Snow Train Part 1 and Part 2 Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #16, Episode #06 and #07
Gunsmoke is a long-running Western series starring James Arness, who played the central character, Marshal Matt Dillon. Apart from the Marshal’s adventures, other characters in the show were often involved in gunfights and brawls—a typical scenario that revolves around most Westerns. Despite the violence, Gunsmoke was a popular show and one of the longest-running television programs in history, often credited with helping to define the Western genre on television. Snow Train is a two-part episode from season 16 of Gunsmoke.
Produced by Joseph Dackow, directed by Gunnar Hellstrom, and written by Preston Wood, the episode aired on Oct 19 and 26, 1970, respectively.
In Snow Train’s first part, Marshal Matt Dillon, Doc, and Festus are riding a train through snow-covered mountains. However, a group of Indians stopped the train, insisting the people aboard turn over two unknown passengers who sold them poisonous whiskey.
The story continues in part two, where Dillon escapes from three Indian braves. He moves to a telegraph station, discovering that the telegraph lines are down. Before the lines go off, Dillon receives the advisory regarding which passengers sold the lousy whiskey. He immediately heads back to the train, just in time to save the soldiers from the Indians. The crisis eventually ends, but the impact of what happened on the train journey will remain on the lives of the passengers.
Read the storyline and behind-the-scenes information of the two-part episode, Snow Train, or watch the full Gunsmoke episode below.
Watch the Full Gunsmoke Episode, Snow Train Part 1
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Watch the Full Gunsmoke Episode, Snow Train Part 2
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Gunsmoke Snow Train Part 1 and 2 Cast
The following actors appeared in the two-part Gunsmoke episode, Snow Train.
- James Arness as Matt Dillon
- Milburn Stone as Doc
- Amanda Blake as Kitty (credit only)
- Ken Curtis as Festus
- Buck Taylor as Newly (credit only)
- Eddie Applegate as Al
- Tim Considine as Scott Coleman
- Pamela Dunlap as Ada Coleman
- Dana Elcar as Pennigrath
- Roy Engel as Tibbett
- Gene Evans as Billy
- Eddie Firestone as Hap
- Ron Hayes as Floyd Coleman
- Clifton James as Sam Wickes
- Richard Kelton as Bud (as Richard D. Kelton)
- Doreen Lang as Mae
- Ken Lynch as Lucas
- John Milford as Clay Foreman
- Anne Seymour as Sarah
- Loretta Swit as Donna
- Richard Lapp as Running Fox
- X Brands as Red Willow
- Ronald A. One Feather as Hunter
- Lemoyne L. LaPointe as Hunter
- LeMoyne W. Millard as Hunter
- Fred McDougall as Indian (uncredited)
Full Story Line for Snow Train Part 1
Marshall Matt Dillon, Doc, and Festus are returning to Dodge City on a train. Other passengers heading to Dodge include a pair of sisters spinning thread, an engaged couple, and a Reverend. Unbeknownst to them, a large group of Indians is on standby, waiting for the train to pass by a spot across the snow-covered mountains. The group successfully blocked the train using the trees they’d set up on the rail tracks. Dillon goes outside to check the area but immediately returns inside to stop the passengers that started shooting.
Dillon returns outside with Festus and finds the Sioux chief from Stone Ridge, Red Willow, approaching the train. He orders Festus to head inside to see that the passengers wouldn’t do anything foolish out of panic or fear as he speaks with the Indians.
The Indians refuse to let anyone leave the train. Dillon tells them that troops from Fort Dodge will punish them if this continues. Still, they wouldn’t budge. The group wanted to find the two unknown men who sold them poisoned whiskey, causing the death of three braves and the blindness of five others. Dillon agrees to find the passengers, to which the Indians agree.
Meanwhile, Doc tends to Ada Coleman, the pregnant woman on board. He tells her husband, Scott, to keep quiet and prevent Ada from moving too much.
Dillon informs the passengers about the situation. Some insist the Indians may lie, intending to rob the train later. Dillon explains that the Indians could have derailed the train instead of putting up a barricade if that had been the case.
Despite Dillon’s order, the conductor and two men prepared themselves with guns, then started the train’s engine. The Indians cut off another tree to block the train’s movement. One started shooting, only for another to get hit by an arrow on his back. The Indians began firing arrows all over the place. Once the Indians leave, Dillon tells the passengers to get the windows sealed up. He also orders the conductor to warm up a pot of coffee and check the comfort of his passengers.
One of the passengers proposes to find the guilty men among the passengers to prevent the dreadful outcomes that may come. He suggests getting to know the passengers and their whereabouts in Denver. To begin, he introduces himself as Sam Wickes, a buyer of yearlings in the cow towns who spend an entire week in Denver. He vouched for another passenger, Mr. Pennigrath, who he spent dinner with almost every night. Dillon finds them discussing, then asks if that would mean turning the guilty men over to the Indians. Another passenger agrees, believing it’s right to do, considering they sold poisoned whiskey to the Indians. Dillon informs them that they have another option: him going to the next relay station and returning with soldiers.
Festus and Floyd Coleman set up a show to distract the Indians as Dillon leaves the train. However, some Indians found his footsteps in the snow and started following him.
Doc asked the Reverend to read a passage from the Bible in hopes of comforting the dying passenger from earlier. He also tells Scott to rest since the sedative should put Ada to sleep.
Realizing the trouble they made, the two guilty men find themselves trapped, especially with Sam questioning each passenger’s whereabouts.
On the other hand, the two sisters, Mae and Sarah, express their thoughts toward each other. Each sister envies the other for a thing or two. Still, they find the view in each other, happy that they’ve been together for decades.
