gunsmoke the warden
Gunsmoke Western TV
The Lone Writer  

The Warden Full Episode – Gunsmoke, Season #09, Episode #33

A wandering salesman encounters Bull Foot, an Indigenous man who peddles vegetables. Their encounter takes an unexpected turn when a squaw is traded for goods, only to abscond into the embrace of Festus, pilfering his mule in the process. Eventually, she returns home and is passed on to the next buyer. Gunsmoke The Warden aired on May 16, 1964.

For more details on the plot and interesting trivia about “The Warden,” feel free to explore or watch the full episode below.

Table of Contents

Watch the Full Episode of Gunsmoke The Warden

Watch the full episode of The Warden:

Gunsmoke The Warden Cast

These actors performed in the Gunsmoke episode titled The Warden:

  • James Arness as Matt Dillon
  • Milburn Stone as Doc
  • Amanda Blake as Kitty
  • Ken Curtis as Festus
  • George Kennedy as Stark
  • Anthony Caruso as Bull Foot
  • Julie Parrish as Cool Dawn
  • Christopher Connelly as Trainey (as Chris Connelly)
  • Ollie O’Toole as Telegrapher
  • Jimmie Booth as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Gary Epper as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Fred McDougall as Freddie (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Warden

A traveling salesman crosses paths with Bull Foot (played by Anthony Caruso), an Indigenous man who primarily deals in vegetables. Trouble brews when goods are exchanged for a woman, and she escapes into the arms of Festus, stealing his mule before returning home, awaiting the next buyer.
Meanwhile, Warden Stark (portrayed by George Kennedy) and a young man named Trainey (played by Christopher Connelly) strike a deal with Bull Foot and his daughter, Cool Dawn (played by Julie Parrish). However, it soon becomes clear that Bull Foot is deceptive, selling his daughter only for her to escape and return, ready to be sold again.
As Warden’s wagon passes Festus’s, Cool Dawn seeks refuge with Festus, but she flees, stealing his mule. Festus reports the incident to Marshal Dillon, leading them to Bull Foot’s residence. Upon their arrival, they find the mule and encounter Warden and Trainey, seeking revenge. Shots are fired, leading to the arrest of Warden and Trainey, although they are later released under the condition of leaving Dodge.
Despite the warning, Warden returns to Bull Foot’s house and kidnaps Cool Dawn. Through ensuing events, the dark past of Warden Stark is revealed. He was once in charge of a reformatory school in Ohio, where a tragic fire claimed the lives of thirty boys, as well as his wife and child. Wanted in Ohio for these deaths, Warden’s actions with Cool Dawn shed light on his untrustworthy nature.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Warden


What are we stopping here for?

You objecting, are you?

No, sir.

Take a bucket and find
the horses some water.


Do you speak English?

Yes, I learned to speak English
at the Benson Mission School

and from the United
States Cavalry.

Is it all right if the boy
waters the horses?

Pump's around back.

That girl, is she your kid?

She's either my
daughter or the devil's.

She's a willful,
headstrong girl.

She reminds me of my missus.

Back east?

She's dead.



the Indians have a
legend that says, uh,

a campfire never burns warm

without a woman to
throw a log on the fire.

Let's have a drink.

He said it was all right if I
got some water for the horses.

Help yourself.

My name's Trainey.

I'm Cool Dawn.

Is he your father?

The Warden?

No, uh-uh, he's just...

Well, I'm just with him.

He ain't no kin of mine.

Good, because he
looks like a mean one.

Aw, no, you've got him wrong.

The Warden's
been real nice to me.

You know, if it
wasn't for him, well...

I just know you've got
him wrong, that's all.


But he sure looks
like a mean one.

A plow ain't exactly what I need

most around here.

It's new.

You know, whiskey is green.

You're drinking it.

I... I could use
some more harness.

I'm short on harness.


Yeah, I think it's too bad

you and me can't do
no business together.

All right, I'll throw
in some harness.

