Gunsmoke Ė Season 22

 

Episode 673: Like Father, Like Son?

 

WRITER:Amanda

 

CAST:

 

Matt Dillon Ė U.S. Marshal

Kitty Russell Dillon Ė part-owner of the Long Branch Saloon

Doc Adams Ė Dodge City physician

Festus Haggen Ė Deputy U.S. Marshal

Dillon Carney Ė son of Stella Carney

Stella Carney (from ďThe Peace Officer,Ē Season Six)

Carl Hickman Ė gunman

Sam Noonan

Wilbur Jonas

Edsel Pry

Moss Grimmick

Nathan Burke

Howie Ė hotel clerk

 

 

TEASER

 

FADE IN:

 

INTERIOR SHOT DAY: DOCíS OFFICE

 

CLOSE SHOT: MATT IS SITTING ON DOCíS EXAM TABLE, HIS SHIRT OFF.DOC IS LOOKING AT SOME VISIBLE BRUISES ALONG THE MARSHALíS RIBS.WE SEE MATT TRY NOT TO REACT TO THE TOUCH, BUT WHEN DOC RUNS HIS HAND OVER THE LEFT SIDE, MATT FLINCHES AND JERKS AWAY SLIGHTLY.

 

DOC: Still hurts, huh?Well, a few more weeks of rest and Ė

 

MATT: A few more weeks!Doc, itís been two weeks already.Iím going crazy just sitting around.I donít need any more rest.

 

DOC: (swishing a hand over his mustache) Matt, those highwaymen worked you over real good.For Peteís sake, you were unconscious for almost a week.I didnít know if Ė (He pauses uncomfortably.)I didnít know if you were going to wake up at all.And Kitty Ė

 

MATT: (looking even more uncomfortable) I know, Doc.

 

THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER FOR A LONG MOMENT, BEFORE MATT SIGHS AND REACHES FOR HIS SHIRT.GINGERLY, HE EASES OFF THE TABLE, STILL TRYING NOT TO LET DOC SEE HOW MUCH DISCOMFORT HE IS IN.

 

DOC: (mumbling) Stubborn mule.

 

MATT: (buttoning up his shirt) Whatís that, Doc? (But we can tell he heard the doctor.)

 

DOC: I said you were a stubborn mule.Listen, Matt, like I figured when I first examined you, I think you probably have a couple of cracked ribs.Thatís gonna take at least another two weeks in bed.Even after that, youíre gonna hurt for a good long while.

 

MATT: Doc Ė

 

DOC: You know, youíre not as young as you used to be.

 

MATT: (ironically) Was I ever young, Doc?

 

DOC: (remembering) Boy, were you.

 

MATT: (laughs slightly and starts to tuck in his shirt)

 

DOC: You need more laudanum?

 

MATT: I donít need anything.Havenít used what you left before.

 

DOC: I know.Kittyís told me youíre not sleeping.Said she gets up in the middle of the night and youíre sitting in a chair.

 

MATT: (frowning at being squealed on) Thatís just more comfortable right now.Iíll be fine.

 

DOC: (frustrated) Sure.Sure.What do I care?Go ahead and be in pain.

 

MATT: (smiling fondly at the well-meaning physician) Kittyís waiting for me at the Long Branch.Join us for lunch at Delmonicoís?The kids are in school.

 

DOC: (still irritated, but giving a bit) Well, okay.But only so I can say ĎI told you soí when you start squirminí.

 

MATT: (He finishes tucking in his shirt and grabs his hat.) See you around noon.

 

DOC GRUNTS AS MATT OPENS THE DOOR AND STEPS OUTSIDE.

 

MEDIUM EXTERIOR SHOT: MATT IS STANDING AT THE TOP OF DOCíS STAIRS, LOOKING A LITTLE TENTATIVELY DOWN THE LONG EXPANSE.WITH A GRIMACE, HE BEGINS TO MAKE HIS WAY CAREFULLY DOWN, CLEARLY FAVORING HIS LEFT SIDE.

 

XXXX

 

CUT TO MEDIUM INTERIOR SHOT: THE LONG BRANCH.KITTY IS BEHIND THE BAR WITH SAM, LOOKING OVER THE BOOKS.

 

CLOSE INTERIOR SHOT: MATT STANDS AT THE LONG BRANCH DOORS, LOOKING OVER INTO THE ROOM.HE SMILES AS HE SEES KITTY.

 

MEDIUM SHOT: MATT STEPS DOWN INTO THE ROOM, LIPS PRESSED TIGHTLY TOGETHER FOR A MOMENT BEFORE HE LETS HIMSELF SMILE AGAIN AT HIS WIFE.

