Happy 2nd Saturday into Season 21!As I wrote this, I thumbed through a script copy from the show, trying to use the same format and directions.I didnít do it exactly like the script, but itís close.Hope Iíve followed Janís great beginning satisfactorily.Enjoy!(No scenes from next week, but I know youíll want to stay tuned!)

 

 

 

Gunsmoke - Season 21

 

 

Episode 637: A NEW STAGE

 

 

WRITER: Amanda

 

CAST:

 

Matt Dillon Ė U. S. Marshal

Kitty Russell Ė Long Branch owner

Doc Adams Ė Dodge City physician

Festus Haggen Ė Deputy U. S. Marshal

Cleatis Evans Ė first stage robber

Bill Kane Ė second stage robber

Barney Ė telegraph operator

Stage Driver

Third stage robber (unnamed)

Fourth stage robber (unnamed)

Fifth stage robber (unnamed)

 

 

TEASER

 

FADE IN:

 

INTERIOR SHOT: THE LONG BRANCH

CLOSE SHOT:FESTUS AND DOC SITTING AT TABLE, TWO BEERS BEFORE THEM

 

 

FESTUS:Iím jest a sayiní that Miz Kitty just now got herseff back here whar she belongs aní now sheís a gone off agin, thatís all.

 

DOC: Well, itís not like sheís off on her own again.Mattís with her.Donít you understand anything?

 

FESTUS: Like what?

 

DOC:Oh, for Peteís sake.She was gone a year.

 

FESTUS:I knowíd that, Doc.Everbody in Dodge knows that.

 

DOC:Iím just saying that there are things those two need to talk about.You just canít pick up where you left off after an entire year.

 

FESTUS:How come?

 

DOC: (swiping at his mustache) I give up.Letís just say theyíre on a trip and leave it at that.At this very moment, they are probably deep in conversation, talking things over, discussing whatís happened the past year.

 

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

EXTERIOR SHOT:

 

STAGE COACH CROSSING PRAIRIE

 

CUT TO INTERIOR SHOT OF COACH:

 

MATT AND KITTY ARE THE ONLY PASSENGERS AND ARE LOCKED IN A HEATED EMBRACE AND DEEP KISS, NOT MUCH DISCUSSION GOING ON.

 

KITTY:(pulling back, breathless, and letting her hand brush through Mattís hair, a look of adoration on her face)I canít believe we are actually getting away.

 

MATT: (bending to nuzzle at her neck)Umm hmm.

 

KITTY:No interruptions, no prisoners to drop off, no trial to go to.

 

MATT: (still nuzzling)Umm hmm.

 

KITTY: (She runs a hand over his chest.We see that the shirt is bare of the ubiquitous badge.) And no this, either Ė at least for this trip.

 

MATT: (lips moving from her neck back to her mouth) Umm hmm.

 

O.S. SOUNDS OF SHOTS FIRING.MATT JERKS, STARTLED, AND PULLS AWAY.

 

VOICE O.S. COMING FROM STAGE DRIVER: Whoa!

 

CUT TO EXTERIOR SHOT Ė DRIVER PULLING HARD ON REINS, HORSES STUMBLING TO A HALT

 

BACK TO INTERIOR SHOT Ė CLOSE ON KITTY

 

KITTY: (sighing)I knew it was too good to be true.

 

 

DISSOLVE TO MAIN TITLE

 

FADE OUT

 

 

XXXX

 

 

FADE IN:

 

ACT ONE:

 

EXTERIOR MEDIUM SHOT (DAY):FOUR MEN ON HORSES RIDE UP TO STAGE, BANDANAS OVER THEIR FACES, GUNS DRAWN

 

 

EVANS: (to driver) Arright!Throw down yer gun old timer and everybodyíll be okay.

 

DRIVER: Who do you think you are?You got no right Ė

 

EVANS SHOOTS DRIVER, WHO FALLS OFF STAGE, GUNS START FIRING

 

DISSOLVE TO INTERIOR SHOT OF STAGE, MATT DRAWS GUN, CROUCHES AT WINDOW

 

MATT:(pushing with his left hand) Kitty, stay back and stay down.