The first part ends with Dillon running ahead of three Indians who tracked his footprints on the snow.
Full Story Line for Snow Train Part 2
The passengers, headed by Wickes and Billy, think of alternatives, including fighting the Indians with guns. Festus, the deputy-in-charge, insists they wait for Matt to decide what will happen once he returns.
Meanwhile, Matt heads to the telegraph station on foot, trying to escape from the three Indian braves following his tracks. He eventually managed to defeat them at an abandoned shack.
The Indians broke the train’s stove from outside, causing the passengers to panic. Festus tells everyone to stay calm, only for Clay Foreman and Sam Wickes to use the situation to their advantage by disarming Festus. Wickes makes the passengers vote whether they think the guilty men are on board. Floyd votes yes, while Scott, Al, and Bud hesitantly follow. Billy states he has to think about it, while Mae believes finding the truth would be enough. Regardless of the other passengers, Sarah and Donna, disagreeing, the votes overwhelm the others.
Matt ties the three Indian braves at an old shack as he continues to the telegraph station. He eventually arrives at the station, only to discover that the lines are dead and won’t get fixed until tomorrow. However, before the lines went down, the telegraph operator received an advisory from Cheyenne with the names of the two men who sold the poisonous whiskey. Matt borrows the telegraph operator’s horse and heads back to the train.
The passengers go back to questioning the whereabouts of one another. Two passengers, Al and Bud, claim they’re heading to Dodge to look for work. Although their story appears out of place at some point, Wickes thinks none of the passengers are above suspicion.
On the other hand, Ada is experiencing cramps and worrying that they may lose their baby again. Doc assures Scott and Ada that it’s not unusual to experience such, considering their situation.
Under Wickes’ pressure, Al and Bud eventually admit lying about their whereabouts. They confess to being Army deserters, insisting they had nothing to do with the whiskey and only sold the wagon they got to get train fare back home. The Indians suddenly start shooting fire arrows. A commotion ensues inside, leaving the passengers no choice but to surrender the Army deserters, who they believe are the guilty men.
Fortunately, Matt returns just in time to prevent the Indians from shooting the soldiers to death. Wickes argues that they threw those men because they had no choice. Matt reveals that he knows who sold the whiskey, ordering them to head back inside. While talking to the Indians, one of the guilty passengers shoots Matt, but Matt immediately retaliates, causing the other’s death. Scott and Floyd apparently sold the whiskey, not knowing it was poisonous.
Matt finds Scott, one of the passengers with a pregnant wife, turning himself over to the Indians. Scott tells the Indians that they bought the whiskey to make some money, not knowing it was poisonous. He further apologizes and asks to let the train move on with the innocent people in it. Matt convinces the Indians to let Scott stand trial, as he is his prisoner and a pregnant woman aboard needs attention in Dodge. If they wish to take Scott, there will be more bloodshed, and it isn’t something the Sioux, nor Dillon, would like to happen. The chief agrees, letting them go in peace.
Although the ordeal ended, the passengers made some decisions that would change their lives forever. Donna thinks it’s best to call their engagement off after seeing how Clay handled the crisis earlier. Matt gives Al and Bud the right to turn themselves in, which Al believes is better than what happened on the train. Mae has a feeling of deep shame after realizing her actions earlier. However, Sarah and Billy assure her that situations like this make people say things they don’t mean at all. Wickes argues that they had no choice. Matt tells him that he has a choice, and that’s what he chose.
Full Script and Dialogue of Snow Train Part 1
Can't you see what I'm talking about, Doc? Don't you understand? Coming up onto Mile High Turn, folks. Prettiest view in nine states. You see? That law feller didn't have to... Hush up and look at the view. Festus: I done saw it. He didn't have to call on you after Matthew got done talking and I got done doing my talking... Yeah, when you got done doing your talking, everybody in the courtroom including the prosecutor was stone deaf. Well, Doc, you get a free trip to Denver. Get to stay in a first-class hotel. Gotta look at the bright side. Well, the dark side is what I remember in the courtroom there. By the time he got through testifying for six hours. - Doing what? - Testifying. I didn't do no such a thing. All I done was tell him everything I knowed. Now, and even if I did, when a feller asks you who you are and all the things you been a doing as a Deputy United States Marshal leading up to when that feller got himself shot in the Long Branch, you gotta start clean back at the beginning, don't ya? See what I mean? Don't ever use one word when six'll muddle up everything. All right, I call. I'm short. I call too. A little straight. To the ace. This game is getting too rich for my blood. All right, how much am I short? An even 50 short. I hope that Dodge bank will be cashing your notes at the same speed you're making them up. Are you questioning my honesty? Oh, it never entered my mind. Now, who said all the buffalo disappeared? Instead of looking at buffalo, why don't you shuffle the cards? Enjoying the trip, ma'am? I don't remember a more enjoyable one. Well, if it's any consolation, your husband is winning. Who said he's my husband? 