Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Gunsmoke
Show: Chester's Dilemma
Date: Jan 31 1960

"Chester's Dilemma" #249 TC: 6:50 PM - 6:58:55 PM NYT
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 1960

DIRECTOR: NORMAN MACDONNELL
MATT DILLON
CHESTER
DOC
KITTY
JONAS
EDNA
CHARLIE
HANS

ANNCR:

Gunsmoke!

SFX:

(RUMMAGING AND A LITTLE UPSET)

JONAS:

I sure can't find your order. Miss Kitty.

KITTY:

Don't worry about it, Mr. Jonas.

JONAS:

I saw Edna getting the things together, but what she did with them...

KITTY:

Mr. Jonas, I don't mind waiting!

JONAS:

Well, it bothers me. She should be here till five o'clock.... but no, every afternoon come four-thirty, she has to run off to the boarding house, change her clothes... comb her hair.. and "freshen up," as she keeps sayin'....

KITTY:

If she's not a good worker, why do you keep her on?

JONAS:

No, no....I didn't say that. She's a fine worker....and smart... and pretty. Why, in the short time she's been here she's cleaned that end of the store there from top to bottom. And everybody likes her. As a matter of fact, I'd hate to lose her.

KITTY:

Lose her?

JONAS:

Well, she keeps talkin' about San Francisco like it was the Land Of Cannan and she couldn't wait to get there.

KITTY:

Maybe it's only talk.

JONAS:

No, I don't think so. She's too took up with the idea.. and I get the notion that Dodge is just the place she ran out of money, and soon as she saves up enough, she'll be on her way,

KITTY:

She ever tell you where she's from?

JONAS:

A farm someplace in Ohio, I think. She keeps sayin' how she misses the excitement of New York City%u2026and the opera and all%u2026but then one day we got to talkin' about hogs and milk cows, and she let it slip. Almost bit her tongue off after she said it.

KITTY:

You think she's ashamed of being raised on a farm?

JONAS:

No. It ain't that. It's more like she was scared.... like she had to keep it a secret.

SOUND:

DOOR OPEN TINKLE TINKLE AND CLOSE UNDER

EDNA:

(FADING IN LIKE AN APRIL ZEPHYR) I'm back, Mr. Jonas1 I'll just tidy up the counter and.... Oh! Miss Kitty!

KITTY:

Hello, Edna. My, you look pretty!

EDNA:

Why, thank you.

JONAS:

Miss Kitty is waiting for her order, Edna...,

EDNA:

Oh, I've got it all wrapped and setting on the counter, here

KITTY:

That was very thoughtful. Mr. Jonas was,...

EDNA:

(COMING BACK ON) I knew you'd be in, so I told Mr. Jonas, rather than have you wait, I'd get it ready and he could give it to you. Here you are.

SOUND:

DOOR OPEN TINKLE TINKLE

CHESTER:

(BACK) Miss Edna, it1 s almost five o'clock... are you... (GULP) Oh. Afternoon, Miss Kitty.

KITTY:

Hello, Chester.

EDNA:

I'm all ready, Mr. Proudfoot. (FADING TO DOOR) You'll have to forgive the way I look, but I have been working all day, and a person does get a little wilted.

CHESTER:

Yes, ma'am.

EDNA:

Well, shall we go? See you in the morning, Mr. Jonasi

JONAS:

Alright, Edna.

EDNA:

Nice seeing you. Miss Kitty.

KITTY:

Nice seeing you... and you, too, Chester.

CHESTER:

Yes it was. Very nice.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSE.. TINKLE? TINKLE?

KITTY:

Mr. Jonas, I think you're wrong.

JONAS; About what?

KITTY:

San Francisco. I think Dodge City is as far west as Edna plans to get.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

THE DEPOT.. TRAIN STANDING.. STEAM ESCAPING.. BOILER CHUNKING, ETC.

EDNA:

I just think trains are the most exciting thing, Mr. Proudfoot, don't you? All that black smoke... and the huffing and puffing.., and the way the whistle screams. It's like a big wild animal.,, or a dragon,

CHESTER:

Well, now I never quite thought of it that way....