 

KITTY: (grabbing at his arm) Matt, donít.Let them have whatever they want.You can go after them later.

 

INTERIOR SHOT THROUGH STAGE WINDOW TO EXTERIOR SHOT: MATT GIVES HER A LOOK THAT SAYS HE CANíT DO THAT, THEN TURNS AND FIRES OUT THE WINDOW, HITTING THIRD STAGE ROBBER SQUARE IN THE CHEST.ROBBER FALLS OFF HORSE ONTO GROUND.THERE ARE ONLY THREE ROBBERS LEFT, NOW.MATT DARTS OUT THE DOOR, FIRING AT THE REMAINING GUNMEN, HITTING ANOTHER.

 

CUT TO EXTERIOR SHOT: KANE JUMPS ONTO TOP OF STAGE, SO THAT HEíS IN BACK OF MATT.

 

 

KITTY: (hearing footsteps overhead) Matt!Look out!

 

MATT TURNS, BUT KANEíS BULLET HITS HIM HIGH ON THE LEFT SHOULDER AND HE FALLS AGAINST THE STAGE.EVANS RIDES OVER TO HIM, HOPS OFF HIS HORSE AND KICKS MATTíS GUN AWAY.

 

EVANS:You made a mistake, mister.You coulda gotten outta here with your life, but now Ė (stops as he sees Kitty inside stage)Well, now, whadda we have here?

 

KANE: What is it, Cleatis?

 

EVANS: (moving closer to stage and tugs down his bandana)Now, thatís just about the prettiest sight Iíve seen in a while.

 

KITTY: You get away from him.

 

MATT: (lying on ground, voice strained)Kitty, donít say anything.

 

EVANS:Kitty, is it?Now, thatís a right pretty name, too, to go along with a pretty lady.Bill, looks like we got ourselves quite a bit moreín a strong box of money, here.

 

MATT: (struggling to sit) Keep your hands off her.

 

KANE:(who has pulled down his bandana as well, jumps off the stage and walks around to stand next to Evans) Looks like we got ourselves a jealous husband, too, donít it?

 

EVANS:He wonít be jealous fer long.Heíll be dead.

 

KITTY: (eyes darting, trying to think of a way out) Wait!You canít kill him.

 

EVANS: Who says, pretty lady?

 

KITTY: Heís not my husband Ė heís a United States marshal.

 

MATT: (grimacing)Kitty Ė

 

EVANS: Ainít that jest an even better reason taí kill him?(laughs)

 

KITTY: You can get ransom for him.Heís an important person.Iíll bet even the governor would listen to your demands.

 

KANE: Aw, Cleatis, thatís too much trouble.Letís jest kill Ďem and git outta here.

 

EVANS: (thinking) Now, wait jest a minute.Important, yaí say?

 

KITTY: (nodding)Very important.

 

EVANS:Whatís his name?

 

KITTY: (grits teeth, as if trying to decide whether or not to do it)Matt Dillon.

 

EVANS: (eyes wide)Dillon!?

 

KANE: Thatís Matt Dillon?

 

EVANS:(looking more closely at Matt)I heard he wuz a big fella.They werenít lyiní.(turns to Kitty) How do I know yer telliní the truth?I ainít seen no badge.

 

KANE: Come on, Cleatis.I say we kill him.

 

KITTY: Itís in his coat pocket.Iíll get it for you.(She moves to step out of the stage.)

 

EVANS: (swings gun on her) Hold on, now.I ainít gonna let you slip him one of them little female pistols to stick in my belly.Hold out yer arms.(He lets his hands slide over her, frisking her, but taking liberties over her breasts and hips.)

 

MATT: (diving for Evans) I said, get your hands off her!

 

EVANS KICKS OUT AT MATT, CATCHING HIM ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD.HE GOES DOWN AND DOESNíT MOVE.

 

KITTY: (falling onto her knees next to Matt) What have you done?!

 

EVANS: (breathing hard) Lady, I donít care who he is.And even as pretty as you are, you ainít worth thí trouble. (turns to Kane) Come on, Bill.Letís get outta here.