 

CLOSE SHOT: KITTY CLOSES THE LEDGER AND COMES OUT FROM BEHIND THE BAR TO GREET HIM.FROM HER EXPRESSION, WE SEE THAT SHE HASNíT MISSED THE GRIMACE.

 

KITTY: Hello, Cowboy. (She places a hand on Mattís arm, not too obviously, but in a gentle manner.)Whatíd Doc say?

 

MATT: (shrugging, then stopping the motion abruptly) What I told you heíd say.Iím fine.

 

KITTY: (Her brow rises skeptically.)Uh huh.Did you tell him about not being able to sleep?

 

MATT: (frowning) Seems I didnít have to.Someone else already did.

 

KITTY: (innocently) Really?

 

MATT: Kitty Ė

 

KITTY: Nevermind.Iíll get the truth out of Doc later.You look like you could use a drink.

 

MATT: (He starts to protest, then sees the futility in it and nods.) That I could.

 

KITTY: (to Sam) A couple of ryes, if you donít mind, Sam.

 

SAM: Donít mind aítall, Miss Kitty.

 

THEY LEAN ON THE BAR, SIPPING THEIR DRINKS AND LOOKING AT EACH OTHER, THEIR GAZES TENDER, NOT NEEDING TO SPEAK AT ALL.AFTER A FEW MOMENTS:

 

MEDIUM INTERIOR SHOT: THE LONG BRANCH DOORS.A BOY WALKS IN.HE IS SLIGHTLY OVER MEDIUM HEIGHT, HIS HAIR BLONDISH-BROWN, HIS EYES BLUE.HE DOESNíT LOOK MORE THAN SIXTEEN OR SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD.HIS CLOTHES ARE MORE IN THE STYLE OF A CITY-DWELLER, EXCEPT FOR A LOW-SLUNG GUNBELT AND WIDE-RIMMED HAT.HE WALKS UP TO THE BAR.

 

BOY: (to all of them in general) Morniní.

 

KITTY: Morning.

 

MATT AND SAM NOD POLITELY.

 

BOY: (trying to act grown up) Gimme a beer.

 

SAM: (raises his brow) A beer?You sure?

 

BOY: Of course, Iím sure.(But he doesnít look too sure.)

 

SAM LOOKS OVER AT KITTY, WHO SHRUGS AND NODS.HE DRAWS A BEER FOR THE BOY, WHO TAKES A SIP AND GRIMACES.

 

CUT TO CLOSE SHOT ON KITTY:SHE TRIES TO HIDE A SMILE.

 

CUT TO MEDIUM SHOT ON SAM AND THE BOY.

 

SAM: You just into town?

 

BOY: Yessir Ė I mean, yeah.

 

SAM: Any particular reason for your visit?

 

BOY: Iím lookiní for a man.Maybe you can help me.

 

SAM: Maybe.What man are yaí looking for?

 

BOY: Marshal Matt Dillon.

 

SAM GLANCES TOWARD THE MARSHAL, BUT DOESNíT IDENTIFY HIM.

 

CLOSE SHOT ON MATT AND KITTY.THEY LOOK UP EXPECTANTLY AND A LITTLE WARILY.TOO MANY OTHERS HAVE COME TO TOWN LOOKING FOR MARSHAL MATT DILLON FOR THEM NOT TO BE A LITTLE CAUTIOUS.

 

CLOSE SHOT ON MATT.HE STRAIGHTENS SLOWLY, WINCING WITH THE MOVEMENT, BUT MASKING IT ALMOST IMMEDIATELY.CAREFULLY, HE STEPS AWAY FROM KITTY. WE REALIZE THAT ITíS IN CASE THE BOY DECIDES TO DRAW.

 

MATT: Iím Marshal Dillon.What can I do for you?

 

BOY: (eyes widening as his gaze scans up the tall body) Youíre Matt Dillon?

 

MATT: I am.

 

BOY: (He has a strange look on his face, something between glee and fear.) Uh, my nameís Dillon Carney.

 

MATT AND KITTY EXCHANGE GLANCES AT THE NAME.

 

BOY: (looking around nervously, then focusing directly on Matt) Iím your son.

 

CLOSE SHOTS ON SAM AND KITTY, SURPRISE ON THEIR FACES.FINAL CLOSE SHOT ON MATT.HE IS CLEARLY STUNNED.