♪ Cornbread and buttermilk
and good ol' greasy greens ♪

♪ Vittles such as
them is part of me ♪

♪ Cornbread and buttermilk
and good ol' greasy greens ♪

♪ They'll put some
color on your bones ♪

♪ Cornbread and buttermilk
and good ol' greasy greens... ♪

Howdy, gents!


Please help me!

Help you?

I don't know what you mean.

Come back here,
you little wildcat!

Don't let him get me, please.

He'll kill me.

Whoa, now.

You better back off, mister,

unless you want to get a
hole blowed right through you.

That woman belongs to me,
and she's going on that wagon.

I don't belong to nobody.

Appears like she thinks
I'm prettier than you are.

Can't say but what I
don't agree with her.

I'll teach her what to think
when I get ahold of her.

What you're fixing do is
climb right back on that wagon

and learn that team
which-a way is west.

Now, go on. Get.

We'll be meeting again.

You bit into this
plug real easy,

but chewing it's
gonna be little tougher.

Us Haggens is born with teeth.

Now, you're gonna
feel the next one, mister.

Now, what in the tarnation

have you went and
got me into, anyhow?

You are a good friend.

Thank you.

Well, you're... you're
welcome, I'm sure, Miss, uh...?

Just nobody.

Well, where do you live at?

Around Dodge City.

You sure called the
right shot that time,

'cause that's just
where I'm a-headin' for.

Golly Bill, I can't say I
blame that feller too much

when you come right down to it.

Not wanting you
to go fleeing away.

Are you planning to
drive straight through?

All the way to Dodge?

Oh, no.

No, I was figuring to
camp someplace tonight

and hit Dodge
around noon tomorrow.

Get an early start.


Giddyap, Blue. Ready?

♪ Cornbread and buttermilk
and good ol' greasy greens... ♪

♪ Cornbread and buttermilk... ♪

Well, now, I can't see

what's so gol-dang
funny about that.

A man gets his mule stole

right out from underneath him,

and the law sits
here laughing at him.

Well, Festus, when a...
when a Haggen comes in here

and tells me that he was
outsmarted by some young girl,

I just have to think
that's funny, that's all.


They wasn't no
outsmarting to it.

What she done is
just take advantage

of my gentleman
attitude toward females,

that's what she done.

Sounds to me like maybe she
misunderstood your attitude.

Well, it ain't my fault
if she's a flutter-head.

You know, I was a-fixin'
to camp for the night

'fore I even knowed
that she existed.

I'll tell you,

it sounds like, uh, Cool
Dawn, old Bull Foot's daughter.

You... you mean that old Indian

that peddles them
vegetables around town?

Well, I'll swan, I didn't
know he had a daughter.

Well, she doesn't
get into town much.

She stays out there
and does the hard work,

and he comes in here
and does the selling.

Well, I'm ever so much
obliged to you, Matthew.

You, uh, you want
to sign a complaint?


Haggens don't never
file no complaint.

What I'm a-fixin' to do
is to sashay out yonder

and just kind of
renew acquaintances.

Well, good; I'll
go along with you.

Wait a minute, Matthew,

I ain't dealt you
into this hand.

Well, yeah, but old Bull Foot's

pulled a lot of tricky
schemes before,

and if this is another one of
them, I want to know about it.

Well, you're bound
determined to tag along,

ain't nothing I can
do about it, I reckon.


Matthew, you was right as rain.

There he is.

You better disappear now.

If you say so.

Just don't make
a fool of yourself.

Hello, Marshal.

Hello, Bull Foot.

Bull Foot, this is
Festus Haggen here.


I suppose you were
wondering about your mule.

Yeah, I was wondering about him

till I found him in your corral.

Uh, I was keeping him for you.

He's a spirited animal.

Uh, he's...

he's ferocious.


Uh, my daughter
couldn't control him.

He ran away with her.

Ah, fiddle.

Plumb to here?