 

KANE: (throwing strong box over his saddle)Iím with ya!So long, Lady!

 

 

FADE OUT

 

 

XXXX

 

 

FADE IN:

 

ACT TWO:

 

INTERIOR SHOT: JAIL Ė FESTUS AND DOC SEATED AT TABLE IN FOREGROUND, PLAYING CHECKERS

 

 

FESTUS: What air yaí doiní?Yaí kaint jump around no corner and you knowíd it.

 

DOC: That was a legitimate move, my friend.You just lost three pieces.

 

FESTUS: I ainít knowiní whatever kinda move you done sed, but it werenít no legal one, and thatís fer sartain.

 

DOC: Sore loser.

 

FESTUS: (bristling) Wael, Iím jest Ė

 

CUT TO JAIL DOOR, OPENS TO LET IN BARNEY, THE TELEGRAPH OPERATOR

 

BARNEY: Festus?(Sees Doc)Oh, hi, Doc.

 

DOC: Come on in, Barney, and tell Festus how to play checkers.

 

FESTUS: You olí Ė

 

BARNEY: Oh, I canít stay.Just come by taí tell yaí, Festus, that I ainít got a telelgram for yaí yet.

 

FESTUS:Not yet?

 

BARNEY:(shaking head) Sorry.Maybe tomorrow.See yaí, Doc.(leaves)

 

DOC: You expecting a telegram from someone, Festus?

 

FESTUS: (cocking his head) Wael, Matthew right out promised heíd sent one as soon as Miz Kitty and him got taí Saint Louie.

 

DOC: Matt promised Ė (tugs at his ear) Festus, you need to find you a female and learn a few things.

 

FESTUS: (insulted) I know lots of thangs about shemales, Doc.

 

DOC: Not enough, apparently.Matt and Kitty are off on trip together.They havenít seen each other in a year.They havenít Ė well, they havenít Ė well, for Peteís sake, do I have to spell it out for ya?(shaking head) Oh, thatís right, you canít read anyway.

 

FESTUS:What are ye sayiní, Doc?

 

DOC: (voice raised) Iím saying that Mattís got other things on his mind besides letting you know how heís doing!

 

FESTUS: I knowed that, but itíd jest take a minute or two to scribble Ė

 

DOC: (shuffling to door)I give up.Iím just gonna go play myself in a game of checkers.At least then Iíll know I have competition.

 

 

FADE OUT

 

 

XXXX

 

 

FADE IN:

 

ACT THREE:

 

EXTERIOR MEDIUM SHOT (DAY):

 

KITTY IS SITTING ON THE GROUND NEXT TO THE STAGE WITH MATTíS HEAD IN HER LAP. WE SEE A SMEAR OF BLOOD OVER HIS LEFT EAR AND A DISTURBINGLY LARGE BLOOD STAIN AT HIS LEFT SHOULDER.

 

KITTY: (her fingers running gently across his forehead) You just hang on, Matt.I didnít come this far just to lose you again.(Her eyes look out over the plains, but she doesnít see any sign of help.)

 

KITTY EASES HIM DOWN TO THE GROUND AND PUSHES HIS COAT OFF HIS SHOULDERS, TEARS OPEN THE SHIRT TO LOOK AT THE SHOULDER WOUND.SHE REACHES DOWN AND BEGINS TO RIP STRIPS FROM HER PETTICOAT.

 

DISSOLVE TO NIGHT:

 

TIME HAS PASSED.CLOSE SHOT ON MATT, LYING ON GROUND, SHIRT OPEN, KITTYíS PETTICOAT BANDAGES SECURED AGAINST HIS SHOULDER, BUT THE MATERIAL IS ALREADY STAINED RED AGAIN.

 

KITTY HAS CLIMBED ONTO THE STAGE AND GOTTEN THE DEAD DRIVERíS CANTEEN.SHE SITS BACK ON THE GROUND NEXT TO MATT AND HOLDS IT UP TO MATTíS LIPS.

 

KITTY:Come on, Cowboy, just a little bit, now.Matt?

