robbery took place. Bein' sick don't mean they had to have rabies. Take my word for it, Sam, any more searchin' this here wagon is just plain foolishness. All right, Festus, I'll be glad to take your word. Like to be getting on. All right, go ahead. See you at breakfast, Sam. Are you sure you saw those men on the street, Nathan? I mean, so there's no chance of us crossing the marshal's orders. I told, you, Sam, they were trying to sell me them sick pelts during all the excitement. Pretty smart fellers, but I'm a mite smarter. Looks like a old line camp. Yeah, I sure hope they got some grub in there. We'll be leavin' money for the grub. We ain't gonna give no money to nobody. I'm thinkin' on somethin'. Ain't what we want, but we're gonna have to be changin' our plans. The only changin' we have to do is get rid of him. We can't join that wagon train. They'll be comin' lookin' for us. Nobody's be after us if he wasn't around. Rich, I told you we ain't killing nobody, and we ain't. Now you goin' to listen to me? Why, he's the only one that knows about us. Rich, now you listen to me. - I'm tired of listening. - No! It's done! Cory, it's done! Now we can take the money and we can move on, on account of he's the only one who knew we had it. I'll scratch out a grave. When are you gonna get your wits about you? Cut me loose. Did a whole heap of damage. Busted the skin on my side's all. Playin' possum, huh? Yeah. Much obliged to ya, for your helping me out. Would've went right through my vitals, you know. Things are gettin' worse every minute. You mean, you're wishin' I was dead, huh? No, it ain't that. Just everything I try goes wrong. Ain't nothin' ever worked for me and nothin' ever will. You ain't lived long enough or tried hard enough to know that. Ever since me and Adele's been married it's been try and bust. I should just stop trying', that's what I should do. You see what you're sayin' right there? You're sittin' there a squallin' to the whole world that you ain't never growed up yet. Why don't you get yourself a shovel and go out yonder to help your partner dig that hole in the ground? Appears to me that's just about what the rest of your life's gonna amount to, diggin' worthless holes in the ground. Makin' about as much sense. For man in your place, you're talkin' awful much. Think my hushin' up's gonna help things? You're the onliest one that can help things. Now, your partner out yonder. You 'spose he's gonna settle for thinkin' I'm dead and half that money? Not on your old tin-type he ain't. I saw greed stickin' out of a hog's eye before, boy. You better do a little thinkin' on that. Kinda betwixt and between, ain't ya? Yeah. Hey Cory, why don't you come help me? It's like my Grandpa, Hog, used to say, "About the onliest thing you get from straddling a fence is a sore backside." Better make up your mind, boy. Rich? He ain't dead. You're lyin' to me. You don't have to bother to come back in here. Well, what do you mean? You can take the wagon and get on. I'm goin' back to Dodge with him. Well, what about the money? That's goin' back, too. Well, that don't make a lick of sense. I mean, goin' to all this trouble just to give yourself up to the law? Way I figure... I'll never see my wife and newborn again, unless I stop right here. Money goin' back's bound to make it easy on me. You can figure nobody be lookin' too hard after you with the money back in Dodge. You mean I don't get none? That's the way it's gotta be. - Oh, no. - Look out! Come on out, Cory! Throw out the money and I'll go. I ain't goin' to do that, Rich. I'm gonna burn you out! Throw me a couple of cans there. What are you doin'? The more a feller's got on his mind, the less time he's got to think on any one thing. This here ought to give him somethin' to think about. Get ready. Kick it open. The money? That's what it is. How bad you want it? It's over now, Rich. We're goin' back. Don't! Well, looks like it's all here, Festus. Every dollar of it. I figured it would be. Matt, you got to hand it to him. He did a pretty good job of detective work. You know, finding those fellers down below the state border and everything. Yep. He sure did, Doc. Oh, say, Matt, why don't you get him to tell you about the prisoner, you know... Why don't you hush up? Yeah, how about that, Festus? You said one of the men gave himself up. Well, he did, but it's just on his account that I'm back here alive and kickin', too. I think I told ya that. Well, that'll sure work in his favor, all right. Who was the man? Where was he from? Matthew, when a feller's wearin' a marshalin' badge, don't you think that kinda gives him the leeway to use his own good judgment? Festus, knowing you, I... I'm almost afraid to answer that. Well, I kinda figured that seein's the money all come back and there's nobody bein' hurt much, maybe you'd just leave that feller escapin' up to me. Oh, he did escape, huh? Well, you could say he just kinda rode off. Uh-huh. Well, Doc, being that Festus was the only witness to this, I guess I'll just have to take his word for it, huh? Golly, Matt, I just don't know what else you could do. I'm buyin' you a beer on that, Matthew. Sounds like a good idea. You're included, too, Doc. Well, all right, thanks. I'll drink it as long as I don't have to listen to 16 more versions of that gunfight. Uh, Matthew... You reckon I could just keep this here badge? I mean, just to hang up someplace and kinda look at it? I guess that'd be all right, Festus. But, you'd better quit polishing it or there won't be any of it left.
Behind the Scenes
This episode from season 13 is often mistaken for another from Gunsmoke with the same title, which aired in 1964.
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Choose Gunsmoke as your next show to watch with your family or alone! The 20-season American Western television series ran under CBS and aired from 1955 to 1975. Prairie Wolfer is the 10th episode of Season 13.
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