'Bout time for a little fuel myself. There's a nice view to your... Quite a view out there, ladies. Quite a view in here too, conductor. Pardon me, ladies. Are we on time, conductor? Pretty close, ma'am. We'll be in Dodge before dark tomorrow. Oh, Scott, look. Your ears are still bothering you. Just swallow hard, Mrs. Coleman. Relieves the pressure on the ears in a twinkling. Thank you. I'll be all right. I can ask that doctor if he has something for you to take. No, don't bother him now, Scott. Okay. Ain't that something, Mr. Pennigrath? Many times as I see it, I never get tired of it. Well, I understand, Mr. Lucas. The Lord's good handiwork. Oh, Sarah, look. - Oh. - Isn't that adorable? Isn't this view just marvelous? Well, Matt, for all the good I did at that trial, I could have sent a letter. Well, the verdict came out right, Doc. That's what counts. I'll tell you something. I had me a big hand in the way that thing come out. The way that feller was lying his blamed head off there... Will you quit stomping those feet? You're making me nervous. Well, they're cold, Doc. Well, 'course they're cold. It's always cold at this altitude in the wintertime. You look out there, it must be below zero. Look at the frost on the windows. It's cold. Well, how come my head's so hot then? Well, sit down and I'll explain it to you. See, the reason for that is that the cold air is cold and it stays down at the bottom around your feet, you see, and the hot air rises up around the hot air in your head. All right. You don't have to start to hoorah me. I'm not. I'm explaining it to you. I'm trying to. You see? When the stove heats up the air in the car, all the cold air stays down at the bottom around your feet, and then hot air rises up to the top, and your feet get cold, and your head stays warm. Well, how does the cold air know when it's cold and ought to stay down yonder and the hot air know that it's hot and ought to be rising up yonder? Oh, don't you know that? - No, do you? - Certainly. - Why? - I'm not gonna tell ya. Matthew, is he hoorahin' me? No, no, he's telling you the truth, Festus. Should have bought yourself some of these warm boots like we did. - Yeah. - Oh, no. Ain't nobody gonna talk me into spending my "pure dime" on no old pair of boots. Wait a minute. Your what? My "pure dime"! Of course, I don't expect no grouches full of hot air to know what that means. Maybe you'd be kind enough to explain it to me. Well, sure. No, wait a minute. I'll explain it to you. Per diem. It's not "pure dime." It's per diem, and that is a Latin expression, is what it is... - Well, of course. - And it means this. It means a daily allowance that is given to you for food and lodging and things like that, and any government agency pays that to a citizen when they render a service. Per diem! Exactly what I said. - Well? - Did you win? Uh, well, it cost me a bundle to find out a man who looks like a professional gambler probably is. Just how much did you lose? Uh, well, too much. Oh, Floyd. You just have no willpower when it comes to gambling. Oh, come on now. You ought to be more sensible. You work too hard for your money. Don't worry, Ada. Wild country out there. Hmm. I'll be it's good cougar huntin'. Look out ahead! We hit something. Doctor. Festus, stay here. I think I got one. Oh, for the love of heaven, what's happening? Hold your fire. Hold your fire. - There's Indians out there. - We have a right to defend ourselves. - That don't make it... - Hold your fire. Put the guns up. - Yes, sir. - The Indians aren't attacking. I don't want anybody firing unless they do. Marshal, the tracks ahead have been blocked. I know it. - Doc, how is she? - I don't know yet. What are they stopping the train for, Marshal? There's a hundred Indians out there. Doctor, you stay here and keep these people calm. Festus? - Put them rifles up. - All right, folks. You heard the Marshal. Just say in your seats and no more shootin'. Get back in your seats, all of ya. Let's find out what this is all about first. If it's about Indians, it ain't good. You can bet on that. All right, now just calm down. Appear to be Sioux, Matthew. Come on. I thought we were sitting ducks. Well, they're not shooting at anybody. If they'd wanted to wreck this train, they could have taken out a rail. Matthew. You know, I think I know who that is. Red Willow. That Sioux chief from Stone Ridge. Yeah. I might go out and have a talk with him, Festus. Get back inside and see that nobody gets nervous with a gun. I'll do it. Hey, Doc. Would you like a hand? I know, I know. Thank you. I'll let you know. Plenty of blankets and such in the baggage car, Doctor. Stone Ridge Reservation, huh? Tough bunch. Really tough. What do you reckon it is they want? No telling about Indians. Especially Sioux. You are Red Willow? Do you speak English? Maybe I can make you understand. You'll be making a big mistake if you don't get those trees off the track. They will stay! Anybody leaving train will be killed! If anything happens to any of the passengers aboard this train, you'll all be held accountable. The train will not move. Troops will be sent out from Fort Dodge to punish you. We are not afraid of soldiers. Well, it seems to me that it makes more sense for you and your father to come in to Dodge City with me and testify... The men will hang? If they're aboard this train, I'll find 'em. You have my word on it. They'll be charged with murder. If they're found guilty, they'll be punished. Some of braves with us. One lost his brother. Another, his father is blind. Talk to them. Tell them that I am as concerned as they are that the guilty men be found and punished. We will talk to others. Are you about six months along, maybe? Yeah, just about that, Doctor. Doctor, I... I lost my other baby. You lost the baby? A son, Doctor. A... A fine boy. Had blonde hair. It was curly. - It was my fault. - No, Scott... - Ada, it was my fault. - No, it wasn't, Scott. I took her with me in the Black Hills, prospecting, about two years back. But we were together, Scott, and that's the way I wanted it. It was my fault. We should have stayed put. Doc? Doc, you're not gonna leave her. You're gonna have to be very quiet. I don't want her moving around any at all. I'll be close. How's the woman? Well, she's carrying a baby, Matt, and I'm pretty concerned about her. And I'll tell you something. She'd be a lot better off almost anyplace else. Doc, we got quite a problem going. I want you to be in on it. What do they want, Marshal? They got some scalping on their minds, I'll bet. All right, folks, now just sit down and be calm, and I'll try to explain it you. Now, these are Sioux Indians out here, off the reservation. Now, they claim that two men sold 'em poisoned whiskey. Three of their braves are dead, and five of 'em are blind. That's horrible. What's that got to do with us, Marshal? Well, they claim that the two men got on this train in Denver. - They don't know who they are... - What do you mean don't know who they are? They want us to turn 'em over to 'em. Yeah, but how do we know they're telling