Eh, it was luck.

Just pure luck she was
able to keep him headed...

more or less in this direction.

It was a terrible
experience for her.

Especially right
after that other.

What other?

Two men came by
and abducted her.

Wanted to take
her west with them.

If it wasn't for Mr. Festus
and the-the loan of his mule,

she could never
have gotten away.

I think we better go inside.

Uh, have a seat, Marshal.

- Can I get you some coffee?
- No, no, thanks.

Bull Foot, did you know
either of these men?

No, they were just a
couple of foreigners.

Uh... uh, one was
named, uh, Trainey,

and he called the
other one "Warden."

Well, how'd they happen
to get away with Cool Dawn?

Oh, th-they stopped
here for water,

and, uh... uh, my daughter,

being the kind,
gentle girl that she is,

offered to guide them
to Walnut Crossing.

When they got there,
they wouldn't let her go.

Now, Bull Foot...

you remember last year
when you trained that dog

to come back every time

you'd send him
off with a stranger?

Now, Marshal...

You sold that dog seven
times in four months,

and he came back every
time but the last one.

Why, you old scudder!

You... you must have
some Haggen blood in you.

Whatever happened to that hound?

Well... I heard that, uh,

the last fella I sold him
to fed him deer liver.

And I was raising him
on cornmeal porridge.

Would you have come back?

Bull Foot, you
wouldn't by any chance

be trying some kind
of a scheme like that

with Cool Dawn, would you?

Marshal! My own daughter?

I swear by the hogans
of my ancestors...

Hogans of your ancestors?

They were Pueblo!

They never saw a
hogan in their lives.

The principle is the same.

Now, I'm not saying
that you're doing that,

but if you are, you
better cut it out.

That scheme with the
dog was bad enough.

Come on out here,
you flea-bit old swindler!

All right, throw down the guns!

There's three of us in
here got you covered!

Throw the rifle down!

Well, you said
we'd meet up again.

You always announce yourself

by putting a bullet through
somebody's window, do you?

That old skinflint there
double-crossed me.

It was a put-up job
between him and that girl.

What are you talking about?

I gave him a plow and a
harness and a pair of blankets

and a keg of whiskey for her.

What plow?

What blankets?

I bought her from him.

And she run off on me, just
like he know'd she would.

Let me tell you
something, mister:

You don't buy human beings.

And when you come
calling, you don't put a bullet

through the window to say hello.

Now, we're going on into
town; get on your horses.

Well, go on, get started.

Bull Foot?

Uh, I'm a victim of
circumstances, Marshal.

- Uh...
- Victim of circumstance?!

Oh, I only was
thinking of you, girl.

I-I thought the plow would
make your work easier.

Hogans of your ancestors!

No! No, not that!


I knew you could
get away from them.

They taught you some bad
tricks around those army posts.

If a candle maker ever
comes around here,

I'm gonna sell you for tallow.

I-I was only having
your interest at heart.

You only had larceny at heart.

I am sorry I scratched you.

It's nothing... Unless
it turns poisonous.

Festus, are you
actually trying to tell me

you've got second sight?

Why, Miss Kitty, I
wouldn't lie to you

for the whole dang world
and the moon throwed in.

I-I got the gift straight
from my grandma,

on my mama's side.

She had it real good.

Oh, wait a minute.

Why, I could tell you things
that happened back in them hills

that'd just make your
hair curl and sizzle;

make your eyeballs just
roll backwards in your head...

if I was a mind to.

Well, don't be a mind to.

- Kitty, hi.
- Hello, Doc. -Oh, howdy, Doc.

- How about a beer?
- Yeah, sure want one.

Freddie, bring Doc a beer.

Festus, I hear that
you just drove a wagon

all the way in from Pueblo.

Yeah. Why?

Well... what'd you do, lose a
bet or did you steal a wagon?

Well, now, that's harder
than I'd slam a door.

You know, the
trouble with you is,

you're just like Miss Kitty...