 

DISSOLVE TO MAIN TITLE

 

 

FADE OUT

 

 

XXXX

 

 

FADE IN:

 

 

ACT ONE

 

MEDIUM INTERIOR SHOT: THE LONG BRANCH.IT IS ONLY MOMENTS AFTER DILLON CARNEYíS SHOCKING ANNOUNCEMENT.EVERYONE IS STILL JUST STARING AT THE BOY.AFTER A LONG MOMENT:

 

MATT: Youíre what?

 

CARNEY: Iím your son.Dillon Carney.My ma named me after you.Wanted me to know who my daddy was.

 

MATT: (still not quite sure heís heard right) Your ma?

 

CARNEY: Stella Carney.

 

CLOSE SHOT ON MATT.WE SEE RECOGNITION IN HIS EYES.CUT TO CLOSE SHOT ON KITTY.SHE RECOGNIZES THE NAME, AS WELL, A FROWN DARKENING HER FACE.

 

MEDIUM SHOT: MATT, KITTY, AND CARNEY

 

MATT:Son Ė (He stops and decides to use another word.) Ė Boy, your ma might be Stella Carney, but Iím not your pa.I can tell you that Ė

 

CARNEY: Oh, I ainít mad at you.Donít worry about that.She told me you never knew about me. I canít fault you for that.I just want to be around you some.Get to know you.Ma always talks so well about you, always telling me how strong and brave you are.†† And, of course, who hasnít heard of Matt Dillon?I just wanted to Ė to meet you.

 

KITTY: (stepping around Matt to face Carney) Where is your mother now?

 

CARNEY: Back home.I told her as soon as I was grown Iíd head out looking for my pa.She expected it.

 

MATT: Iím telling you, boy, Iím not your father.Your mother and I never Ė (He stops, flushing, and looks at Kitty.)We didnít, Kitty.

 

KITTY: (smiling gently) I know, Cowboy.

 

CLOSE SHOT ON CARNEY.HE IS NOT SWAYED.

 

CARNEY: Ma told me that you and she Ė uh Ė got together while you were rescuing her from a group of evil men in the Dakotas.She loved you.Still does, I can tell, but you had your job and she knew it.I was born a few months after she settled in Denver.

 

MEDIUM SHOT: MATT, KITTY, AND CARNEY

 

MATT: (growing more exasperated) It wasnít the Dakotas, it was Tascosa.And I didnít rescue her, she followed me Ė (He stops, seeing that heís doing no good.)

 

CARNEY:I donít expect nothiní from you, Pa, except just to let me be around you a while, thatís all.

 

MATT: (raising his voice, clearly frustrated now) Iím not your pa.And Ė

 

CARNEY: (a hurt expression on his face) Donít you just want to talk to me some?Find out about my growing up?Teach me to shoot?(He grins and taps his holster.)Iíve been practicing lots, but I know Iím not nearly as good as the great Matt Dillon, yet.But if you taught me Ė

 

MATT: (His slow-igniting temper is almost at a flame.) Boy Ė

 

MEDIUM SHOT: SEVERAL CUSTOMERS HAVE BEGUN LOOKING, NOW.KITTY SEES THEM.

 

KITTY: (moving in to place a hand on Mattís arm) Matt, wait.Letís all sit down and talk about this.Quietly.

 

MATT: Kitty Ė

 

SHE LOOKS AT HIM, BROW RAISED, HANDS ON HIPS.MATT SIGHS HEAVILY, THEN GRIMACES IN REGRET AT THE PAINFUL MOVEMENT.NODDING, HE COCKS HIS HEAD TOWARD A TABLE.

 

MATT: Have a seat, boy.

 

CARNEY: (grinning) Iíd be obliged if youíd call me ĎDillon.í

 

MATT: (presses his lips together hard, then sighs) Dillon.

 

THE THREE OF THEM SIT AT A BACK TABLE.FOR A MOMENT, NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING.KITTY LOOKS RATHER CURIOUSLY AT CARNEY.

 

KITTY: Well, uh, Dillon, does your mother know youíve come to find your Ė father?

 

MATT:Kitty, Iím not his Ė

 

CARNEY: No, maíam, that is, not exactly.But sheís always known Iíd do it when I got grown enough.

 

KITTY: And youíre grown enough now?

 

CARNEY: Iím almost seventeen.

 

KITTY: My.

 

MATT: Stella told you Iím Ė Iím your father?

 

CARNEY: Sheís talked about you since I was too young to talk back.Always telling me you were tall as a tree Ė she was sure right about that.And that you were the best lawman in the country.And how you saved her from a bad man who tried to Ė well, do things she couldnít ever talk about.

