Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Gunsmoke
Show: The Mortgage
Date: Oct 24 1952

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
MATT DILLON, U. S. Marshal
CHESTER PROUDFOOT, his deputy
MISS KITTY, Matt's favorite prostitute
CALEB ANDREWS, smooth businessman
ED BLAKE, farmer
MARTHA BLAKE, his wife
JIMMY BLAKE, her twelve-year-old son
CLEM BATES, banker
JACK, slick gambler (and customer of Kitty's)
BENNIGAN, bartender (1 line)

Plus two CROWDS, at the saloon and the auction

SOUND:

GALLOPING HORSE'S HOOFBEATS APPROACH

MUSIC:

THEME

ANNOUNCER:

Around Dodge City and in the territory on West -- there's just one way to handle the killers and the spoilers -- and that's with a U. S. Marshal and the smell of -- "GUNSMOKE"!

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

GUNSMOKE, starring William Conrad. The story of the violence that moved west with young America. The story of a man who moved with it -- Matt Dillon, United States Marshal.

MUSIC:

THEME UP

SOUND:

OUTDOORS BACKGROUND (HORSES, ET CETERA) AS MATT & CHESTER WALK THROUGH DODGE CITY TO THE JAIL

MATT:

(EXHALES HAPPILY) Ahhh, you know, Chester, a morning like this makes a man glad to be alive.

CHESTER:

Oh, it's a fine one, all right, Mr. Dillon.

MATT:

Yeah.

CHESTER:

A little nippy maybe, but jest fine.

MATT:

Indian Summer hangin' on and winter holdin' off. You know, Chester, this time o' year, I wouldn't trade western Kansas for everything east of the Mississippi.

SOUND:

DOOR OPEN ... MATT & CHESTER'S FOOTSTEPS IN ... DOOR SHUTS BEHIND--

MATT:

Ah, good, Pedro's got a fire going.

CALEB:

I built the fire, Marshal Dillon.

MATT:

Oh, good mornin', Caleb.

CALEB:

I've been waiting in this jail office for a full two hours. What time do you start work, Marshal?

SOUND:

CHAIR SCRAPES AS MATT SITS

MATT:

You know Caleb Andrews, don't you, Chester?

CHESTER:

Oh, yes, indeed. How are you, Mr. Andrews?

CALEB:

Marshal, I have an order here from the U. S. District Court. (PAPER RUSTLES) I believe it's your job to serve such orders.

MATT:

Yeah, it is. I don't get 'em often, though. (PICKS UP PAPER) Um-- (READS) "Order of Foreclosure and Eviction on . . . Ed Blake." (TO CALEB) Why you doin' this to Ed, Caleb?

CALEB:

The man borrowed money from me. Gave me a mortgage on his farm and household effects. He can't pay it. Why do you think I'm doing it?

MATT:

It only came due three days ago. You sure didn't waste any time.

CALEB:

I'm not interested in your opinions, Marshal Dillon.

MATT:

(PAPER RUSTLES) Um-- (READS) "Amount of the mortgage . . . four hundred and twenty dollars." (TO CALEB) What do you need with four hundred and twenty dollars? You own half of Ford County now.

CALEB:

Marshal, it's not your place--

MATT:

You know as well as I do why Ed Blake can't pay this off. His horse rolled on him last spring and broke his leg. Then his wife and kid nearly broke their backs tryin' to get a crop out.

CALEB:

I didn't come here to listen to you--

MATT:

If you let this ride on through the winter, you'll get your money out of it. But if you go ahead and foreclose now, you'll wipe him out.

CALEB:

Marshal, I already have foreclosed.

MATT:

(BEAT) You'd break a man for four hundred and twenty dollars you don't even need, huh?

CALEB:

As I said, your opinions don't interest me. All I expect from you is to serve these papers.

MATT:

(BEAT) All right, I'll serve 'em.

CALEB:

You'll notice they're to be served today.

MATT:

I said I'd serve 'em. Now get out.

CALEB:

What?

MATT:

This office belongs to the United States Government and, as far as I know, that's one thing you got no mortgage on, so get out!

CALEB:

You may find I have some influence in Washington, Marshal Dillon.

SOUND:

CALEB'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS, BEHIND--

MATT:

(CALLS AFTER HIM) Then see if you can get me a decent salary for this rotten job of mine!