EDNA:

Would you mind, Mr. Proudfoot, if I just held on to your arm till it leaves?

CHESTER:

Why, no... not if you're really scared...

EDNA:

My, but you're strong!

CHESTER:

Well, I....

EDNA:

And you must be very brave, too, working with Marshal Dillon the way you do... fighting Indians...

CHESTER:

We don't fight many Indians, mostly we....

EDNA:

...and capturing rustlers, and horse thieves, and train robbers

CHESTER:

Well, every once in a while we..,.

EDNA:

I'll bet you've saved his life lots of times.

CHESTER:

Mr. Dillon has a way of lookin' after himself.

SOUND:

TWO SHORT WHISTLE BLASTS.. A RUSH OF STEAM., WHEELS SLIPPING.. ALL BUT DROWNING OUT

EDNA:

EEeeeeeeek!

SOUND:

TRAIN PICKS UP MOMENTUM AND FADES DOWN THE TRACK

CHESTER:

There she goes. You know,.. it is pretty exciting at that.

EDNA:

It certainly is.

CHARLIE:

(FADING ON) Here's the Marshal's mail, Chester.

CHESTER:

Oh, thank you, Charlie, I was just comin' in to get it.

CHARLIE:

(FADING off) Think you and your pretty little helper can carry all that by yourselves? Heh, heh, heh.

CHESTER:

Oh, sure, Charlie, this little bit is... oh. Heh, heh, I think we'll manage alright! Old Charlie sure is a kidder.

EDNA:

I'll bet there are real important things in those letters.

CHESTER:

Oh, once in a while there is. Don't seem to be much today, though. Just three "wanted" circulars, and....

EDNA:

Could I see one of them?

CHESTER:

I guess there ain't no harm. They're gonna be posted anyways. Here.

ENDA:

"Texas Sam!" Oh, what a mean, terrible looking person.

CHESTER:

That's not a very good picture of him, he's really....

EDNA:

Don't show me the others! I don't want to know about such people!

CHESTER:

Well, alright, but you asked....

EDNA:

But I would like to see those envelopes.

CHESTER:

Now, Miss Edna, the U.S. Mail is sorta sacred like.

EDNA:

Oh, Chester I (SHE GRABS LETTERS) Just let me look! My, the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C..... and the U.S. Marshal's office in St. Louis! (HANDS THEM BACK) My! All that important mail. It is a responsibility isn't it?

CHESTER:

I think I better walk you home now..., so I can take the mail to the office. Mr. Dillon likes to look at it before he goes out to supper.

SOUND:

STEPS START

EDNA:

Chester?

CHESTER:

Yes, ma'am?

EDNA:

This boardwalk's terribly rough. Would you mind if I took your arm?

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

DOC:

You're sure that's the move you want to make?

MATT:

I guess so.

SOUND:

DOUBLE JUMP ON CHECKERBOARD

DOC:

That makes three games in a row... and I suppose I should feel flushed with victory, but I find absolutely no satisfaction in beating a half-hearted opponent.

MATT:

What are you talking about?

DOC:

What's your problem?

MATT:

There's no problem. Doc.

DOC:

Come on. Out with it.

MATT:

Well, you'll know sooner or later anyway. It's Chester.

DOC:

Chester?

MATT:

Has he been up to see you?

DOC:

No, why? Is he sick?

MATT:

Something's wrong with him.

DOC:

Well, what are his symptoms? What does he do?

MATT:

Nothing.

DOC:

Well, then what makes you think.....

MATT:

Those are his symptoms. (GETS UP%u2026 PACES) He doesn't do anything. When he's here he walks around with a blank expression...he doesn't hear anything I say... this place hasn't been swept in a week. I've made the coffee for two days. Day before yesterday that drifter we had in the cell didn't get any supper....

DOC:

That doesn't sound like Chester.

MATT:

That's what I'm talking about. You have any idea what might be bothering him?

DOC:

As a matter of fact, I do,.. And the only thing that amazes me is that it hasn't happened long before this.

MATT:

Well, what is it?

DOC:

Chester is a victim of your ingratitude!

MATT; Oh, now Doc....

DOC:

That may sound silly, but it's a fact.