 

MATT: (not as angry anymore, but still trying to figure out what has happened) And Stella said that she and I Ė that we Ė

 

CARNEY: (blushing) Well, I do know how babies get born, so I guess, I guess that had taí happen for you and her taí have me.

 

MATT: Look, boy Ė uh, Dillon.It didnít happen.Iím not your father.

 

CARNEY: Oh, my ma wouldnít lie to me, not about that.She worked too hard to take care of us, to keep me fed and clothed.She took in boarders, washed clothes, baked, and sewed.Just about anything she could.I asked her once why we just didnít go and live with you, but she said you were so busy with your job that weíd cause you trouble.Besides, she said you never knew Iíd been born.Guess she didnít figure itíd be fair taí bring in a youngíun on yaí.

 

KITTY: Dillon, is your mother still in Denver?

 

CARNEY: (uneasily) Yes, maíam.

 

MATT: Look boy Ė uh, why donít you stay here with Kitty for a little while?(He looks meaningfully at her.) I have a couple of things to tend to.

 

CARNEY: (Smiles at Kitty.He likes her.)Sure, Pa.

 

MATT: (He opens his mouth to deny him once more, then sighs and looks at Kitty, who can only shrug.)

 

MEDIUM SHOT: MATT SHAKES HIS HEAD, PUSHES UP FROM THE TABLE, AND WALKS OUT OF THE LONG BRANCH DOORS, MOVING MORE SLOWLY THAN USUAL.SEVERAL CUSTOMERS WATCH HIM WITH INTEREST.

 

MEDIUM SHOT: CARNEY AND KITTY WATCH AS MATT LEAVES.

 

CARNEY: Heís some man, isnít he?

 

KITTY: He sure is.

 

CARNEY: My ma said I should be proud to have a pa like him.(He looks toward the door Matt just walked through.)Iím gonna make him proud of me, too.No matter what it takes.

 

CLOSE SHOT: KITTY AND SAM EXCHANGE UNEASY GLANCES.

 

 

FADE OUT

 

 

XXXX

 

 

FADE IN:

 

 

ACT TWO

 

MEDIUM INTERIOR SHOT DAY: JONASí STORE.MR. JONAS IS WRAPPING UP A FEW YARDS OF CLOTH FOR EDSEL PRY.

 

JONAS: Will that be all, Mrs. Pry?

 

EDSEL: All for now, Mister Jonas.

 

JONAS: I canít interest you in some lace?

 

EDSEL: Frivolous.

 

JONAS: I see.

 

EDSEL: Mister Jonas, you seem to know a great deal about what goes on in this town.

 

JONAS: (preening a bit) Yes, maíam.Iím usually pretty well informed about the important things.

 

EDSEL: Are the rumors true?

 

JONAS: Which ones?

 

EDSEL: About Marshal Dillonís son.

 

JONAS: (looks around cautiously and sees no one near) Well, this young feller, canít be moreín seventeen, comes in and is askiní all sorts of things about the marshal.What I know about him.Stories about shootouts and brawls.Said he was tryiní taí find out more about his pa.

 

EDSEL: And he said the marshal is his father?

 

JONAS: Thatís what he said.

 

EDSEL: What does the marshalís wife say about this?

 

KITTY (off camera): She says itís nobodyís business but the marshalís.

 

JONAS AND EDSEL TURN SUDDENLY TO SEE KITTY STANDING A FEW FEET AWAY IN THE THRESHOLD OF THE DOORWAY.HER EYES ARE FIERY AND HER STANCE INDICATES BARELY CONTROLLED IRE.THE TWO GOSSIPS CLEAR THEIR THROATS.

 

EDSEL: Miss Russell.

 

KITTY: Itís Mrs. Dillon.

 

EDSEL: (trying to put on a haughty air, but not quite succeeding in the face of Kittyís intense gaze) Oh, yes, yes, of course.

 

JONAS: Uh, Miss Kitty Ė I mean, Mrs. Dillon Ė we didnít mean Ė

 

KITTY: Of course not.

 

JONAS: Is there something I can get you?

 

KITTY: (hesitates, then decides to take the high road) I need a pound of cornmeal, please, Mister Jonas.

 

JONAS: (relieved) Yes, maíam.Coming right up. (He steps to the side to bag the cornmeal.)

 

EDSEL: I donít believe the rumors, of course.

 

KITTY: (holding the older ladyís gaze firmly) But you listen to them.

 

EDSEL: Well Ė

 

KITTY: The boy is not Mattís son, but if he was, that would be between Matt and the boy.

 

EDSEL: And you, certainly Ė

 

JONAS RETURNS WITH THE BAGGED CORNMEAL.