CHESTER:

(SIGHS) It sure was a fine morning, Mr. Dillon.

MATT:

Yeah, it was. (RISES OUT OF HIS CHAIR) All right, Chester, let's saddle up.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

MATT & CHESTER'S HORSES WALK THROUGH THE BLAKE FARM ... FARM BACKGROUND (BIRDS, ANIMALS, ET CETERA) ... HORSES CONTINUE IN BG

CHESTER:

This is one job I surely wish we didn't have to do, Mr. Dillon.

MATT:

Yeah.

CHESTER:

My, this sure is a nice farm. Ed and Martha've put in a lot of work here the last four years.

MATT:

We don't have any choice, Chester.

CHESTER:

Yes, sir, I know. It's a downright shame, though.

JIMMY:

(OFF) Hey, Marshal!

MATT:

Whoa, boy. (HORSES STOP, SNUFFLE) (CHEERFUL) Well, hiya, Jimmy!

JIMMY:

(APPROACHES) (FOOTSTEPS BEHIND--) Lookee here what I got, Marshal.

MATT:

Well, looks to me like a mighty dead coyote.

JIMMY:

Sure, that's what it is.

MATT:

(CHUCKLES)

JIMMY:

He's been killin' my chickens, so last night I hid out behind the barn.

MATT:

Yeah?

JIMMY:

I got him with one shot, Mr. Dillon! And there wasn't even a full moon!

MATT:

Well, that's fine, Jimmy.

MARTHA:

(APPROACHES) (FOOTSTEPS BEHIND--) Matt Dillon, how are ya?!

MATT:

Oh, uh, good mornin', Martha.

MARTHA:

And Chester, too.

CHESTER:

Miz Blake.

MARTHA:

Well, I'm glad to see ya. Get down, come on in.

MATT:

Well, thank ya.

SOUND:

MATT & CHESTER DISMOUNT BEHIND--

MARTHA:

Jimmy, now that you showed that thing to Mr. Dillon, take it away somewhere.

JIMMY:

All right, mom.

MATT:

(CHUCKLES)

JIMMY:

He sure is a big one, ain't he, Mr. Dillon?

MATT:

Yeah, about the biggest I ever saw, Jimmy.

MARTHA:

Ha ha. He's real proud of those chickens of his. He's done fine with 'em. Well, here I am, though, keepin' ya standin' out here in the yard. Come on, let's go inside. (FOOTSTEPS START OFF, BUT STOP BEHIND--)

MATT:

Well, uh, we - really can't stay, Martha.

MARTHA:

Oh, nonsense. You don't get out here once in a coon's age.

MATT:

Yeah, I know, but, you see--

MARTHA:

And you're just in time. Your favorite dish, Matt. I was about to take it out of the oven when you rode up.

MATT:

(WARMLY) Cornbread. Buttermilk cornbread.

MARTHA:

That's right. Ed's not here, but you will stay, won't ya?

MATT:

Well, Martha, I'd like to, but-- Well, we just can't, that's all. The thing is that, uh-- Uh-- You say Ed's away?

MARTHA:

(SENSES SOMETHING WRONG) Yes, he - he's in town. (BEAT, QUIETLY) Matt, you're not yourself. What is it?

MATT:

Well, I - suppose I oughta talk to Ed about this, but - maybe it'll be better if he hears it from you.

MARTHA:

Hears what?

MATT:

Martha, I - I got a court order here. It has to do with that mortgage of Caleb Andrews. It's a' order of foreclosure and eviction -- and sale.

MARTHA:

(SHAKEN, QUIETLY) No. Oh, no.

MATT:

Here it is. (PAPER RUSTLES)

MARTHA:

We were so sure he'd extend it. He knows what happened and why we couldn't pay it. We were sure he'd extend it.

MATT:

Well, he won't. I talked to him.

MARTHA:

Matt, uh--? How long before we have to get out?

MATT:

Five days.

MARTHA:

So soon? (BEAT) You were right, Matt, it is better that Ed hears it from me. Comin' on top o' everything else, it'll-- Well, I can't let it break him. I - I just can't let it break him.

MATT:

Martha, if there's anything I can do, you - you let me know, huh?

MARTHA:

Matt, I - I don't blame you for this. I understand. (BRIGHTER) Well, come on in now and have some cornbread with us.