MATT:

Look, Doc....

DOC:

No, you listen. You asked my opinion and I'm going to give it to you. I've seen cases like this before. A man goes on year after year, doing his job, then suddenly one day he asks himself why. Sure he gets paid for it, but he has to feel that what he's doing is important. That the person he works for appreciates his efforts. If he doesn't, all the spunk goes out of him, and he begins to think maybe he should find something else to do.

MATT:

You mean Chester's thinking about quitting?

DOC:

I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Tell me, - when was the last time you said something nice to him?

MATT:

Something nice? Look, I can't run this office like a Sunday School. If I have to pat Chester on the back every time he...

DOC:

Alright, alright. You asked me and I told you. Just go on like you have been...no word of thanks.. no praise... barking orders..,expecting things to be done day after day...

MATT:

Well, maybe...you're right.

DOG:

You certainly wouldn't want to lose a man like Chester because of your own stubborness.

MATT:

No, I wouldn't. Doc, it takes a real friend to be honest with a man, the way you just were.

DOC:

That's alright. Matt, That's what friends are for. Now. How about another game of checkers. And this time see if you can give me a little competition.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE... 1ST ACT CURTAIN

SOUND:

TRAIN LEAVING STATION AMD FADING INTO DISTANCE

EDNA:

There she goes!

CHESTER:

Yep. There goes that ol dragon!

EDNA:

It sure is exciting!

CHESTER:

It sure is. (PAUSE) Well, we better go in the depot and pick up the mail. Old Charlie must have it sorted by now.

SOUND:

STEPS TOWARD DEPOT

CHESTER:

(CONTINUING) Have to get it to Mr. Dillon so he can look at it before supper.

EDNA:

You'll have time to walk home with me, won't you?

CHESTER:

Well, sure... I didn't mean that. (DOOR OPEN) I just meant....

CHARLIE:

(FADING IN WITH THEIR STEPS) I see you got your pretty little helper with you again, Chester.

CHESTER:

I sure have.

CHARLIE:

Kinda brightens things up to have her come in with you every afternoon the way she does.

CHESTER:

Uh... is the mail sorted, Charlie?

CHARLIE:

'Course it is.

CHESTER:

Well, could I have it then, please?

CHARLIE:

Here!

SFX:

(SLAPS MAIL ON COUNTER)

CHESTER:

Thank you, Charlie. Well...see you tomorrow!

CHARLIE:

Ugarumph!

SOUND:

STEPS TO DOOR.. OPEN.. .CLOSE.. STREET NOISE.. START WALK HOME

EDNA:

You know, Chester.... you're my favorite person in this whole town.

CHESTER:

lam,...? Well, that's.. .that's...

EDNA:

It's true! And I'll tell you something else.

SFX:

(FOOTSTEPS STOP)

CHESTER:

What?

EDNA:

This is a secret. Lean over so I can whisper it in your ear.

CHESTER:

Well just say it. Nobody can hear.

EDNA:

Lean over!

SFX (HE DOES.. SHE KISSES HIM LOUDLY ON THE CHEEK POW!) EDNA: That's what I think of you, Chester.

CHESTER:

(GULPING) Well, now, ma'am.,. Miss Edna.,.that's very.... uh.... I don't think Front Street is the place to... uh...

EDNA:

It's all right, Chester, I don't care who knows.

CHESTER:

I think.... uh... I better take you home.. uh...

SFX:

(STARTS STEPS) on account of Mr. Dillon will be mad if he don't get his mail....

EDNA:

It must be very important mail, tonight%u2026 Let me see.

SFX:

(SHE GRABS IT)

CHESTER:

Now, you shouldn't do that. Miss Edna.

EDNA:

I know, the United States Mail is sacred%u2026 and it's your job to protect it....

CHESTER:

Please give it to me. Miss Edna.

EDNA:

One from the Department of the Army... a circular... a catalogue of Fire Arms and Ammunition... another circular... a letter from Ohi..... OOPs! (SHE DROPS THE CATALOGUE) I dropped that silly old catalogue....

CHESTER:

I'll get it. (STOOPS TO PICK IT UP)

EDNA:

I'm sorry.