 

JONAS: Here you are, Miss Kitty.

 

KITTY: (a little too sweetly) Thank you.

 

SHE TURNS AND WALKS OUT OF THE STORE, HEAD HELD HIGH.EDSEL AND JONAS WATCH HER LEAVE, THEN EXCHANGE KNOWING LOOKS.

 

XXXX

 

CUT TO MEDIUM SHOT: THE LONG BRANCH. BURKE AND FESTUS ARE LEANED OVER THE BAR, DRINKING BEERS.SAM IS WIPING GLASSES.

 

FESTUS: Iím jesí sayiní, Burke, it ainít none aí our bidness.

 

BURKE: And youíre not the least bit curious, Festus?

 

FESTUS: This Ďchere is betwixt Matthew and Miz Kitty.Aní ainít none aí yourín nor my bother.

 

BURKE: You think the boyís telliní the truth?You think heís really the Marshalís son?

 

FESTUS: (irritated now) Ainít you listeniní taí nothiní I sed?

 

BURKE: But what if it is true?I mean, him aní Miss Kitty just gettingí married and all, and adopting them kids?Sure would make things a little tense is all Iím thinkiní.

 

FESTUS: Burke, yer more gossipy than aí olí spinster-woman.

 

BURKE SHRUGS, FINISHES OFF HIS BEER AND LEAVES.

 

CUT TO CLOSE SHOT: FESTUS REMAINS LEANING AGAINST THE BAR, BUT WE SEE SPECULATION IN HIS EXPRESSION.

 

XXXX

 

MEDIUM INTERIOR SHOT: DOCíS OFFICE.MATT IS SITTING ON THE EXAM TABLE, SHIRT ON, BUT UNBUTTONED SO THAT DOC CAN CHECK HIS INJURIES.

 

DOC: (running his hand across Mattís ribs) How are they feeling?

 

MATT: Fine.

 

DOC: As if I expected any other answer.

 

MATT: I feel better, Doc.Really.

 

DOC: Howís Kitty?

 

MATT: (confused) Kitty?Sheís fine, too.

 

DOC: I just thought maybe, with whatís happened Ė

 

MATT: (His brow gathers in a quick frown as he understands Docís question.)Itís all just a mistake, Doc.I wired the boyís mother in Denver ††† a couple of days ago.Sheís coming to get him, and weíll clear things up then.

 

DOC: (slightly alarmed) Coming here?You sure thatís a good idea?

 

MATT: Why wouldnít it be?

 

DOC: Well, Iíve seen Kittyís reaction to some of your old girlfriends.

 

MATT: (frowning) Sheís not an old girlfriend.I barely knew her.

 

DOC: (looking doubtful) Uh huh.

 

MATT: You, too?

 

DOC:What?

 

MATT: The whole town seems to have no problem believing that boy is mine.Iím just surprised youíre right there with them.

 

DOC: (bristling) Now, I didnít say that.

 

MATT: Do you believe him?

 

DOC: (carefully) I believe HE believes youíre his father.

 

MATT: Well, Iím not.

 

DOC: Then donít you think you ought to put an end to these ridiculous rumors?

 

MATT: What can I tell them, Doc?They already know I said heís not mine.If I keep denying it, that makes it even stronger in their minds.Besides, you just said it was ridiculous.

 

DOC: I donít want it to hurt Kitty.

 

MATT: Well, I donít either, but Kitty knows Iíd never Ė

 

DOC: Does she?

 

MATT:Of course.Iíve never Ė (He frowns with a painful memory and his voice falls.)

 

DOC: (his own voice softening) Now, Iím not talking about that.Thatís different.I know youíre true to Kitty.But you were a young man when you met Stella.There were lots of women who made it clear they wanted you.Come to think of it, there are still lots of women Ė

 

MATT: Doc, I would never Ė

 

DOC: I know that, but does Kitty?

 

MATT: Well, sure she does.

 

DOC: Sometimes women need a little reassurance now and then.

 

MATT: Iíve told her Ė

 

DOC: Iím talking about Ė physical reassurance.

 

MATT: (gritting his teeth) Iím not going to discuss THAT with you, Doc.(He drops his voice and mumbles with a slight smile.) Besides, thatís not a problem, at all.

 

DOC: Whatís that?

 

MATT: Nothing.

 

DOC: (deciding heíd better not push it further) Well, youíre cominí along.If youíd stay in bed like I told you, youíd be almost well by now.As it is, youíre gonna be hurting a good long while still.

 

MATT: Iíll deal with it.