MATT:

(STAMMERS) I couldn't. I'm sorry. Thank you anyway, Martha. But, uh-- Well, I just couldn't.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

SALOON BACKGROUND (CROWD MURMURS, PIANO, ET CETERA)

KITTY:

Matt -- you've looked low all week.

MATT:

Oh, it's just things in general, Kitty. Sometimes you get to wonderin' if it's all worth it or not.

KITTY:

The Blakes, huh? Huh. Chester was tellin' me.

MATT:

Ah, Chester talks too much.

KITTY:

It's not your fault, Matt. Somebody had to serve the order.

MATT:

Somebody has to be hangman, too.

KITTY:

Life's never all good, Matt. There's always a little bad in it.

MATT:

In my job, it's more than a little.

KITTY:

(CHUCKLE) Try makin' a livin' sometime as a "dance hall girl."

MATT:

(BEAT, EXHALES) Yeah, I guess. But when you gotta go out and boot somebody like the Blakes off their land and out o' their home, then you start wonderin' what's right and what's wrong, that's all.

KITTY:

Well, if you find out, Matt, let me know. I've always-- (SEES CALEB COMING) Oh.

SOUND:

CALEB'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

CALEB:

Oh, there you are, Marshal. I stopped by the jail.

MATT:

Well, all right, Caleb, what's on your mind?

CALEB:

That Blake family, Marshal. They were supposed to vacate today. Well, they haven't done it. I rode by there a little while ago.

MATT:

According to the court order, they got until sundown.

CALEB:

But they haven't made the slightest preparation to-- (BEAT, UNCOMFORTABLE) Marshal, I believe I'd prefer to discuss our business elsewhere, than in the presence of this, uh-- This--

MATT:

Easy, Caleb.

KITTY:

Matt, I'll go.

MATT:

Caleb! You're gonna apologize to Miss Kitty right now.

KITTY:

Matt, no.

CALEB:

Apologize? (AMUSED) If you think I'm going to apologize to this cheap little baggage who's--

SOUND:

MATT SLUGS CALEB WHO FALLS TO THE FLOOR UNCONSCIOUS ... SALOON CROWD REACTS

KITTY:

Matt, you shouldn't 'a' done that.

MATT:

Bennigan! Take him outside and throw some water on him.

BENNIGAN:

Yes, sir, Marshal.

MATT:

Why not, Kitty? He had it comin' to him.

SOUND:

SALOON CROWD MURMURS ... CONTINUES IN BG

KITTY:

He'll do everything he can to hurt you now. He'll take it out on the Blakes, too.

MATT:

Yeah, maybe. (BEAT) Look, Kitty, I - I just got an idea. Uh, I'll see ya later.

KITTY:

All right, Matt.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

CLEM:

But, Matt, the mere fact a man runs a bank doesn't always mean he's got a free hand in everything he does. A bank has stockholders, a board of directors. I've gotta listen to 'em.

MATT:

I think they'd approve the loan, Clem.

CLEM:

Another thing, Caleb Andrews is the biggest account I've got. Why, if I crossed him by taking this loan you suggest-- Matt, he'd break me.

MATT:

I see.

SOUND:

CHAIR SCRAPES AS MATT RISES, STARTS TO WALK OFF BEHIND--

MATT:

All right, Clem. Forget it.

CLEM:

Matt, I-- I realize I'm under obligation to ya. You saved my life that time the James brothers held me up. Saved the bank, too, in fact, but--

MATT:

That was part of my job, Clem. There's no obligation. I - I was just askin' ya as a friend to - help out another friend.

CLEM:

Matt, I'd like to do it, but I just can't. Don't ya see--?

MATT:

Yeah, sure, Clem, I see. Just forget it.

CLEM:

Gotta think of my wife, and the two girls.

MATT:

Yeah, of course you have.

CLEM:

It's not that I don't want to--

MATT:

I understand, Clem, I really do. Forget it.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

WOOD LAID ON FIRE IN STOVE ... STOVE DOOR SHUTS BEHIND--

CHESTER:

There. That oughta hold it awhile. That fire feels kinda good, Mr. Dillon. It's gettin' chillish out tonight.

MATT:

Yeah, I guess we better have Pedro lay in some more wood.