the truth? Maybe they just want to board the train, do some robbing, get hold of the women? All right, that's enough now. I'm not gonna turn 'em over even if I knew who the men were. But I'll tell you one thing. All of you folks are gonna have some explaining to do about where you were just before you got on this train. Ha. What about right now, Marshal? If they'd wanted to hurt innocent people, they could have derailed the train instead of going to the trouble of putting up this barricade. Well, they're sure not settling for any standoff. What you're really saying is we're trapped here. We're gonna have to stall for a while, but I personally think that the reservation police are gonna be out looking for 'em. They might not miss anybody for days on that reservation. In the meantime, I'm gonna be talking some more with Red Willow. I fought Injuns in the army. I never heard no talk from them that made any sense. I better get back, Matt. I'm not sure you know what it means to be stranded up in this country this time of year, Marshal. When the sun goes down, so does the temperature. Drop of 40, 50 degrees during a single night is not unusual. We're just gonna have to make the best of it. I just wish the marshal had a chance to know what we're doing. I'm the conductor on this train, not the marshal. I'll take full responsibility on getting us out of here. I don't know how good this is gonna be, but it'll be nourishing. Thank you. Doc: That's it. They're getting guns. I hope you're not planning on using those. Just keeping 'em handy in case we need them, Doctor. Well, they're all coming back. I hope they've talked it over and decided to listen to reason. What if they ain't? I hate to think about that, Festus. There aren't more than a dozen guns on board here. If they attack, we don't have a chance. Want me to go with you? No, I think it's better if you stay here. Some of those folks are pretty scared. I'll... I'll do it, Matthew. Good luck to you. Go! Jump aboard, Marshal! Give me that gun! Get up here! Get the doctor. Right over here. Matthew? I heard some shooting. Give him a hand, Festus. Want him right here. - Easy. - Let me help you, Doc. Conductor? Was this your idea? The train is my responsibility. From now on, the comfort of the passengers is your only responsibility. Festus. Get me out of here! All right, everybody get down. All right, down. Stay down. I thought we had a chance before that shooting started. But I'm afraid it's past talking now. What'd he say, Matthew? Gave us until morning to turn over those two men. Supposing we don't? Well, they didn't say, but you... you don't have to use much imagination. If we don't freeze tonight, we die tomorrow. All right, get those windows sealed up. Use anything you can. Blankets, whatever you can find. I once spent three nights up here, Marshal, a rock slide blocking the tracks. A doctor took off two of my toes. We can get along without that kind of talk. There'll be help. When the train doesn't come in time, there'll be help, won't there? Mister, they call this a snow train. A two-day delay is not unusual. If we get caught in a blizzard or a rock slide crosses the tracks, they'll start looking for us after the second day. Maybe after three. Ask questions in Dodge, Marshal? You better start asking right now. And then what? And kick their worthless souls right out of this train. Well? - You got a better answer? - I think so. Warm up a pot of coffee and see to the comfort of your passengers. Marshal? I... I didn't think it was a good idea. I'm sorry. It's not important now. It's bad, ain't it, Doc? I don't know yet. Doc, I've been thinking about something. Yes? If the Almighty's making a choice... Mm-hmm. Her and that baby. That's kinda more important than me. See anything? I keep thinking I seen 'em at the edge of the trees, but it's only the shadows on the snow. Whether you see 'em out there or not, you can bet they're there. Yeah. Then of course there's my work at the orphanage, but... it's hardly work. Not with children. My whole point is you win, but it goes out just was fast. It doesn't seem to be real money. To plan ahead with, I mean. I got this fella Wickes hooked for plenty if we ever get out of here. Here you are, Matthew. You think you're gonna be warm enough now? Oh, yeah, I'll be fine, Festus. Thank you. Doc? How are they? Well, Matt, I know there's nothing you can do about this. They'll be a lot better off when they get someplace where it's warmer. Marshal, do you think maybe you could go up and talk to the Indians again? Let 'em know what's at stake. They don't care what's at stake. All they care about's the two men they're after. They gotta be colder than we are. I mean, out there in the open. Freezing by this time. No, no. The only thing they'll do is bury theirselves under that snow and them buffalo robes and hides just like they been doing on them hunting parties ever since they was old enough to toddle. That's what they'll do. Could we fight 'em? I mean, sneak out of the car. What men we have would catch 'em by surprise. You don't surprise the Sioux Indians. Marshal, it's 20 miles on foot. I don't see your chances of making it. It's only ten miles if I go by way of Glacier Pass. Oh, Festus, here. Take this. Matthew, you ought to have it. There's over a hundred Indians out there, Festus. If I don't make it, you're gonna need every gun you can get. When that moon starts coming out, Marshal, it's gonna be like daylight out on that snow. I know it. I plan to be long gone before the moon comes up. I imagine you've had some experience with Indians? - Some. - If they gave us till morning, what do you think they're gonna do? Fire the train. Get us out in the open, then point to any two of us. Skin us out, guilty or not. What do you mean? Skin out two of us. Tie us up to a tree and start cutting. Attention, everyone. There are two men aboard this train guilty of murder. Yet no one's been asking any questions. Don't you find that strange? Why is that? There's a strong possibility by morning this car may be burned, and we'll be out in the cold facing those Indians. Now, Mr., uh... Billy. Just Billy. As I was about to say, uh, Mr. Billy here knows very well that something dreadful can happen to innocent people if we just sit around here doing nothing. Now, I propose if anything is to happen that we try to see to it that it happens to the guilty parties. Except