 

MATT STIRS SLIGHTLY AND GROANS.KITTY FORCES THE WATER INTO HIS MOUTH.HE SPLUTTERS A LITTLE, BUT SWALLOWS.

 

KITTY: Thatís it, thatís good.

 

MATT: (eyes opening slightly, voice rough)Kitty?

 

KITTY: (relief on her face)Hey, Cowboy.Howíre ya feeling?

 

MATT: (groans)

 

KITTY: Yeah, that was a pretty stupid question.

 

MATT: (tries to look around) Where Ė

 

KITTY: Somewhere between Dodge and Topeka, but I have no idea how close we are to anything.Our two friendly stage robbers took off.Seems that, even unconscious, Matt Dillon was too much of a challenge for them to take a chance.

 

MATT:Kitty, you shouldnít have Ė

 

KITTY:I know.Doesnít matter now, does it?You just lie there and take it easy.Youíve lost a lot of blood.Plus, that bulletís still in your shoulder. Somebodyís gonna have to get it out.

 

MATT: Youíll have to do it, Kitty.I canít make it back to Dodge unless you do.

 

KITTY: (a look of horror on her face) You canít be serious, Matt.I canít Ė ď

 

MATT: (struggling to sit again) You can.(breathing heavily) Listen, if we stand a chance, you have to.Those robbers could change their minds and come back here.Or some other highwaymen could come along.Or even renegade Cheyenne.We can unhook the horses and ride them back Ė (falls back against the stage, unable to sit any longer)

 

KITTY: Matt!

 

MATT:(not opening his eyes)Do it, Kitty.Or leave me here.Itís gotta be one or the other.

 

CLOSE SHOT ON KITTY Ė WONDERING WHAT TO DO

 

 

FADE OUT

 

 

XXXX

 

 

FADE IN:

 

ACT FOUR:

 

EXTERIOR SHOT (NIGHT):

 

EVANS AND KANE ARE RIDING ACROSS THE OPEN PRAIRIE.KANE IS HAVING TROUBLE KEEPING THE STRONG BOX FROM SLIDING OFF HIS SADDLE.

 

 

KANE: Listen, this strong box is heavy.Letís stop and put the money in the saddlebags.

 

EVANS: (frowning) All right, but do it fast.If that really was Matt Dillon, I donít want to be anywhere close to his territory.

 

KANE: I told yaí we shoulda killed him when we had the chance.

 

EVANS: Shut up and git that box opened.

 

KANE DROPS BOX FROM HIS HORSE, THEN TAKES HIS PISTOL AND SHOOTS THE LOCK.CLOSE CUT TO INSIDE OF BOX.WE SEE ONLY BUNDLES OF LETTERS.

 

EVANS:What the hell?

 

KANE: Why Cleatis, there ainít nothing in here but papers aní such.There ainít no money.

 

EVANS KICKS BOX, THEN HOLDS FOOT.

 

EVANS: They musta kept the money somewhere else.We gotta go back.

 

KANE: But you jest said you didnít want taí be close to Dillon Ė

 

EVANS: (grabs Kaneís shirt)I said we wuz goiní back.Heís probably dead by now anyway what with my bullet and that kick to his head.We kin take theí woman with us.(Leers)For later.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

CLOSE EXTERIOR SHOT (NIGHT):

 

SIDE OF STAGECOACH.KITTY HAS A WHISKEY BOTTLE IN ONE HAND AND A KNIFE IN THE OTHER.

 

MATT:(pale and sweating)You find somethiní?

 

KITTY:Yeah.The driver had some whiskey in his bag.(wrinkles nose) Cheap stuff.

 

MATT: Doesnít matter much the way youíre gonna use it.

 

KITTY: Maybe, but youíll need a swallow or two before I start.(She lifts the bottle to Mattís lips.)

 

MATT: (He drinks, then coughs.) Rot gut?

 

KITTY:Pretty close.(She grimaces in anticipation of what sheís about to do and pours more of the whiskey over the knife blade.)Okay, Cowboy.Here goes.

 

MATT: (hand closing over her wrist)Wait.