 

DOC: You need to deal with this other, Matt.For Kittyís sake, if nothing else.

 

CLOSE SHOT: MATT FROWNS AT HIM, BUT WE SEE THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ON HIS FACE.LIPS PRESSED TIGHTLY TOGETHER, HE BEGINS TO BUTTON HIS SHIRT.

 

XXXX

 

CUT TO MEDIUM INTERIOR SHOT, DAY: THE LONG BRANCH.THE BARROOM IS CROWDED WITH COWBOYS AND DRIFTERS AND A FEW TOWNSPEOPLE.NATHAN BURKE IS LEANED AGAINST THE BAR, TALKING WITH MOSS GRIMMICK.FROM BEHIND THEM, WE SEE ANOTHER MAN ENTER.HE IS ROUGH AND GRIMY FROM THE TRAIL, HIS GUNBELT A PROMINENT PART OF HIS DRESS.HE GLANCES AROUND THE ROOM, THEN STEPS UP TO THE BAR NEXT TO BURKE.

 

SAM: Can I help you, mister?

 

MAN: Gimme a beer.(He digs in his vest pocket and flips a coin onto the counter.)

 

SAM: Sure thing.

 

WE FOCUS ON BURKE AND HIS CONVERSATION WITH MOSS.

 

BURKE: I ainít sayiní he is, and I ainít saying he ainít, but the boy seems pretty sure.

 

MOSS: I just donít figger the marshal that way.(Lowers his voice.)I mean, we all know he aní Miss Kitty have been, uh, close fer a long time.If thatís his boy, itíd mean he Ė well, he stepped out on her.I just donít figger him fer it.

 

BURKE: A man can do lots of things out there on the trail.The marshalís seen some rough times.Maybe he was just tired, and Ė

 

MOSS: I still donít figger it.

 

MAN: You men talkiní about Marshal Dillon?

 

BURKE: (frowning) Whatís it to ya, mister?

 

MAN: (coolly) Oh, nothiní.I was just wonderiní.(He straightens and extends his hand.)Nameís Hickman, Carl Hickman.

 

BURKE: (hesitates, then takes his hand) Nathan Burke.This hereís Moss Grimmick.

 

HICKMAN: Say, how about I buy you fellas a drink?

 

BURKE: (warming to him quickly) Well, now, thatís mighty neighborly of yaí.

 

HICKMAN: Glad to do it.(Waves his hand at Sam.) Barkeep!

 

SAM: (eyeing them warily) Yes, sir?

 

HICKMAN: Another round for me and my friends, here.

 

SAM: All right.(He takes their glasses for refills.)

 

HICKMAN: (turning back to Burke and Grimmick) Now, sounded like you were talking something about the Marshal haviní a kid Ė

 

FADE OUT

 

 

XXXX

 

 

FADE IN:

 

 

ACT THREE

 

MEDIUM INTERIOR SHOT: THE DILLON HOUSE.KITTY IS ANSWERING A KNOCK AT THE DOOR.WE SEE MA SMALLEY, BASKET OVER HER ARM, STANDING OUTSIDE AS KITTY OPENS THE DOOR.

 

KITTY: Well, Ma, what are you doing out here?

 

MA: Just bringing a little stew.Had extra, and I thought about you and these youngíuns. Figured maybe you could use a break from cookiní.

 

KITTY: (taking the basket from Ma) Well, I sure could.Wonít you come in?

 

MA: Thank you.(looks around) Children not here?

 

KITTY: School.They should be home in another hour.

 

MA: Thatís best then.(She grows serious.) Kitty, I thought maybe youíd like to Ė to talk.You know, about Ė things.

 

KITTY: (She places the basket on the kitchen table and turns, her face guarded.) What kinds of Ė things, Ma?(We see she knows what Ma means.)

 

MA: Look, Kitty.It must be hard, finding out something like that.Knowing that your husband Ė

 

KITTY: The boy is not Mattís son.

 

MA: How do you know?

 

KITTY: I know.

 

MA: Well, sure, okay.†† Funny, the boy does look a little like the marshal.Not nearly so tall, but Ė

 

KITTY: Ma, youíve known Matt for a long time, now.(She hesitates, then decides to go ahead.)You know, too, Iím sure, that Matt and I have been Ė together for a long time.We were together when he brought Stella Carney back from Tascosa.Do you really think he would Ė

 

MA: (quickly) No, Ďcourse not.(more slowly, and contradicting what she just said) But that was a long time ago, Kitty.Even if thereís something to it, itís over now, and you and Matt are married.Men have needs, and sometimes young men let those needs lead them astray Ė

 

KITTY: (angry) I know Mattís needs.I knew them then, and I know them now.And heís never needed anyone else to satisfy him but Ė (She stops, flushing, realizing sheís said too much.)