you don't know who they are. Well, my lad, that should not be too difficult to determine. Let's find out who we all are. What business we had in Denver. Where we stayed. If any of us had time to take an overnight trip to that reservation. Suppose I start it off. My name's Wickes. Sam Wickes. I buy yearlings in the cow towns. I spent the entire week in Denver. That can be proven. Stayed at the Crawford Hotel. In fact, Mr. Pennigrath and I had dinner most every night. Neither one of us had time to take a wagon, go up the Stone Ridge Reservation. I can vouch for Mr. Pennigrath, and I'm sure he can vouch for me. Now, who else wants to speak up? Mr. Wickes here can vouch for me. That's very true. We're narrowing it down. Narrowing what down? Simply trying to identify the guilty men by process of elimination. All right, what are you gonna do if you find 'em? Turn 'em over to the Indians? Well, at best, we're all pretty curious. I, for one, agree that anyone selling poisoned whiskey to the Indians deserves everything they get. She's absolutely right. I'll tell you this, Marshal. If it comes down to them or us, it ain't no choice at all. Well, we've got a choice, and I'm taking it. So happens up here at the next relay station there's a telegraph. Now, I figure I can get there in four or five hours. If I can, I can be back here by morning with soldiers. How are you gonna get off this train without them seeing you? Well, we just have to divert the Indians' attention for a few seconds while I jump off the back end. My deputy Festus Haggin and Mr. Coleman are gonna help me with that. Uh, Doc? Better tell the folks not to pay no never mind what we're fixin' to do out here. We're just gonna put on a show for them Indians out yonder. Come on. Let go of me now! Let go of me now! Put it down! Now put it down! Marshal told you to stay in the passenger car with the rest of them passengers. Go on now. The conductor said you wanted to see me. Yes, Reverend. Reverend, it's kinda touch and go with this fella over here. I think you can help him. He thinks he's dying. He's asked for you. Is he dying? Well, I'm not sure. He may pull through. But I'd like you to comfort him. Doctor. We could all be dead by tomorrow. I can't go that far. Why not? I work the trains. Confidence man. Yes. Regardless of that... you can be of service to him. To cheat people out of their money is one thing. To deceive a man who's meeting his maker? I'm not asking you to deceive him. I'm asking you to read to him. - Read? - From the Bible. What? I want you to read a passage from the Bible to him. But I... No. Might do you some good. Look, I just carry it around. You never read it? No. I don't go that far. Think I said that. There's a few things I could say to you. There's no time for that. Now, you go over there and you do what any decent man would do. The 23rd. 23rd Psalm. Coleman. Coleman. Yes? Your wife will sleep now with that sedative I gave her, and I want you to go in the other car and get yourself some rest. I'll let you know if there's any change. Thank you, Doctor, for everything you're doing. You go on now. I'll watch her close. I've got a lot to account for, Reverend. Well, we all do. We all do. "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." It was a stupid thing we done. We're gonna get caught. Sure as we're sitting here, we're gonna get caught. We will if you keep talking like that. Don't you understand? We just gotta act natural. How can you act natural with that Wickes fella asking all them questions about where we been and what we been doing? He ain't asking 'em now. And if he starts up again, we just stick to our story. He'll get started again. You can bet your life on that. Once the sun comes out and the marshal ain't back with them soldiers, he'll get something started. Look, I keep telling ya, don't lose your head. He can't prove nothin', Al. Boy, I wish we hadn't done it. Oh, my, I wish we hadn't done it. Well, I wish we hadn't either. But wishin' ain't gonna help anything. Just get your mind off it. - How? - I don't know. Think about something else. Hunting or girls or how good it's gonna be when we get back home again. Anything except them Indians. The moon is up. Snow looks like frosting on a cake. It's so peaceful. Strange. Here we sit, the two of us, time slipping away. This moment and perhaps a little more may be all that we have left in our lives. It's not real. There in the trees, men are waiting. Men we don't even know who might kill us. I used to wonder where and when... where my life would end. And here I am. And in a hundred years of imagining... all the possibilities of where, how... I never dreamed it would be here like this. Are you afraid? I was. And I think I might be again, but not now. I think that's strange too. I think I ought to tell you, Mae... I've always envied you. Envied me? You were always so pretty. You had so many beaus. - When we were in school... - Oh, my. And I always envied you. You were so strong and clever and... you never seemed to need a single soul. How many years have we known one another? 50 years? More like 60. Oh, Sarah. I'm so glad we're together. So am I. I wonder about the marshal. Could he have gotten through? Could he? I don't know. ♪♪
Full Script and Dialogue of Snow Train Part 2
Can't you see what I'm talking about, Doc? Don't you understand? Coming up onto Mile High Turn, folks. Prettiest view in nine states. You see, that law feller didn't have to... Hush up and look at the view. Look out ahead! We hit something! You all right? It's nice of you to care. Help! Doctor! Festus, stay here. I think I got one. Hold your fire. Put the guns up. Yes, sir. The Indians aren't attacking. I don't want anybody firing unless they do. Marshal, the tracks ahead have been blocked. I know it. - Doc, how is she? - I don't know yet. You'll be making a big mistake if you don't get those trees off the track. The will stay! Anybody leaving train will be killed. Are you about, uh, six months along maybe? Yeah, just about that, Doctor. Doctor, I... I lost my other baby. If they're aboard this train, I'll find 'em. You have my word on it. - The men will hang? - They'll be charged with murder. If they're found guilty, they'll be punished. We will talk to others. - What do they want? - They got some scalpin' on their minds... Now just sit down and be calm and I'll try to explain it to you. Now, these