CHESTER:

Yes, sir, when winter sets in, it always makes you feel good to know you got a warm place to hole up. Be mighty rough not to have a-- Not to--

MATT:

(BEAT) Yeah, I was thinkin' of the same thing, Chester.

CHESTER:

You suppose they vacated this afternoon?

MATT:

I don't know. We'll ride out there in the mornin' and find out.

CHESTER:

Sure is a shame. It's just too bad that--

SOUND:

KNOCK ON DOOR

MATT:

Come in.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

ED:

Can we bother you, Matt?

SOUND:

BLAKE FAMILY'S FOOTSTEPS ENTER BEHIND--

MATT:

Ed! (AWKWARD CHUCKLE) Well, come in, come in. (AWKWARD GREETINGS, FORCED CHEERFULNESS) Martha. Well, hiya, Jimmy! Uh, well, uh, come on up to the stove, folks. Come on.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES ... BLAKE FAMILY WALKS TO STOVE BEHIND--

ED:

Matt, the fact is that we-- We'd kinda like to impose on you for tonight. We haven't got any place to go. No money. Wondered if we could sleep in the jail tonight.

MATT:

Aw, sure, Ed! Uh, Chester, will you get a fire goin' back there?

CHESTER:

All right, Mr. Dillon. (FOOTSTEPS TO JAIL DOOR DURING FOLLOWING--)

MATT:

And dig up some blankets out o' the storeroom, huh?

CHESTER:

Yes, sir. (JAIL DOOR OPENS) Wanta come help me, Jimmy? (NO ANSWER) Jimmy?

JIMMY:

(SOBS, CONTINUES BEHIND--)

ED:

(FIRM, BUT KIND) Now -- you go along with Chester now, boy. Go on.

JIMMY:

All right.

SOUND:

JIMMY'S FOOTSTEPS TO JAIL DOOR WHICH CLOSES

MARTHA:

He, um-- He doesn't understand all this, Matt. (FIGHTS BACK TEARS) He-- He--

MATT:

Uh, Ed, we may as well get your stuff out of the wagon, I guess.

ED:

Well, there ain't any wagon, Matt. We walked into town.

MATT:

Six miles? With that leg?

ED:

I know, but that wagon, the horses, all the household goods, they're all covered by that mortgage. We didn't take anything. Except the clothes on our backs.

MATT:

(UPSET) Aw, so help me, Ed, so help me, if I could--

MARTHA:

No, it - it's all right, Matt. We know how you feel. But, after all, we started with nothin' before. We can do it again.

MATT:

But there's no reason that you should have to.

MARTHA:

We do have to, though. And that's that. Ed and I can accept it. We're not bitter any longer. Jimmy can't understand. He's - he's been carryin' on pretty bad, but he's just a boy. And, in time, he'll be able to--

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

CHESTER:

(APPROACHES) Mr. Dillon?!

MATT:

Yeah, what is it, Chester?

CHESTER:

It's Jimmy! He grabbed a rifle from off the rack and took out the back way. I couldn't stop him!

MATT:

What?

MARTHA:

But where on earth's he goin'?

MATT:

I think I know where he's goin'. And heaven help Caleb Andrews if we don't catch him!

MUSIC:

FIRST ACT CURTAIN

ANNOUNCER:

We will return for the second act of "GUNSMOKE" in just a moment. But first, that widely-traveled man of music, Mr. Vaughn Monroe, will land in Pottstown, Pennsylvania this Saturday night. The Moon Maids, the Moon Men, and the Monroe Ensemble will be on hand to enliven the session. Remember, tomorrow night and every Saturday evening, it's Vaughn Monroe and his Musical Caravan on most of these same CBS radio stations. (BEAT) Now, the second act of -- "GUNSMOKE."

MUSIC:

THEME ... OUT BEHIND--

SOUND:

MATT & CHESTER'S FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL AND DIRT, THEN IN BG ... NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND (OCCASIONAL COYOTE HOWLS, ET CETERA)

CHESTER:

That's Mr. Andrews' house there on the corner. Looks dark, Mr. Dillon.

MATT:

Yeah, he may not be home. I sure hope he isn't.

CHESTER:

No sign of the boy around. Reckon he broke in the house, Mr. Dillon?