You're just an
unbelievin' feller.

I'm not a feller.

Well, I know that.

I drove this wagon in
for a friend of mine, uh...

partly because it was my fault
that he couldn't do it hisself.

Why was that?

Well, we run into each
other there in Pueblo, and...

got to hoo-rawin' around

and, uh, Indian rassling, and...

this and that, and...

well, how was I to know
that his leg was so brittle?

Just snapped, huh?

Just like that.

Well, so he'll be up and
around in a couple of weeks

on crutches, but...

I figured the most
least thing I could do

was to make his run for him.

Well, sure, that's nice of you.

You got fine instincts.

Well, I'm a Haggen, Doc.

No other trouble on
the trip, of course?

Oh, not a bit.

The way I heard it, some
half-grown girl stole your mule.

She was full-grow'd,

and she didn't steal
him, I lent him to her.

Just to kind of get a
howdyin' going betwixt us.

You know, so I could
see her now and again.

By golly, that is
using your head.

Well, I got a brain or two, Doc.

- How are you, Matt?
- Good. -Matthew.

- You want a beer?
- No, no, thanks.

Listen, if you got
a brain or two,

you better put it to work
thinking about old Bull Foot.

He'll have you in a harness
out in front of a plow.

Aw, not on your
old tintype, he won't.

Us Haggens ain't
built for no plowin',

in front of or behind.

Say, how's your
prisoners this morning?

Well, I had to turn them loose.

I didn't really have
anything on them.

I hope they've learned a lesson.

Aw, that old yahoo
that called hisself Stark.

He ain't never gonna
learn nothin' from nobody.

Yeah, he's a pretty
hard case, all right.

That name Warden
Stark sticks in my mind,

but I just can't place it.

I sent a couple of telegrams
back east to check on him.

Well, why don't you ask
Festus; he's got fine instincts.

And second sight.

He does?

Well, now, I don't
need no second sight

to tell you that that
Stark is a bad feller!

And I mean a real bad one.


Well, at least nobody's
bothered anything.

Well, I'll pack
up the gear and...

get the wagon hitched up

and we'll make some
miles before dark.

Just unsaddle your horse, boy.

No point in hitching
up; we ain't leavin' yet.

We ain't?

Nope. We're riding back tonight
and settle up with that Indian.

Warden, the marshal said if
we went back to Dodge he'd...

he'd make it real bad for us.

I ain't worried
about that marshal.

Well, supposing he finds out.

I mean, about... the others.

We ain't gonna deal
with the marshal,

we're gonna deal
with that Indian.

Look, that was... that
was a bad thing we done,

taking her like that.

Why don't we just forget it
and, and... and move on west,

like the marshal said.

Something of mine
gets taken away from me,

I aim to get it back.

She don't belong to you, though.

Not really.

The marshal said
you can't buy people.

You sure can get sweet
on 'em, though, can't you?

I was just saying what's right.

Are you saying it's
right for that old Indian

to cheat us the way he done,
him and that whelp of his?

You saying it's right for us
to let him get away with it?

It ain't gonna break us.

What's mine is mine, and
I'm aiming to get it back.

The girl, you mean.

Her or my belongings,
one way or the other.

And anybody that
figures to stop me

is just asking to get broke.

Oh, Warden, it ain't worth it.

Look, forget it.

Forget it, huh?

Like maybe you wish I'd forget
about that other time, too, huh?

When everything I had
got took away from me

and I couldn't do
a thing about it.

But maybe you don't even
know what I'm talking about.

Maybe you forgot
about it already.

I ain't forgotten,
Warden; you know I ain't.

Well, I'm not too sure.

Not after watching
you standing there

when the law jumped us and
you didn't lift a hand to help me.

We didn't need to hurt
them, neither one of 'em.

Who said I aim to hurt 'em.

Yeah, but you know
how you get sometimes.

You're real mean.