are Sioux Indians out here. Now, they claim that two men sold 'em poisoned whiskey. Three of their braves are dead and five of 'em are blind. What's that got to do with us, Marshal? Well, they claim that the two men got on this train in Denver. They don't know who they are. What do you mean, don't know who they are? They want us to turn 'em over to 'em. Yeah, but how do we know they're telling the truth? Maybe they just wanna board the train, do some robbin', get hold of the women. All right, that's enough now. I'm not gonna turn 'em over even if I knew who the men were. But I'll tell you one thing. All of you folks are gonna have some explaining to do about where you were just before you got on this train. But you're not settling for any standoff? What you're really saying is we're trapped here. I'm not sure you know what it means to be stranded up in this country this time of year, Marshal. When the sun goes down, so does the temperature. Drop of 40, 50 degrees during a single night is not unusual. We're just gonna have to make the best of it. They're getting guns. I hope you're not planning on using those. Just keeping 'em handy in case we need them, Doctor. Give me that gun! Festus! Aah! Aah! What's happening? All right, everybody get down. Stay down. What'd he say, Matthew? Gave us until morning to turn over those two men. I once spent three nights up here, Marshal, a rock slide blocking the tracks. The doctor took off two of my toes. We can get along without that kind of talk. There'll be help. When the train doesn't come in time, there'll be help, won't there? Mister, they call this a snow train. A two-day delay is not unusual. Ask questions in Dodge, Marshal? You better start asking right now. And then what? And kick their worthless souls right out of this train. Festus, here. Take this. There's over a hundred Indians out there. If I don't make it, you're gonna need every gun you can get. Marshal, it's gonna be like daylight out on that snow. I know it. I plan to be long gone before the moon comes up. Now who else wants to speak up? Mr. Wickes here can vouch for me. That's very true. We're narrowing it down. Narrowing what down? Simply trying to identify the guilty men by process of elimination. All right, what are you gonna do if you find 'em? Turn 'em over to the Indians? I'll tell you this, Marshal. If it comes down to them or us, it ain't no choice at all. Well, we've got a choice, and I'm taking it. So happens up here at the next relay station there's a telegraph. I figure I can get there in four or five hours. If I can, I can be back here by morning with soldiers. How you gonna get off this train without them seeing you? Well, we just have to divert the Indians' attention for a few seconds while I jump off the back end. He thinks he's dying. He's asked for you. I can't go that far. Why not? I work the trains. Confidence man. Regardless of that... you go over there and you do what any decent man would do. We're gonna get caught. Sure as we're sitting here, we're gonna get caught. We will if you keep talking like that. I wonder about the marshal. Could he have gotten through? Mr. Coleman. How's your wife? Well, the doctor says all right. He's not saying much about the baby's chances, though. Oh, I'm sure everything's gonna be fine. Don't you worry. Thank you, ma'am. Ma'am. What? He called me ma'am. What should he call you? There's a way of saying ma'am to a woman that doesn't remind her another year's gone by. Today, in fact. What? My birthday. Oh. You, uh, thought I'd forgotten, huh? No, I wanted you to pick it out yourself in Dodge. Diamond ring. What's wrong with a plain gold band? Only if you'd, uh... marry me. Well, here we all are. Not knowing whether that marshal's dead or not. Not knowing whether the sun's rising is going to be warming our dead bodies in the morning. Now, you just hold on there, Mister. Marshal Dillon told you to hush that kinda talk. Oh, come now, Deputy. You saying we can't even talk among ourselves? I ain't saying that at all. Thank you, Deputy. I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make here. But we've got about two hours till first light. It seems to me essential we examine our alternatives. Tell me, Mr., uh... Billy. Only name I got. Well, Mr. Billy, you seem to be the type of man who knows about this country we're in. I think we should hear from you. Yeah. Well, come day, we could all just go rushing out there with guns and fight. Now, that's one thing. I'm willing to fight. - So is Bud here. - You bet. Well, that's just what they'll be expecting. They'll have both sides of the train covered. And whoever isn't just gunned down'll be... Well, if them Sioux live up to their reputations. Whoever's left alive'll wish they hadn't been. You must be exaggerating, Mr. Billy. You can ask that deputy standing right there. Looks like he's accustomed to bedding down on hard ground. The only thing I got to say is that Marshal Dillon's gonna get back, and when he gets back, he's gonna do all the deciding around here. If he gets back. That's a pretty big if. Let's find 'em and throw 'em off. Well, what are we, animals? Acting like this? Why, we're not even sure the men those Indians are looking for are really on this train. We only have the word of those savages. Mister... if you got any more of your blabbering to do to get these folks all worked up, just keep it to yourself. Is that right, Deputy? Just one more peep out of you and I'm gonna slap some irons on you and put you under arrest. You hear me? I think you're exceeding your authority, Deputy. First they break the windows so we freeze to death. Now we don't even have a stove. All right, everybody, just be easy now. Stay calm. You're the one that's gonna stay calm. Foreman, get his gun. Don't do it, Clay. Stop him. Stop him? Those Indians are still takin' scalps. Has he got handcuffs? Chain him to the seat. Mr. Wickes, you're putting yourself outside the law. Maybe so, ma'am, but disarming a deputy marshal calls for a jail term or a fine. Now, that surely wasn't necessary. It certainly wasn't. I don't like it any better than you do, ma'am, but when a group of people are facing death, they have a right to determine their own fate. Now, perhaps the two men the Indians are accusing are not aboard this train. Fine, well, and good. We'll all go down together. But I propose we decide among ourselves that they are aboard