CHESTER:

It ain't hurt none. (BRUSHES IT) It's the new granger catalogue I sent for.

EDNA:

Here are the letters%u2026

CHESTER:

Thank you. (TAKES THEM) Ah.., Miss Edna...?

EDNA:

What's the matter?

CHESTER:

There was another letter here!

EDNA:

There was?

CHESTER:

You know there was. You had it right in your hand.... There it is!

EDNA:

Where, Chester?

CHESTER:

You stuck it in your... your shirt-waist there.

EDNA:

What makes you so sure that's your letter?

CHESTER:

Well, it has to be,..

EDNA:

Mr. Proudfoot, are you accusing me of stealing a silly old letter?

CHESTER:

Well, no ma'am... I spose it could of got there by accident, but....

EDNA:

If you're so sure, why don't you just take it away from me?

CHESTER:

Well, I....

EDNA:

But if you try, I'd scream like anything and everybody in Dodge would think that Chester Proudfoot was a big, nasty old brute!

SOUND:

SHE FLOUNCES INTO BOARDING HOUSE AND SLAMS THE DOOR

CHESTER:

Miss Edna! Miss... .aaeechoo (MEANING HOW THE HELL DID I GET INTO THIS!)

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

CHESTER SWEEPING THE OFFICE HALF-HEARTEDLY. THEN OFFICE DOOR BURSTS OPEN AND MATT SWEEPS IN HALE AND HEARTY

MATT:

Good morning, Chester!

CHESTER; Oh. Good morning, Mr. Dillon. I'm sorry I didn't get your breakfast this morning.

MATT:

Every man has the right to sleep late now and then... and I think it's kind a good to eat breakfast out once in a while, anyway.

CHESTER:

I just didn't close my eyes until after sun-up, Mr. Dillon. I just tossed... and turned... and tossed.

MATT:

You know,.. I think you've been working too hard, Chester. I think you should take a couple of days...pack your saddle bag...take your fishin' pole...ride out...and just loaf a little. Remember that little stream cuts off the Arkansas?

CHESTER:

I remember it, Mr. Dillon. But I just couldn't do that....

MATT:

I can manage without you here for a couple of days.

CHESTER:

Mr. Dillon, if you want me to go away, you don't have to be nice about it. I understand.

MATT:

Chester, I didn't say I want you to "go away".

CHESTER:

You said you could manage without me.

MATT:

(HIS OLD MISERABLE PERSONALITY RETURNING WITH A RUSH) For two days!! I figured you needed a rest; a change! You've got a tough job. I've got a tough job... any Marshal has. If he doesn't have help he can count on, his job is twice as tough. You're a good assistant...you're loyal... you're dependable... when you're covering my back with a rifle or a shotgun, I don't worry about what's behind me... I can think about what's in front of me...

CHESTER:

Mr. Dillon...

MATT:

Shut up, I'm not finished yet! When I'm out on the prairie four, five days%u2026 a week at a time, I've got to have a companion I can stand to live with. Well, most of the time, I%u2026 I can stand you! Now does that sound like I'm trying to get rid of you? Does it?!!

CHESTER:

No sir. And thank you very much. You just helped me make up my mind about something very important.

SOUND:

STEPS AND DOOR OPEN UNDER

MATT:

Awrite, then. Now make up your mind to clean up this rat's nest from top to bottom before I get back. I'm going to the Longbranch!

SOUND:

DOOR SLAM

CHESTER:

Yes sir, Mr. Dillon,

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

THE LONGBRANCH

MATT:

I don't know. Kitty. I guess I was pretty hard on him, but maybe it helped. Anyway, sweet-talkin' him seemed to make him feel worse.

KITTY:

And that was Doc's idea, huh?

MATT:

Yeah. He figured Chester needed some encouragement.

KITTY:

And what did you figure?

MATT:

Well, nothin'. I'm just tired of him mooning around like a love-sick calf%u2026neglecting his work...

KITTY:

You said it, I didn't.

MATT:

Said what?

KITTY:

"Mooning like a love-sick calf."

MATT:

Oh, now. Kitty. Chester? Who?

