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Gunsmoke Western TV
The Lone Writer  

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


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.


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.


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.


- 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


- 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.


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?



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?


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.

Looking for More Gunsmoke Episodes?

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.

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

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