here. Now, let's have a show of hands. I agree. You've got your wife to think about, brother. That makes three. I consider this as valid as a court of law. As Mr. Wickes says, people do have a right to determine their own fate. You two boys disagreeing with us? Billy? I'll have to think on it some more. How do you make your living, mister? Yeah, who are you? Son, that ain't none of your business. You two ladies have a choice. No. Mae. I think the truth should be told. That's all. Miss? The vote is still overwhelming. What happens when you come up with two men that can't account for their time or their business? I don't believe those two men deserve to be aboard this train. All right. Let's get on with it. "I had fainted, unless I believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord." Easing a man's mind sometimes can be the... the difference between life and death. I just felt immoral reading those psalms. Except you weren't. Far from it. You know... I don't know how to say this, but... if we get back to Dodge, I'll just board another train. And I'll just go on. Do what I've always done. I guess I'm just a little man. Just a very little man. But when you are small, I mean... I don't mean physically. I mean just small. Well, you just do what you can. I mean... to live is the thing, isn't it? Well, I never judge anybody. Thank you. For what you've done. The name's Dillon. I'm a U.S. Marshal. The snow train was attacked by Indians 20 miles down the track. Get on the key. We gotta get help out there. Marshal, I can't. The line's dead. I just been sitting here hoping it'd get patched up. What are the chances? Well, not very good. Last I heard there was a blizzard coming in. Lines are probably down. Ain't likely it'll get fixed up before tomorrow. Tomorrow's gonna be too late. Way too late. Sure don't understand this. They're after a couple of men that sold 'em bad whiskey. So that's what this is about. I got a wire here from Cheyenne. Come in yesterday when the lines was still up. It... It's got the names of two men on that train you're supposed to pick up. You gotta give me your horse. My horse? Marshal, I live 11 miles from here. At least you're safe, mister. Those 25 people on that train are gonna die unless I can do something. All right, Marshal. But it don't look like to me you're in any shape to go over that pass again. I'll make it. You might need this. Thank you. Good luck. You say what's in that jug is homemade, but that's not the question. It didn't poison you, did it? Seems to me you might do a little selling on the side at the Stone Ridge Reservation. I make it for the train crew and that's all. I think I can bear that statement out. All right, all right, let's not get emotional. We haven't heard from you. Gonna be hearing from the marshal when he gets back. Billy? Oh, I've traded whiskey with the Indians from time to time. Except not in this case. Can you prove that? Nope, I can't. Been working a claim up beyond Boulder. My partner bought me out for the price of a ticket to St. Louis. Spend the rest of my days there. My sister, she runs a boardin' house there. Sure ain't nailin' anything down, old timer. All kinda loose. Kinda life I lead, son. Well, now. I don't believe we've heard from you two. Well, his name's Al. Mine's Bud. Just traveling into Dodge. Looking for work. Where you've been, I believe, is what we're more interested in. We hunted some. I mean, we worked a ranch here and there for stake money. Sure ain't nailin' anything down, young timer. Kinda loose. You boys board the train at Denver? That's right. Working at a ranch near there? - That's ri... - No, we... You are traveling together. Listen, we ain't hardly old enough to drink, let alone sell whiskey. I mean, if you're traveling together, you must know where you been and what you been doing. Workin' ranches. Your answer too? Yeah, sure. Minute ago you said no. You boys better get together with the facts. Or the lack of 'em. We've been doing a lot of things. I think you two should be more specific if a vote is to be taken here. You'll be voting yourself right into jail, is what you'll be doing. Frankly, Deputy, I wish I were in a nice, warm cell in Dodge this very moment. Look, we don't have to answer any more questions. 'Course you don't. You're entitled to silence. What was the name of the ranch you boys were working at? It's crazy what's going on here. Look, maybe... maybe me and Al will vote for, uh, the gambler there. Not 'cause he's guilty, but maybe we just don't like him. I'm going in to stay by my wife. You got a vote here too, young man. Lot to lose, a wife with child. Well, I'm not pointing a finger at anybody. I know how that boy feels. I'm sure we all do. But if any of us are gonna get out of here alive, we've got to keep going. None of us are above suspicion. Here, now. Now, just be quiet. - What's happened? What's happened? - No, no, no, no, no. We have to keep you warm. Nothing's happened. Ada. Ada. Gonna lose the baby... No, nothing like that. No. She's having cramps. That's not unusual under these circumstances. Don't you worry. Don't you worry. I have made so many mistakes. Well, if you can admit that at your age, you're way ahead of a lot of us older folks. She wanted us to settle on some land. Have sons. Watch them grow with the land. I was looking for something else. Now I don't even know what it was. My father, he... he wanted me to stay with the land he worked. Almost 40 years he worked that land to make it pay. I just... just walked away from it. Then he was gone. Took some years to know what he meant. Way he was always saying a man that was buried on his own land had the peace of knowing he was leaving more behind than just his bones. Sounds like your father was a smart man. I wish there was some way we could be born smart. No, that wouldn't be very good. Life wouldn't be very interesting. It's the mistakes we make... it's the low points. They make us feel good when we're right. Doctor? What in thunder's going on in there? - Nothing. - Well, listen to it. Well, they're just arguing if the marshal's coming back. Don't leave her, Doctor. Please. I don't know what you're so upset about. Everyone else has accounted for their whereabouts... You're crazy, Wickes. Do you really think that my brother and me would be carting a pregnant woman around an Indian reservation selling whiskey? No one is accusing