KITTY:

You men. You get so wound up in your own little world you don't see any of the interesting things that go on. I spose now you're gonna tell me you never heard of Edna Walstrom.

MATT:

Well, sure. She's the little girl Jonas hired to work in the store. Came to town a couple weeks ago.

KITTY:

Well, she's not exactly a little girl. She's twenty-two if she's a day...she's very cute.,.and she's set her cap for Chester.

MATT:

Kitty, Chester isn't the kind to go chasing after girls.

KITTY:

I said she set her cap for him! She's got it all planned.., she gets off work at five...Chester meets her at the store... they walk down to the depot to wait for the 5:15...pick up the mail...and he walks her home.

MATT:

And that's all?

KITTY:

That's all? It seems to be enough to keep him completely dazed all the next morning and afternoon!

MATT:

Hmh. What d'ya know.

KITTY:

Well, speak of the devil.,..

CHESTER:

(FADING IN) Mr. Dillon.

MATT:

Well, Chester. (GETTING UP) Miss Walstrom?

EDNA:

Marshal.

MATT:

I think you know Miss Kitty Russel?

EDNA:

Yes, I do. Good evening. Miss Kitty.

CHESTER:

Evenin', Miss Kitty.

KITTY:

Well, won't you sit down?

CHESTER:

We'll sit, but we're not gonna drink (SFX: THEY SIT) Miss Walstrom has something to tell you, Mr. Dillon.

KITTY:

In that case, I'll just leave you three alone.

EDNA:

No. Please stay. Miss Kitty. I don't mind.

MATT:

Well, what is it?

EDNA:

I'm under arrest. Marshal.

MATT:

What?

EDNA:

Chester arrested me for tampering with the U.S. mails.

CHESTER:

You didn't open the letter. Miss Edna, so that just makes it "interferin'" instead of "tamperin'".

MATT:

That's still a pretty serious charge. Miss Walstrom.

EDNA:

I know that now. Marshal...but I didn't really believe Chester until he showed it to me in a book. And he said he liked me very much...,but if he didn't arrest me, he would be even guiltier than I am, because it wouldn't be loyal to you...and that a Marshal has to be able to trust his assistant in everything.

MATT:

Who was this letter addressed to?

EDNA:

To you. Marshal. Here it is. It's from Mr. Gruber... back on a farm, near Akron, Ohio.,..and it's all a lie.

MATT:

If you haven't opened it, how do you know it's a lie?

CHESTER:

Well, Mr. Dillon..this Mr. Gruber wrote to Miss Edna about a week ago, and told her what he was going to do If she didn't take the next train back to Ohio.

MATT:

Well, let's find out.

SFX:

(OPENS LETTER)

CHESTER:

(ASIDE WHILE MATT READS) If you'd only told me about this. Miss Edna, instead of trying to steal the letter.

EDNA:

I just didn't know what to do, Chester, I thought if the Marshal didn't know about it, old Mr, Gruber would leave me alone.

CHESTER:

Well, I know, but...

MATT:

Miss Walstrom, did you steal two hundred dollars from this Mr. Gruber?

EDNA:

No sir. Marshal, I didn't. He gave it to me. It was a loan.

MATT:

But he says here you signed a confession.

EDNA:

That's not true. Maybe it was a "confession"...but he told me I was signing a note.

MATT:

You're telling me the truth, now?

EDNA:

Yessir, I am.

MATT:

Well, we'll find out who's lying tomorrow..

CHESTER:

What do you mean, Mr, Dillon?

MATT:

Gruber's getting in to Dodge at ten tomorrow morning.

EDNA:

Are you going to put me in jail. Marshal?

MATT:

No. You just stay on at the boarding house tonight, but right after breakfast tomorrow you'd better show up at my office.

EDNA:

I certainly will. And Marshal, if you can't make that mean old man tell the truth, I will.

MUSIC:

2ND ACT CURTAIN

HANS:

When somebody breaks the law, they should be in jail I

MATT:

That may be true, Mr. Gruber, but this jail wasn't built for women*..and I'm still not sure the law was broken.

HANS:

You got my letter! I sent you her confession.

MATT:

I know. And if you filed a complaint back in Ohio, I can hold her here in Dodge until they send someone to take her back.