Was I mean when I
took you out of there

and got you away
from that mob of people

was raising their hands to you?!

Got you away from the law
and brought you with me?

No, sir, but...

Was I mean when I forgave you

for what you done to me

when every other hand
was raised against you?

- Warden, please...
- Do you think it's easy

going on remembering
day after day,

month after month,
every time I look at you,

what you done to me?

Don't, Warden, don't... I
don't want to talk about it.

Do you think it's easy
being woke up at night

hearing those screams in my ear?

Do you?!

All right, boy, now,
you remember,

you owe your life to me.

And don't you forget it.

Hello, Matt. I...

Golly, I'm sorry I'm late.

Well, I was beginning to wonder
what had happened to you.

Well, we-we can
still play, can't we?

Oh, well, it's never too late.

Well, let's get going.

I-I'm sorry about it... I... I
had a little medical problem

develop at the last minute.

What was that?

Well... I'm not real
sure what it was.

It was either, uh,
heart trouble or...

a case of brain fever.

Now, since it was Festus Haggen,

it probably was
a little bit of both.

- Festus?!
- Yeah.

I think I finally arrived at
the proper diagnosis, though:

It's a case of
love at first sight.


Yeah, he came up to the office

and wanted me to fix him
up something for his hair.

His hair?

Yeah. Make it look
pretty, you know.

So I did... I mixed up some
olive oil and some clove

and wintergreen and citronella
and one thing and another.

Well, I don't know how
pretty it'll make him,

but it ought to keep the
mosquitoes off of him, anyway.

Go on, move.

That's probably
what he wants, too,

come to think about it.

Going down there
in the river bottom,

courting Cool Dawn.

Yeah, well, she's awful pretty.

Yeah, but how'd you
like to have old Bull Foot

for a father-in-law?

Well, you'd have to sleep

with your boots on to
keep him from selling them.

- Ah, Marshal.
- Hello, Milt.

This just come in.

Thought it might be important.

Evening, Doc. Who's winning?

Well, Milty, we
haven't started yet,

but there's no doubt
about it, I will be.

- Good luck. -Thank you.
- Wait a minute, Milt.

What's the matter?
Something serious?

Yeah, looks that way.

Excuse me a minute.

I got to get off a
telegram to Pueblo.


Stop, Warden!

She ain't gonna do
much running this time.

Come on. Let's go.

You about got that
team hitched up, boy?

Yes, sir.

You better drink some of that
coffee while you got a chance.

Once we leave here, we
ain't gonna be stopping

for quite a spell.

Well, that attitude ain't
gonna get you nowhere.

You're in this; you might
as well make the best of it.

My father will kill you.

I wouldn't count
too much on that.

Well, don't just stand
there gawking, boy.

Get the wagon loaded.

Warden, why don't we let her go?

She can take my horse.

You're talking crazy, boy.

We done enough harm already.

I mean, too much.

I ain't never seen you

do nothing like
this before, Warden,

and I don't want
nothing to do with it.

You don't want
nothing to do with it.

She rolls those big eyes at you,

and you go clean out of
your head, don't you, boy?

This is a rotten bad
thing we done, Warden.

Well, ain't it kind of late

to start getting
namby-pamby about things?

I ain't never done
nothing like this before.


All you ever done
was kill 32 people,

including a woman
and her little baby.

But you ain't never done
nothing like this... no, sir.

This little baggage gives you
the eye, and all of a sudden

you turn on me,
you... desert me.

All of a sudden,
I'm the bad man.

Well, how bad are you, boy?

Please, Warden.

Well, you know how bad.

But I never deserted you, did I?

All right.

I owe you everything.

Even my life.

And I'll stick by you, Warden.

But you've changed a lot.

You've changed a lot
in the last two years.

Before, you never
would've killed that old Indian

and stolen his
daughter like that.

Is it true?

You've killed my father?

Why didn't you keep
your mouth shut?

Are you out of
your mind? Let go!

Don't you touch
her, you hear me?!