you, mister. We're just trying to find out your whereabouts before you boarded the train. Mr. Wickes, why don't you stop all this? Why don't you leave Mr. Coleman here alone? I'm not about to leave anyone alone till I find out who's guilty. I'm not about to die for someone else. Are you, Reverend? Oh, I don't wanna die at all, but I believe what you're trying to do here is wrong. You know what I believe? I believe we're running out of time. They're coming. Billy, help me get loose here! Now, the way I see it, there are only two men aboard this train who can't account for their whereabouts. And I'm not about to die to save their hides. Now, don't you think it's about time you two ceased your lyin'? - We told the truth. - You can't pin this on us. We had nothin' to do with it. The morning I boarded the train in Denver, I saw you and your friend drive a wagon into the livery at the railroad depot, and there you sold that horse and wagon. All right. All right, we lied. We lied. But we had to. We're on the run from the Army. It's true. We're deserters. Army deserters. We couldn't tell anybody, or they'd arrest us. You gotta believe us. We didn't sell no whiskey to no Indians. What about the wagon? We sold it. We stole it so we could get train fare back home again. - We don't believe ya! - Oh, please. Please. Get some water. Quickly. Get your guns out, everybody. Get your heads down. Please! Please! We're deserters! Army deserters! There they are! They're all yours! Hold your fire, or I'll kill the chief! All right, you boys, back to the train. All of you. It was our lives or theirs, Marshal. Yeah, except I know who the men are, and it's not them. Now, get back in the car with the others. All right, go on. I know who the men are. They will be punished. We... didn't know the... whiskey was bad. Brother and me... bought it from somebody else. We never wanted... - Matt, you all right? - Yeah, fine, Doc. - Well, wait a minute. What's that? - It's all right. Never mind. Everything's all right. Will the train be moving? It'll be moving. I love you, Ada. I... love you very much. Scott, you don't have to tell me that. Yes, I do. It's something I want you to remember. Where's this Scott Coleman? He's in the baggage car with his wife, I think. Hold on just a minute, mister. You're just about to see the inside of that warm jail you been talking about. My brother and I bought that whiskey... We... thought we could make some money selling it on the reservation. We... didn't know it could hurt anybody. My... My brother's dead. You... you can kill me, but please let the train move on. There are innocent people. My wife, baby. Tell your father that I'm sorry for what's happened. I'm sad for his dead warriors. But this man is my prisoner. The other man he sought is dead. There's a woman on the train carrying a baby that needs attention in Dodge. If you try to take this man from me, there will be more bloodshed. Tell your father I think the Sioux have more honor than to let innocent people suffer. My father says... as the sun melts the snow, so too melts the anger in the Sioux. You are man of honor. Take your people. And go. In peace. You're gonna be all right, Ada. Isn't she, Doc? I think so. Doc? You know something, Doc? Between you and that preacher, I got a feeling I'm gonna make it. You bet you will. Got through, Marshal. He'll send the wire onto Dodge. Tracks are clear, Marshal. Steam's up. All right, why don't you go on and tell the passengers we'll be moving on? Yes, sir. I ain't gonna have a bit of trouble firing, Matthew, if Hap there can run the engine. All right, I'll go and tell Doc we're just about ready. Be underway again in a matter of minutes, folks. Well, soon be in Dodge. Picking out that ring. I don't think so, Clay. I'll be going on to St. Louis. Alone. Alone? Well now, look, Donna, I know you're upset, but that's understandable. You'll feel better when we get in Dodge. No. No, Clay. I won't. It's those boys, isn't it? All right, maybe we were wrong. But we had to do something. I thought I knew you. And then I saw the look on your face and the others' when you threw them off the train. I'm sorry. Yeah. So am I. Anything I can get for ya, Reverend? Oh, no, no, no. Thank you. I should think in your line of work you'd know that by heart. Yeah, I see what you mean. Well, I did hear it said once that a man could read this particular book for his whole life and... still find something new on every page every time he opens it. Like this for instance. I was just reading in, uh, Matthew. "In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." You make a valid point, Reverend. I mean, we were about one minute away from being skinned alive. Now, you think about that. Don't remind me. How much stockade time you think we'll be putting in? Well, Marshal giving us the right to turn ourselves in'll make it easier. But I don't care how much time it is. Nothing'll ever scare me from here on in. I have a feeling of deep shame. Well, you needn't, ma'am. It all seems so unreal. I think you say things you just don't mean because it's so hard to collect your thoughts. Well, don't you even think about 'em, ma'am. I've seen plenty of like situations in my lifetime. The animal just comes out in a man. We're all of the animal breed, you might say. And it don't seem likely that the nature of things'll be changing any time soon. Peg your pardon, ma'am. We'll be leaving any minute, Mr. Wickes. Fine. You might ask Mr. Foreman if he'd like to continue our game. We had no choice, Marshal. None at all. You had a choice, mister. And you made it. ♪♪
Behind the Scenes of Part 1
The train used in this episode is the 1880 train, which travels between Hill City and Keystone, South Dakota.
Between Denver and Dodge City, there are no mountains, only flat plains.
Behind the Scenes of Part 2
John Parker’s musical score for the episode received a Western Heritage Wrangler Award.
After the credits, all the glass window panes previously destroyed in the train cars appeared miraculously replaced in the final scene.
Looking for More Gunsmoke Episodes?
Whether alone or with friends, try Gunsmoke as your next show to binge-watch. It is a classy American Western television series on the CBS network that aired for 20 seasons from 1955 to 1975. Snow Train Part 1 and 2 are the 6th and 7th episodes of Season 16.
You can find more about any of the Gunsmoke episodes here.