HANS:

But I am already here. I will take her back!

MATT:

Mr. Gruber, the law just doesn't work that way!

HANS:

But why do you think I came? Why do you think I spent all that money?

MATT:

I don't know. You say she stole two hundred dollars. This trip must have cost you twice that much already.

HANS:

That's right! And it will be worth every penny, and more!

MATT:

But why?

HANS:

Because of "that old fool, Gruber"!

MATT:

What?

HANS:

I'm sick and tired of being "that old fool Gruber". Let's all laugh at "that old fool Gruber". Everybody gets the best of "that old fool Gruber". Well, this time, Gruber is going to win. This time 1 am going to laugh. They'll see whether...(STOPS AS)

SOUND:

DOOR OPEN AND CLOSE. SAD FOOTSTEPS IN AND STOP

HANS:

Who is this?

MATT:

This is my assistant, Chester Proudfoot.

HANS:

Oh.

MATT:

Chester, this is Mr. Gruber from Ohio.

CHESTER:

(WITH A SADNESS THAT MATCHES THE FOOTSTEPS) I know. Here's the telegraph, Mr. Dillon, from the Akron police.

HANS:

Now we'll see if old Gruber is so foolish!

MATT:

You've read it, Chester?

CHESTER:

Yessir, I did.

HANS:

Now you read it. Marshal.,* go ahead I

MATT:

"Complaint against Edna Walstrom filed here by Hans Gruber January 10. Charge %u2014 theft. If presently in your city, please apprehend and hold for extradition."

HANS:

So now I want her arrested I

CHESTER:

She's no criminal, Mr. Dillon.

HANS:

You think not?

CHESTER:

(HIS MANLY STRENGTH RETURNING) No, I don't! She's a fine person, and if she did something wrong, she must of had a real good reason!

MATT:

Chester...

CHESTER:

I'm sorry, Mr. Dillon, but I'm real upset.

HANS:

Now, look here, young fella...

CHESTER:

No, you look here! I think Miss Edna is a very fine person and I just won't believe she would do anything really bad like stealing your money! She works hard... and she's nice.,, and she's pretty...and..and she wouldn't do a thing like that!

HANS:

You've got a lot to learn, young fella!

CHESTER:

That may be, but there's one thing I know. I know if you say one mean thing when she gets here; if you try to scare her one little bit, it's gonna make me madder than I am..

HANS:

Are you threatening me?

MATT:

Chester. Nobody's going to intimidate her. I'll see to that. Now you calm down, and I promise you we'll get to the bottom of this just as soon as%u2026

SOUND:

DOOR OPEN

KITTY:

(HER MANLINESS PROTRUDING EVERY BIT AS FAR AS CHESTER'S) Here she is, Matt.

MATT:

Hello, Kitty. Come on in. Miss Walstrom.

SOUND:

STEPS IN, DOOR CLOSE, MORE STEPS

KITTY:

And you must be Hans Gruber.

HANS:

That's right,

KITTY:

Well, I sure wouldn't be proud of it! This is one of the few times I wish I were a man. I'd cut the rail and carry both ends of it to ride you out of Dodge!

MATT:

Kitty, I just got Chester calmed down, so don't you start. Miss Walstrom, do you know this man?

EDNA:

That's Mister Gruber,

HANS:

Hello, Edna. (NO RESPONSE) Why did you do it, Edna?

EDNA:

Mr. Gruber, you told me when I signed the paper that now everything was all right. You know I was going to pay it back!

HANS:

I don't mean about the money. Why did you run away? Everybody laughs at me.

EDNA:

I can't help that, Mr. Gruber. I had to do it.

HANS:

But why?

KITTY:

I'll tell you why!

MATT:

Kitty....

KITTY:

No, Matt. This is important. Mr. Gruber, you're a widower, aren't you?

HANS:

That's right. Four years now,

KITTY:

And Edna, here, was your housekeeper,..your "hired" girl.

HANS:

Yah.

KITTY:

How much did you pay her?

HANS:

Well, not so much, maybe, in money...but there's room.... and board...I bought "goods" so she could make clothes...