I said let go!

Now stand back, Trainey.

Go ahead and pull the trigger.

If you own my life, then
you might as well take it,

because it ain't
worth nothing to me.

Now, there's no
call to act like this.

Depends on what you
plan on doing with her.

What do you mean?

If you lay one hand on her,

you hit her or hurt
her in any way,

I'm gonna kill you, Warden.

So if that's what
you plan on doing,

then you might as well go ahead
and pull that trigger right now

and get it over with.

Now, we both kind of
lost our heads here, boy.

We been together too
long... to act like this.

I got no intent of
harming that girl.

I wouldn't have
hit her just then

except you seen the
way she come at me.

And I'm sorry about the old man!

But you can't go
back and undo it!

I just lost my head.

All right.

What's done is done.

Let's not make it any worse.

Let's just let her go.

We will, boy.

That's what I been
aiming to do all along...

Just take her with us
for two or three days

to teach her a lesson
and then turn her loose.

What's wrong with right now?

Well, we're still mighty
close to Dodge City.

She'd be back
here before morning,

bringing the law down on us.

You got a hankering
to stand trial for murder?

As far as the law is concerned,

you're in this just
as deep as I am.

I don't care what happens to me.

Or what happens to me
either, from the way you talk.

Now, I already told you I
don't mean her no harm,

so that ain't nothing
for you to worry about.

Now, you got a choice of two
things, boy, and it's up to you.

Here's the key to them
irons she's wearing.

Now, you can turn
her loose right now

and watch me hang.

Or you can wait a couple of days

and give your old Warden
a chance to get clear.

Like I said, it's up to you.

I'm gonna round up
them saddle horses.

I didn't think he'd do it.

But... I didn't think
he'd trust me again.

It's gonna be all right.

I'll watch out for
you every minute.

So... it's gonna be all right.

It's only for a couple of days.

♪ ...on the fire ♪

♪ Cornbread, buttermilk
and good ol' greasy greens ♪

♪ A pot of greasy
greens is my desire... ♪

Bull Foot...



It's me, Festus.

Easy, Bull Foot.

I'll get you in to Doc now.

Take it easy. Easy.


Oh, Doc!

Doc! Come out!


Yeah! I got old Bull Foot
here, and he's been shot!

Well, can you get him up here?

I'll bring him right up.

Now, just... easy, Bull Foot.

Now, just slide right off...

I'm gonna help you.

That's it.

That's it.

Aw, that dang hat.

Put him there,
Festus; right here.

Easy now, Bull Foot.


What happened to him?

Got hisself shot.

For a Haggen, that wouldn't
be no worse than a bad cold,

but old Bull Foot
ain't no Haggen.

Does his daughter
know about this?

I don't know, Doc.

She wasn't around.

Looked like there'd a-been a
big ruckus out there, though,

and I'll bet you Matthew'd
like to know about it.

You better go get him.

Oh... oh...

Bull Foot, can you hear me?

How, Marshal.

How do you feel?

My daughter.

Where is she?

Well, now don't
worry; we'll find her.

Was it the same two men?


Do you feel up to
telling me about it?


just finished
checking my trap line.

I-I came to the house.

There were two horses out there.

No wagon? Just the horses?

Just two horses out there.

I ran in the house...

and my daughter was...

dead, unconscious,
I don't know...

I don't know.

What about the
men, were they there?

The old one shot me.

Then I don't know.

I don't remember.

I'm afraid that's all you're
gonna get out of him tonight.

What do you think
his chances are, Doc?

Well, considering
the fact that...

I found seven old bullet wounds

in the upper half
of his body alone,

I'd say his chances
are about 50-50.

Want to take a ride, Festus?

Matthew, they just ain't no way

that you can keep
me out of this.

Let's go.

Doc, I'll check with
you when I get back.

Hah! Hah!

You want some coffee?

Suit yourself.

I'm gonna get some sleep.

How about you?