 

KITTY: What?

 

MATT: Kitty, I may not Ė

KITTY: Donít you say it.Donít you dare say it, Matt.

 

MATT: (shaking his head) I need to say this, Kitty.

 

KITTY: (after a beat) All right.

 

MATT: (voice soft) You know I love you.Iím sorry I havenít Ė been able to give you what you want Ė

 

KITTY: (tears in eyes) You just stop talkiní now, Matthew Dillon.Youíre gonna have plenty of time when we get back to Dodge to make it up to me.

 

MATT: (reaches up to touch her cheek) Iím glad you came back.

 

KITTY: (Tears falling now, she leans down and kisses him.) Me, too.

 

MATT:Even now?

 

KITTY:Even now. (She kisses him again, then pulls back, taking a deep breath.)Okay.You ready?

 

MATT: (nods)

 

WE SEE HER WINCE AS SHE PUSHES THE BLADE INTO THE WOUND.MATT GRIMACES FIERCELY AND TURNS HIS HEAD, HIS BODY STIFFENING.

 

KITTY: Iím sorry, Matt.Iím so sorry.

 

MATT: (barely able to get the words out) Just Ė do Ė it.

 

SHE CONTINUES, DIGGING DEEPER.MATT GRUNTS IN PAIN.WE SEE PERSPIRATION ON HIS FOREHEAD AND UPPER LIP.SWITCH SHOT TO KITTYíS DETERMINED FACE THEN BACK TO MATT.MATTíS EYES CLOSE AND HE SUDDENLY GOES LIMP.KITTY FALLS BACK ON HER HEELS, THE BLOODY BULLET RESTING IN HER PALM.

 

KITTY: (whispering)Okay, Cowboy.Youíre gonna be okay.And weíre gonna make it back to Dodge.You got a lot to make up for.(She leans in and places a gentle kiss on his lips.He doesnít respond.Heís out cold.)

 

DISSOLVE TO EXTERIOR SHOT (DAY):

 

CLOSE SHOT ON MATT:

 

HEíS RESTING FITFULLY, SHOULDER NOW RE-BANDAGED WITH MORE PETTICOAT.HIS SHIRT AND COAT ARE COMPLETELY OFF.KITTY SITS NEXT TO HIM, HER HEAD BACK AGAINST THE COACH.SHE IS ASLEEP.

 

CUT TO WIDE SHOT, VIEW FROM STAGECOACH:

 

EVANS AND KANE ARE RIDING UP.KITTY STIRS, SEES THE STAGE ROBBERS APPROACHING.WE SEE HER HAND REACH UNDER THE COACH, DRAGGING OUT THE DRIVERíS RIFLE.SHE STANDS, HIDING THE RIFLE IN HER SKIRTS.

 

EVANS:Howdy, maíam.Looks like you aní the marshal there had a rough night.

 

KITTY:What are you doing back?

 

KANE: Me aní my partner here forgot somethiní.

 

KITTY:What?

 

EVANS: Well, the money for one thing.(He eyes her hungrily.)And you for the other.

 

KITTY: (narrows eyes)I donítí think so, mister.(She raises the rifle and aims it at Evans.)

 

KANE: (eyes widening)Fer Peteís sake, Lady.Put that away.You ainít gonna use it.Besides, I bet Cleatis kin draw on you before you kin pull that trigger.

 

KITTY:Iím bettiní he canít.

 

CLOSE SHOT: EVANSí EYES.

 

HEíS THINKING AND LOOKING.WE SEE A SUDDEN MOVEMENT FROM HIM AND HEAR A SINGLE GUNSHOT.CLOSE ON EVANS, WHOSE EYES UNFOCUS.BLOOD BLOSSOMS ON HIS CHEST AS HE TUMBLES OFF THE HORSE.

 

CUT TO MEDIUM SHOT ON KITTY, STILL HOLDING THE RIFLE, NOW SMOKING FROM THE BARRELL.

 

CUT TO MEDIUM SHOT ON KANE, WHO GRABS THE REINS OF HIS OWN HORSE AND REACHES FOR HIS PISTOL.