MATT:

Maybe. Anyhow, it's ten to one this is where he headed for. His mother said he was real upset about it, and it's just like a kid to-- Chester.

CHESTER:

Hmm?

MATT:

There's somebody back o' that tree, up there on the left.

CHESTER:

Mm. Yeah. Think it's him?

MATT:

I don't know; just keep on walkin'. (PAUSE) Yeah, it's him, all right. I can see the moonlight on the rifle barrel.

CHESTER:

Will we try to rush him, Mr. Dillon?

MATT:

Not unless you're thinkin' o' suicide. I'm gonna talk to him, Chester.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS STOP

MATT:

(BEAT) Jimmy? It's me, Matt Dillon.

JIMMY:

(OFF, UPSET) Go away, Mr. Dillon! Better go away and don't bother me!

MATT:

I can't do that, Jimmy. You're a friend of mine, and I figure you're waitin' here to do somethin' that you'd be sorry for, and I - I can't let you do that.

JIMMY:

(OFF) Nothin' you can do about it, Mr. Dillon. I got a gun here, and I'm gonna kill him. You go away now and leave me alone!

SOUND:

MATT'S FOOTSTEPS RESUME, SLOWLY, IN BG

MATT:

Jimmy, I know how you feel. I don't like Caleb either, but killin' him's no answer. Your folks feel bad enough already. Think how it would hurt 'em if you did--

JIMMY:

(OFF) Stop, Mr. Dillon! Now, stay where you are! Don't come any closer!

MATT:

I have to, Jimmy. It's my job. So if you're goin' through with this, I guess you'll - have to kill me first.

JIMMY:

(OFF) No! No, Mr. Dillon! Now stay back!

MATT:

I'm sorry, Jimmy. I don't have a choice. But you do.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS STOP

JIMMY:

(CLOSE) No! No-- (BREAKS DOWN CRYING) I couldn't shoot you, Mr. Dillon. You know that. (WEEPS)

MATT:

(SOOTHING) Sure. I knew you couldn't.

JIMMY:

(INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL) I kept wakin' up nights and hearin' mom cryin'. Dad would sit up all night without the lamp lit, and no fire, not say anythin', just sittin'!

MATT:

Easy now, Jimmy.

JIMMY:

(A FINAL OUTBURST) Why did he do this to us, Mr. Dillon?!

MATT:

Jimmy--

JIMMY:

(SOBS)

MATT:

Listen to me. Will you do somethin' for a friend?

JIMMY:

(CALMS DOWN) Yeah. If you say so.

MATT:

All right. Then take that rifle back to the jail, and put it in the rack -- and go to bed. Now, you promise?

JIMMY:

Yeah. I promise, Mr. Dillon. I'm sorry, and - I'll do like you say.

MATT:

You're all right, Jimmy. Good night, son.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

SALOON BACKGROUND

KITTY:

I coulda told ya Clem Bates wouldn't do anythin', Matt. He wouldn't dare. He'd be scared Caleb would take his money out o' the bank.

MATT:

Yeah, that's about what he said. I don't know, Kitty. I've done everything I could possibly think of.

KITTY:

Oh, the worst of it is, everybody in town's just as scared o' Caleb as Clem is. I doubt if they'll even have the nerve to bid against him at the sale.

MATT:

Yeah, I know. He'll prob'ly get the place at not much more than the amount of the mortgage.

KITTY:

Four hundred and twenty dollars. Matt, I've seen more than that change hands across a poker table here in one deal. To think that's all it takes.

SOUND:

JACK'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

JACK:

I beg your pardon, Miss Kitty.

KITTY:

(SELF-CONSCIOUS) Oh, of course, Jack.

JACK:

I'm not usually one to eavesdrop on people, but I have been listening to you two.

KITTY:

(NERVOUSLY INTRODUCING TWO MEN SHE SLEEPS WITH) Uh, Jack, have ya met Marshal Dillon?

JACK:

No, I haven't had the pleasure. The reason I butted in Miss Kitty, I heard you talkin' about these people losing their home. I don't know this fellow Blake. He's never done any business over my table, and probably never will.

KITTY:

No, I don't think he's ever been in here.

JACK:

And I don't know if this'll make sense. But, the thing is, I left home when I was ten years old and I've been drifting ever since. When I see somebody like this Blake, that sticks it out and works and fights, and then gets a raw deal-- Well, what I'm gettin' at-- (SHUFFLE OF PAPER MONEY) Here's fifty dollars if that'll help him any.