Nah, I reckon
I'll just set awhile

and keep an eye on things.

You mean, keep an
eye on me, don't you?

No reason to do that;
not as far as I know.

Now, I already told you I don't
mean her no harm, didn't I?

Yeah, you told me.

But you don't believe me.

All right, you just sit there
and you keep an eye on me.

And maybe you better get
that rifle out of the wagon

and keep me
covered while I sleep.

You said it, Warden; I ain't.

Aw, what do I care
about either one of you?

Don't let her talk
you out of that key,

unless you already lost it.

No, I got it.

Aw, I'm glad to hear it.

You and keys don't get
along too good, you recollect.

Warden, stop it!

How can you talk about it?

How can you
even think about it?!

Did it hurt?

Sooner or later, he's
going to try to kill both of us.

Don't you know that?

Eh, you're talking crazy.

Well, Festus, looks
like we've been

following the
wrong tracks, here.

Sure does, don't it?

Well, it's pretty hard to tell,
back yonder in that shale.

Well, I think we got off
back there at the fork.

I reckon the only thing to do

is go on back and
start over again.

They can't be too far
ahead of us, either direction.

Well, we'll pick up the
track soon as it gets daylight.

You know, Matthew, I
just can't keep from thinking

about that yahoo
Stark and what he's did.

He must be crazy.

Well, I don't know
about that, Festus,

but he's sure enough wanted
by the law back in Ohio.

Oh, he is? What for?

Well, criminal
negligence, manslaughter.

What-what's all that mean?

He was the warden of a
boys' reformatory back there.

- Sort of a fire...
- Well, that's why that other one

keeps calling him
"warden" all the time.

Seems there was fire
back there one night,

and due to his negligence,
30 of the boys died.

Along with his
wife and new baby.

Well, a man a-toting that
kind of guilt around with him

ain't liable to be
thinking too straight.

There's another
reason he may not be

thinking too straight, too.

His wife that
died in the fire...

she was a young Indian girl.

About half his age.

Well, what about
that, uh, boy, Trainey?

Telegram didn't mention him.

Let's head back to that fork.


You awake?

I've never been asleep.

I-I thought you was.

You seem to have
a lot of thinking to do.

Thinking don't help
much sometimes.

You just end up
going in circles.

He's going to be
awake pretty soon.

Then nothing's going to help.

What are you gonna do, Trainey?

I can't.

I can't rightly
turn against him.

I owe too much to him.

He owns you, don't he?

Body and soul.

He owns you more
than he owns me,

even if he did buy me.

Lookit, it ain't like that.

You just don't know.

I know what's gonna happen to me

if you don't turn me
loose before he wakes up.

I can't.

And I know what's
gonna happen to you, too,

sooner or later.

Look, I can't do it.

He trusted me.

I can't let him down, not again.

You keep saying "again."

What happened that give
him such a hold on you?

I don't want to talk about it.

Are you afraid?


Then why not?

It won't do no good.

You were an orphan, you said,

and they sent you to that place.

What is it called?


Go on.

And he was there, the warden.

And he liked me
and looked after me,

and nobody else did.

And then when I got
out, well, I stayed on,

kind of as a helper,

'cause I didn't
have no place to go.

Then he got married
and they had a baby son.

I never thought of that.

How much she looked
like you, his wife.

She was a lot
younger than he was.

Not much older
than you, I reckon.

You say "was."

She's dead.

It was two years ago, wasn't it?

How did she die, Trainey?

Look, leave us alone.

I don't want to talk about it.

Did you kill her, Trainey?

Did you?

One night when the
warden was in town,

well, the place
caught fire somehow.

It happened real fast.

And, well, the 30 kids
were locked inside,

and his wife and baby
were in their room,

in a corner of the big place.

And I ran in to unlock
the main door, and...

A-And what... what happened?

And I got scared.

And I lost my head...

and I couldn't make
the key work in the lock.

And then I got more scared.