 

MATT: (O.S.) I wouldnít do that if I were you.

 

CUT TO CLOSE SHOT ON MATT, PROPPED ON AN ELBOW, HIS PISTOL POINTED AT KANE.THE OUTLAW HESITATES, THEN DECIDES TO GO FOR HIS GUN.MATTíS BULLET HITS HIM DEAD CENTER AND HE FALLS FROM HIS HORSE.

 

CUT TO MEDIUM SHOT:

 

KITTY DROPS THE RIFLE AND KNEELS NEXT TO MATT, WHO HAS FALLEN BACK AGAINST THE WAGON, SWEATING AND BREATHING HARD.SHE SLIDES HER ARM AROUND HIS BACK AND TRIES TO HELP HIM LIE BACK DOWN.

 

KITTY: You all right?

 

MATT: (voice tight) I was gonna ask you Ė the same thing.

 

KITTY:(brushing the hair back over his forehead gently Ė a loverís caress) Iím just fine, Cowboy.Iím just fine.

 

 

FADE OUT

 

 

XXXX

 

 

FADE IN :

 

EPILOGUE:

 

INTERIOR SHOT (DAY):

 

DOCíS OFFICE Ė MATTíS LYING IN DOCíS BED, NEW BANDAGES ON HIS SHOULDER AND AROUND HIS HEAD. THE COVERS ARE PULLED UP TO HIS WAIST, BUT HE IS BARE-CHESTED EXCEPT FOR THE BANDAGES.KITTY IS PROPPED ON SIDE OF THE BED.DOC AND FESTUS STAND NEXT TO THE BED.

 

 

FESTUS: I wuz a telliní Doc thí whole time somethiní wuz wrong, but he didnít have nairy a thang to do with believiní me.Ē

 

DOC: Thatís not true.I just knew that there could be any number of reasons Matt hadnít sent that telegram.

 

KITTY:(mischievous expression) Like what, Doc?

 

DOC:(clearing throat)Oh, well, maybe he got interested in Ė well, I figured you and he Ė well, something, anyway!Is everybody around here obtuse?

 

FESTUS: (strange look in response to word)Speak fer yerseff, Doc.

 

KITTY: (laughing) Thanks, anyway, Curly.I can tell you one thing, thatís the last time Iíll take the stage anywhere.Next time, Iím goiní by train.

 

MATT: IíM going?

 

KITTY: (smiling at him)WEíRE going.

 

MATT: (with a private smile just for Kitty) Okay.

 

DOC: Too bad you didnít get your trip, though.(He snaps his fingers as if he has just thought of this idea.)Say, Iíve got an idea.Mattís gonna need to stay up here and recover for at least a week.

 

MATT: (frowning)A week?Doc Ė

 

DOC: (ignoring him) And I figure Kittyíll have to be around in case he needs somethiní.

 

KITTY:Whatíre you gettingí at, Doc?

 

DOC: (obviously pleased with himself) See, I need to head on over to the Akinsí farm for a few days.Mrs. Akins is about due with that baby and she had some trouble with the last one.I wonít be using my offices, and, well, no oneíll be around Ė

 

KITTY: (catching on) You sure no one will be coming up here?

 

DOC: (quickly) Iíll leave a sign at the bottom of the stairs.(He points at Matt.)You just make sure he stays in bed even if you have to get in there with him yourself!

 

MATT: (flushing) Doc!

 

KITTY: That I can do.(She leans over and kisses Matt soundly, continuing the kiss even as Festus and Doc look on.He starts to resist, but she pushes gently on his chest.He winces, then gives in, returning the kiss with passion.)

 

MEDIUM SHOT ON FESTUS AND DOC:

 

DOC HEADS FOR THE DOOR, SHOOING FESTUS OUT WITH HIM AS HE GOES.THEY BOTH LOOK BACK AND GRIN BEFORE THE DOOR CLOSES BEHIND THEM.

 

CLOSE SHOT ON CLOSED DOOR:

 

DISSOLVE TO CREDITS

 

FADE TO BLACK: END OF EPISODE

 

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