KITTY:

Awww, Jack--

MATT:

Well, this is awful decent of you, Jack.

KITTY:

Matt? I said a while ago that nearly everyone in town was afraid o' Caleb.

MATT:

Yeah?

KITTY:

Well, there's some who aren't. Like Jack here, and me -- and the rest of the dealers and the gamblers and the girls and the bartenders.

JACK:

That's right, Miss Kitty.

KITTY:

Because we're drifters. We got nothin' to lose. Matt, I'll raise four hundred and twenty dollars right here in the Texas Trail.

MATT:

By heaven, Kitty, I think ya could.

KITTY:

Well, I can't do as well as Jack, but-- (SELF-CONSCIOUS CHUCKLE) Here's twenty from me. (CALLS, TO THE SALOON CROWD) Boys! Everybody!

SOUND:

SALOON CROWD QUIETS DOWN

KITTY:

(TO THE CROWD) Now, listen to me for a minute! I got somethin' to say!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

MATT:

He's sure takin' his time gettin' here, Chester.

CHESTER:

Well, I told him what you said, Mr. Dillon.

MATT:

Well, that ought to bring him on the run if anything will. (WALKS TO STOVE, OPENS IT, POKES FIRE BEHIND--) Any time Caleb figures he's about to lose a dollar or two, it's hittin' him where it hurts. (SHUTS STOVE)

CHESTER:

The Blakes turned in for the night?

MATT:

Yeah, I guess so. It's been quiet back there for the last few--

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

CALEB:

Marshal, what's this all about?

MATT:

Well, shut the door, Caleb; we're tryin' to keep it warm in here.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES ... CALEB'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

CALEB:

Would you mind telling me why I've been called over here at this time of night?

MATT:

Yeah, sure. (OPENS DRAWER) Here's four hundred and twenty dollars. (DROPS BIG WAD OF CASH ON DESK) The Blakes want to pay off the mortgage.

CALEB:

(UNIMPRESSED) They do, do they?

MATT:

The court costs up to now prob'ly run about ten dollars. I'll pay that myself.

CALEB:

That's mighty generous of you. (FOOTSTEPS START OFF) Well, good night, Marshal.

MATT:

Is it a deal, then?

CALEB:

(FOOTSTEPS STOP) I am not the least bit interested in having that mortgage paid off, Marshal Dillon. The Blake farm is worth about two thousand dollars now, and in five years it'll be worth three times that much. Land's going up in Ford County; that's why I'm grabbing every piece I can get. So I don't want the money; I want the farm. And when it's put up for sale, I'll get it, at my own price. The foreclosure still goes.

SOUND:

CALEB'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS

MATT:

I see.

CALEB:

(CHEERFUL) Good night, gentlemen.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES

CHESTER:

Well, I guess that's that, Mr. Dillon.

MATT:

(DISGUSTED) I don't know why I even thought he'd take the money. (CHAIR SCRAPES AS MATT RISES AND PACES THE FLOOR) The Blakes won't get a cent out of the sale. He'll scare everybody off and bid it in a few dollars over the amount of the mortgage and nobody in town will even try to-- (STOPS PACING) Even try to--

CHESTER:

(BEAT) Try to what, Mr. Dillon?

MATT:

Chester, I'm goin' over and wake up Clem Bates. I got an idea, and if it works, we'll hold that sale at noon tomorrow.

CHESTER:

That's pretty short notice to find a' auctioneer.

MATT:

I don't need an auctioneer, Chester. This one, I'm gonna run myself!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

AUCTION CROWD MURMURS ... THEN QUIETS AS GAVEL RAPS SHARPLY THREE TIMES ... FARM BACKGROUND

MATT:

(LOUD, TO THE CROWD) All right, everybody! All right! Now, all of you know what we're here for. This is a foreclosure sale of the property and household effects of Edward and Martha Blake, ordered by the court, at the request of that fine-spirited, goodhearted, public benefactor and friend and neighbor of us all -- Caleb Andrews!