My hands began to shake
so bad that I couldn't do it.

And nobody got
out, and they all died.

All 32 of them died.


are you trying to make it 33?

What do you mean?

You couldn't help
what happened before.

But you can now.

If you don't let me go
before he wakes up,

whatever happens
will be your fault.

Well, I'll be here.

I'll look out for you.

He don't mean you
no harm; he promised.

You heard him.

His promises don't mean nothing.

I can't do it.

He trusts me.

He was nice to me
when nobody else was.

Whatever kind of man he was

before two years ago,

he ain't the same now.

He's not right in the head.

He's-he's like a snake
that'll strike any minute.

You know that,
but you won't face it.

Trainey, don't you care
what happens to me?

You promise not to say
anything for two days,

so I can get him
out of the country?

I promise.

Well, then, you
take my horse, and...

he handles real easy,
just use your knees

and he won't give
you no trouble.

What is it? What's the matter?

It don't fit.

It ain't the right key.

It ain't even made to fit.


It's just like it was then.

Just like the other time.

It wasn't the right key.

It didn't fit.

It wasn't my fault.

Because he never did give me

the right key to that door.

'Cause he didn't trust me.

He didn't trust anybody.

He lied!

For two years, he made
me think it was my fault,

and it was his.

He made me take
the guilt inside.

His guilt, and he used it
to beat me and break me.

I couldn't open that door...

'cause I didn't
have the right key!

It wasn't my fault.


It wasn't my fault!



You were screaming.


You gone clean off
of your head, boy.

Shouting and
screaming like that.

You hadn't ought to do that.

You get people all upset.

I don't want nothing more
to do with you, Warden.

Just leave me
alone, that's all I want.

No, I can't do that, boy.

You're out of your head,
and you're dangerous.

If I was to let you go, you're
liable to hurt somebody.

Oh, no, I can't let
you go, Trainey,

and go around telling
crazy stories to people

and giving them wrong ideas.

Drop the gun, Stark!

Now stand back, Trainey!

All of you!

You let her go, Warden.

You put one scratch on her,

and I'm gonna tear you
apart, piece by piece.

He's dead.

It's all right.

It's gonna be all right.

Well, come in, come in.

How is he this morning?

Which one?

Well, my father, or...

Why don't you just go in
there and see for yourself?

How are you feeling?

Well, I suppose, I, uh...

I'm fine.

I'm just fine.

Oh... I, uh...

I don't think I'll ever

be able to move again.

I promised Doc I'd
stay here till noon.

No longer.

Tell me something.

Can a U.S. Marshal
marry two people?

Well, now, who you got in mind?


You ain't even asked me.

I'm asking.

You don't even say you love me.

I never said nothin' like
that before to anybody.

Kind of sticks in my craw.

Help any if I said it first?


I love you, Trainey.

Uh... uh, n-no one
asked me about this.

He loves you, too, Pop.

I gotta go find somebody.

Well, Bull Foot,

I, uh, I think you
two are gonna have

a few things to talk about.

I'll see you later.

Well, I suppose
it could be worse.

You look like a
strong, healthy boy.

You know, with a new plow,

she can put in another
20 acres of corn.

My wife ain't doing no plowing.

Well, then, who is?

We are.

What do you mean, "we"?

You and me.

Oh... oh...

For 30 years, I've been
fighting the white man

to keep him from
putting me to work,

and now I'm betrayed by
my own flesh and blood.

I'll never move again.

BULL FOOT Oh... oh...!


Oh... oh... oh...

Looking for More Gunsmoke Episodes?

“Gunsmoke” offers fantastic entertainment, whether solo or with your loved ones. This iconic American Western series graced CBS screens with its 33rd episode of Season 9 titled The Warden.

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

Leave A Comment

book cover mockup for Western Writing

Looking for an Epic Western Adventure? Look No Further!

How would you like to ride hell-bent for leather into a world full of adventure and heroism?

Get Your Free Copy Today>>