 

MA: (flustered) No, no, of course Ė well, hope you enjoy the stew.(Her voice softens and she smiles at Kitty.) I do know one thing, though.Matt Dillon loves you very much.Whatever has happened before, heís yours now.

 

CLOSE SHOT: KITTY LOOKS SUDDENLY UNCERTAIN.MAíS WORDS, ALTHOUGH WELL-INTENDED, HAVE GIVEN HER PAUSE.

 

XXXX

 

CLOSE INTERIOR SHOT, NIGHT: MATT AND KITTY ARE IN BED.SHE IS CURLED UP AGAINST HIM, HER ARM DRAPED OVER HIS CHEST.HIS HAND CARESSES HER BACK.THEY BOTH SEEM A LITTLE TENSE, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE IN AN INTIMATE POSITION.

 

KITTY: I remember Stella.

 

MATT: (winces) Kitty Ė

 

KITTY: She was awful pretty.

 

MATT: Kitty Ė

 

KITTY: And I could tell she liked you just fine.

 

MATT: (turning to brace on an elbow and wincing at the strain to his ribs) Kitty, I told you Ė

 

KITTY: (sitting up with him) Look, Matt.Iíve been thinking.That was a long time ago, and things were Ė well, not quite as certain between us.Things happen.You and she were out on the trail alone.She was injured.

 

MATT: (sitting up completely now, his face shocked) Kitty, surely you donít think that I Ė

 

KITTY: Iím just saying, I would Ė understand.(But her face shows she is trying vainly not to be hurt.) And if that boy really is Ė

 

MATT: (almost angry) Kathleen Dillon, I canít believe you listened to rumors.And I really canít believe you would think I would ever have anyone but you.Or WANT anyone but you.

 

KITTY LOOKS UP AT HIM, HER FACE HOPEFUL.

 

MATT: Kitty, since that first day I saw you in the cafť eating breakfast I was hooked.It might have taken me a while to admit it, but I was.And after Ė after our first time together, there hasnít been anyone else.(His face darkens suddenly, guilt sweeping over it.)Except Ė

 

KITTY: (quickly placing her fingers over his lips to stop him) No. She doesnít count.That wasnít you.It wasnít my Matt.

 

MATT: (relieved, but still guilty) I love you, Kitty.I donít need anyone else.I donít want anyone else.

 

KITTY: Oh, Matt.

 

MATT:I donít know why Stella told that boy I was his father, but maybe when she gets here we can clear it up.In the meantime Ė

 

KITTY: (pushing him gently back down so that he is lying on the bed) In the meantime, maybe I can show you why you donít need anyone else.

 

MATT: Yeah?

 

KITTY: Yeah.

 

SHE LEANS DOWN AND KISSES HIM.THE KISS IS SLOW AND HOT AND FULL OF LOVE AND PASSION.WHEN SHE FINALLY PULLS BACK, BOTH OF THEM ARE BREATHING HARD.

 

MATT: You, know, Doc thinks that sometimes women need a little reassurance about Ė things.

 

KITTY: He does?

 

MATT: Yeah.

 

KITTY: Well, what are you waitiní for?Reassure me, Cowboy.

 

MATT PULLS HER BACK DOWN AND TURNS HER IN HIS ARMS AS WE:

 

 

FADE OUT

 

 

XXXX

 

 

FADE IN:

 

 

ACT FOUR

 

 

MEDIUM EXTERIOR DAY SHOT: FRONT STREET OUTSIDE THE LONG BRANCH.CARL HICKMAN IS LEANING AGAINST A POST.DILLON CARNEY WALKS DOWN THE BOARDWALK.HICKMAN EYES HIM AND STEPS OUT INTO THE STREET, HAND HOVERING OVER HIS HOLSTER.

 

HICKMAN: Hey, boy!

 

CARNEY: (stops as he sees the man) You talkiní to me?

 

HICKMAN: I hear youíre Matt Dillonís kid.

 

CARNEY: (proudly) Yeah.

 

HICKMAN: You as good a yer daddy with a gun?

 

CARNEY: (bracing as he begins to realize what Hickman is getting at) Maybe Ė maybe you should find out.

 

LONG SHOT: A CROWD BEGINS TO GATHER, ANTICIPATING A SHOWDOWN.

 

MEDIUM SHOT: CARNEY AND HICKMAN.