SOUND:

CROWD MURMURS UNEASILY

CALEB:

(ANNOYED) Marshal Dillon, I refuse to tolerate that--

MATT:

Caleb, I think we better get one thing straight right now. The law tells me I gotta conduct this sale, but the law doesn't tell me what I gotta say while I'm conducting it.

SOUND:

CROWD CHUCKLES TIMIDLY

CALEB:

Get on with it. Get on with the sale.

MATT:

All right. Now, uh, the first item I'm offerin' is a breadboard. (PROPS UP WOODEN BREADBOARD) Miz Blake tells me she's used this for nearly ten years. That's a lot o' loaves o' bread -- a lot o' years. As you can see, it's pretty badly battered up. I doubt if it'd be worth much to anybody, unless they were used to it. Suppose we start it at -- fifty cents. (PAUSE) Is there anybody here low enough to bid fifty cents for Mrs. Blake's breadboard? (NO ANSWER)

SOUND:

CROWD MURMURS UNEASILY

MATT:

How 'bout you, Caleb?

CALEB:

(IMPATIENT) I'm not interested in the item. Get on with the sale.

MATT:

Anybody else? (NO ANSWER) No? All right, then.

SOUND: WOODEN CRIB SET UP

MATT:

The second item. It's a crib. Now you'll notice it's handmade. Rough construction. Never been painted. And it's been well-used. Ed built it himself twelve years ago, just before Jimmy was born. There are teeth marks all over the slats here, but - that doesn't really hurt anything. There are also--

CALEB:

Marshal Dillon, may I suggest you lump the household effects together and offer them as one bulk item?

MATT:

I'm sorry, Caleb, I'd rather offer 'em one at a time.

SOUND:

CROWD CHUCKLES, A LITTLE MORE BOLDLY NOW

MATT:

Unless, of course you'd care to waive all claim to the household effects and withdraw 'em from the Order of Foreclosure.

CALEB:

(BEAT) I waive the claim. The household goods are withdrawn. Now get on to the house and land.

MATT:

So ordered.

SOUND:

GAVEL BANGS ONCE ... CROWD MURMURS APPRECIATIVELY ... MATT UNFOLDS A MAP BEHIND--

MATT:

Now, the item offered is a hundred and sixty acres of tillable land, a four-room house and a barn. I won't read through the description; you all know the property. It's a good farm. The amount of the mortgage is four hundred and twenty dollars ---- held by Caleb Andrews. All right, the biddin's open. (GAVEL BANGS ONCE) What am I offered?

CALEB:

Four hundred and fifty dollars.

MATT:

I have four hundred and fifty dollars from Caleb Andrews. Do I hear another bid? (NO ANSWER) Now, the farm's worth two thousand. Are you gonna let him have it for four hundred and fifty? How 'bout another bidder?

CHESTER:

(BEAT, THEN FROM OFF) Mr. Dillon--?

MATT:

Yeah, what it is, Chester?

CHESTER:

(OFF) Well, I been thinkin' some lately o' getting me a little place like this and settlin' down. I - I'll bid a thousand dollars.

SOUND:

CROWD MURMURS IN SURPRISE

MATT:

I have a thousand dollars. Do I hear another bid?

CALEB:

It's a trick. He doesn't want this place.

MATT:

A thousand dollars, goin' once--

CALEB:

Twelve hundred.

MATT:

Caleb Andrews bids twelve hundred dollars. What do you say, Chester?

CHESTER:

(OFF) Well, sir, I - I think I kinda like this farm. Fifteen hun'red.

SOUND:

CROWD MURMURS IN AMAZEMENT

CALEB:

This is ridiculous!

MATT:

The bid is fifteen hundred dollars. Goin' once -- goin' twice--

CALEB:

Sixteen hundred!

MATT:

Sixteen hundred dollars from Mr. Andrews. Chester?

CHESTER:

(PAUSE, OFF) Eight thousand, four hundred and twenty dollars!

SOUND:

CROWD MURMURS IN SHOCK

CALEB:

He never had that much money in his whole life!

MATT:

Do I hear another bid? Well, what do you say, Caleb?

CALEB:

Do you think I'm a fool?

MATT:

Goin' once! Goin' twice! Sold--!

SOUND:

GAVEL BANGS ONCE ... CROWD ERUPTS BEHIND--

MATT:

--to Chester Proudfoot for eight thousand, four hundred and twenty dollars! The buyer will come forward and complete the sale.