KITTY:

And on Fair Day... one Friday a month...you took her to town with you...along with the chickens and eggs and pigs. And you gave her two whole dollars to spend. Is that right?

HANS:

Yah, but...

KITTY:

And for that, she kept the house, did the baking, the cooking, the washing and ironing, fed the pigs, fed the chickens, gathered the eggs...and when she wanted to leave, you wouldn't lend her enough money to live for two weeks while she went looking for another job.

HANS:

Yah, that is so. But I didn't want her to go away. She was always talking about New York...or San Francisco. I was afraid if she had money she would go away,

KITTY:

But you made it easy for her to steal the two hundred dollars. Then you made her sign that silly confession so you could use it to frighten her into staying on the farm.

HANS:

But it didn't work. She had the money. I couldn't find it. And she used it to go away.

MATT:

Is that the story, Gruber?

HANS:

Yah. That's the story.

MATT:

You must be very proud of yourself.

HANS:

No. No, I'm not. That's why I had to find you, Edna.

EDNA:

I don't even want to talk to you, Mr. Gruber.

HANS:

You don't have to talk. Just listen. I will talk. I had to find you because...well, because I want you to be Mrs. Gruber.

EDNA:

(LAUGHING THE WORD MIRTHLESSLY) Whaaat?

HANS:

That's all right. You laugh...but you listen, too. I've hired a couple %u2014- Jacob Glassnap and his Missus --- to run the farm. And you know the little house with the green shutters? The Shaeffer place we used to pass going to town? The one you always like so much?

EDNA:

What about it?

HANS:

I bought it!

EDNA:

That's very nice, Mr. Gruber, but...

HANS:

Wait. I'm not finished. Look in this envelope. Go ahead.

SOUND:

HE PASSES ENVELOPE TO HER WITH HIS RIGHT HAND. SHE TAKES IT IN HER LEFT HAND, USING HER RIGHT TO BREAK THE SEAL WITH THE SAME HAND SHE REMOVES:

EDNA:

Train tickets to San Francisco!! Why, Mr...

HANS:

And I wrote to the Palace Hotel...they will get us married, and we'll stay there...and we'll buy some fancy clothes... and we'll go to the show-houses...and

EDNA:

(THROUGH TEARS OP JOY) Oh...oh, Mr. Gruber!

HANS:

I want you should call me "Hans", Edna.

EDNA:

(THROWING HER ARMS AROUND HIS SCRAGGLY NECK) Oh, Hans...you're the nicest person I ever met....

HANS:

There is a train at 5:15, if you can get packed..,.

EDNA:

Oh, I can Hans%u2026but we'll have to hurry. (FADING) You come with me and we'll get everything together.

SOUND:

DOOR OPEN

MATT:

What about this warrant?

HANS:

(BACK) I will write to them from San Francisco. Just forget about it, please!

MATT:

But...

SOUND; DOOR CLOSE

MATT:

Now that's about the%u2026(damndest thing I've ever).

SOUND:

DOOR OPEN

EDNA:

(RUSHING IN) I'm just so excited, I almost went off without saying goodbye. Miss Kitty, thank you so much for helping me...and Marshal, I'm sorry I took the letter, really I am. And%u2026and Chester...

CHESTER:

Yes, ma'am.

EDNA:

Please lean over.

CHESTER:

Well, now...

EDNA:

Please!

SFX:

(HE DOES. POW)

EDNA Chester, I think you're the nicest...younger person I ever met. Goodbye.

SOUND:

STEPS TO DOOR. DOOR OPEN

CHESTER:

(HE'S SICK) Goodbye, Miss Edna.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSE (LIKE A PAUSE)

KITTY:

I'm sorry, Chester.

CHESTER:

Oh, that's all right. Miss Kitty. It...it's just... Mr. Dillon, some people sure are hard to figure out.

MATT:

Chester, if by "some people" you mean women...they certainly are.

MUSIC:

A SWEET, SAD, NOSTALGIC CURTAIN TO STIR FROM SLUMBER IN THE BREASTS OF ALL OF US THOSE HAUNTING MEMORIES OF LOST LOVES AMD MISSED OPPORTUNITIES.