SOUND:

CROWD SLOWLY QUIETS DURING FOLLOWING, OUT BY [X]

CHESTER:

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACH) (CLOSER) Don't you worry none about me, Mr. Andrews, I got it right here. (SHUFFLE OF PAPER MONEY) There! There's eight thousand in five-hundred-dollar bills. (SLAPS DOWN BILLS) And here is the four twenty. (SLAPS DOWN THE MONEY)

CALEB:

Where did you ever get that much in cash?

CHESTER:

Well, I save my pay, Mr. Andrews. And of course I drink just mostly beer. It adds up after a while.

MATT:

Caleb, I guess four hundred and twenty dollars of this is yours. (SHUFFLE OF MONEY) And that takes care of the mortgage. (MORTGAGE TORN UP) Well, Ed, looks like you made a pretty fair profit on the place.

ED:

Yeah, a lot better than I expected, Matt.

MATT:

Here's your money.

ED:

Thank you, Matt. But I tell ya, I'd still-- I'd still rather have the farm than the money.

CHESTER:

Well, now, I been sorta thinkin' it over, Mr. Blake. (CHUCKLE) Maybe I kinda lost my head. [X] When you come right down to it, I don't know what I'd ever do with a farm, so, if you'd like to buy it, I'll take a four hundred and twenty dollar loss - and sell it back to you for eight thousand dollars cash.

ED:

(LAUGHS) Done! Here's your money.

CALEB:

This is unheard of! They can't do it, Marshal!

MATT:

Well, as far as I know, there's no law against a man sellin' his own property, Caleb.

ED:

Now, the way I see it, Mr. Andrews, is right this minute you're a trespasser on my property. Come on, let's go!

SOUND:

SCUFFLE! AS ED PUSHES CALEB ... THE EMBOLDENED CROWD MURMURS THEIR SUPPORT AND HELPS ESCORT CALEB FROM THE PREMISES

CALEB:

Let go of me, Blake! Who do you think you're manhandling?

SOUND:

CROWD MOVES OFF

MATT:

Chester? (LOW) You better get that eight thousand dollars back to the bank. Clem Bates is prob'ly worryin' himself into a breakdown for fear somebody'll find out that he let us have it.

CHESTER:

(MOVING OFF) All right, Mr. Dillon, I'll see ya in town later.

MATT:

Yeah.

MARTHA:

(APPROACHES) Oh, Matt, Matt. I - I don't know how we can ever thank ya for what you've done.

MATT:

Ah, not me, Martha. Thank the bunch that work at the Texas Trail. You know, they're bums and drifters, most of 'em. But when Kitty told 'em the story, they really came through.

MARTHA:

We'll pay it back, Matt, every cent of it. And well, that - that girl, Kitty, I - I guess I've said some hard things about her in the past, but-- Matt, will ya ask her to come out to dinner some afternoon? I--

MATT:

(SURPRISED) What?

MARTHA:

I'd like to thank her myself.

MATT:

Huh. Sure, Martha, I'll ask her. And I think she'll appreciate that -- more than you'll ever know.

MUSIC:

CURTAIN

ANNOUNCER:

"GUNSMOKE", under the direction of Norman Macdonnell, stars William Conrad as Matt Dillon, U. S. Marshal.

Tonight's story was specially written for "GUNSMOKE" by Les Crutchfield, with music composed and conducted by Rex Koury.

Featured in the cast were Harry Bartell, Paula Winslowe and Richard Beals, with Joe Du Val, Lawrence Dobkin, and Jim Nusser.

Parley Baer is Chester and Georgia Ellis is Kitty.

"GUNSMOKE" is heard by our troops overseas through the facilities of the Armed Forces Radio Service. Join us again next week as Matt Dillon, U. S. Marshal, fights to bring law and order out of the wild violence of the West, in "GUNSMOKE"!

SOUND:

THEME, IN BG, TILL END

ANNOUNCER:

Here's a suggestion for Saturday listening -- "FUN FOR ALL," starring Bill Cullen and Arlene Francis, and John Reed King's great show, "GIVE AND TAKE." Hear them tomorrow on CBS radio.

Clancy Cassell speaking.

And, remember, you'll find western adventure and music with Gene Autry Saturday evenings on the CBS RADIO NETWORK.