 

HICKMAN: I owe yer daddy, boy.Few years back he got the best of me, but I got me a chance taí get even.Letís see if he passed on anything to his youngíun.

 

CARNEY: (squaring nervously and working hard to look calm) Look, mister.I got no beef with you.

 

HICKMAN: I got a beef with any Dillon.Right now thatís you.

 

CARNEY: (He figures heís about to have to draw and lets his hand rest near his gun.We see determination in his eyes.) All right.If you want a Dillon, you got one.

 

SEVERAL TOWNSPEOPLE STEP UP ON THE BOARDWALK.CARNEY STEPS DOWN INTO THE STREET.

 

CLOSE SHOT: FESTUS OPENS THE DOOR OF THE JAIL AND SEES WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE STREET.

 

FESTUS: (flinging the door back open) Matthew!

 

MATT: (looking up from his desk) What is it?

 

FESTUS: You need taí git out chere.

 

CLOSE SHOT: HICKMAN STARES HARD AT CARNEY.

 

CLOSE SHOT: CARNEY STARES BACK.

 

MEDIUM SHOT: MATT STRIDES FROM THE JAIL AND SEES THE STAND OFF IN THE STREET.HE PICKS UP HIS PACE TOWARD THE TWO, FESTUS TRAILING CLOSE BEHIND HIM.

 

MATT: Hold it!

 

HICKMAN AND CARNEY TURN.WE SEE FRUSTRATION ON HICKMANíS FACE AND RELIEF ON CARNEYíS FACE.THE TENSION BREAKS SLIGHTLY.

 

MATT: Whatís going on here?

 

HICKMAN: (trying to act cool) Just seeiní if yer boy here measures up ta his big daddy.

 

MATT: (frowning in recognition) Hickman.Carl Hickman.

 

HICKMAN: (sarcastically) Iím honored you remember me, Marshal.

 

MATT: You shouldnít be.I told you four years ago to get out of Dodge and stay out.

 

HICKMAN: A man changes in four years, Marshal.

 

MATT: I doubt youíve changed.

 

HICKMAN: Anyway, this is between me and your boy here.Donít you want him to fight his own fights?

 

MATT: Any fight you have in Dodge, Hickman, is with me.Leave the boy alone.(He squares up, looking quite formidable.)

 

CLOSE SHOT ON HICKMAN: HE IS SUDDENLY UNCERTAIN ABOUT HIS ACTIONS.BITING HIS LIP, HE WEIGHS HIS CHANCES, THEN DROPS HIS HAND.

 

HICKMAN: Hell, Marshal, I wuz only seeiní if he had the gumpshun.You oughtta be proud.Stood right up.

 

MATT: Get out of here, Hickman.

 

HICKMAN: (angry, but seeing that heís at a disadvantage) All right, Marshal.

 

HE TURNS AND WALKS AWAY.THE CROWD BREATHS SIGHS OF BOTH RELIEF AND DISAPPOINTMENT.CARNEY LOOKS AT MATT.

 

CARNEY: (angry) I coulda taken him.

 

MATT: That man would have killed you, son.

 

WE SEE REACTIONS FROM THOSE LISTENING AT MATTíS USE OF THE WORD ďSON.ĒTHE MARSHAL DOESNíT REALIZE IT.

 

CARNEY: I gotta live up to my país reputation someday.Might as well have been today.

 

MATT: (shaking his head) Look, how many times do I have to Ė

 

CARNEY: Iíll prove myself to you.Youíll see.

 

HE WALKS OFF.

 

CLOSE SHOT ON MATT, WHO PRESSES HIS LIPS TOGETHER AND FROWNS AS HE WATCHES THE BOY WALK AWAY.

 

XXXX

 

MEDIUM SHOT: STAGE DEPOT.PASSENGERS ARE DISEMBARKING.TWO PEOPLE GET OFF FIRST, THEN WE SEE A WOMAN IN HER EARLY FORTIES STEP DOWN.HER BEAUTY IS FADED, BUT STILL IMPRESSIVE.HER HAIR IS BLONDE, LIGHTLY STREAKED WITH GRAY.SHE LOOKS UP APPREHENSIVELY WHEN SHE REACHES THE GROUND.

 

CLOSE SHOT: MATT IS WAITING ON THE BOARDWALK, WATCHING THE PEOPLE ARRIVE.WE SEE RECOGNITION ON HIS FACE, MIXED WITH A SOFT MEMORY THAT HE QUICKLY WIPES AWAY.

 

CLOSE SHOT: STELLA CARNEY.SHE SMILES UNEASILY AS SHE SEES MATT, AND WALKS TOWARD HIM.

 

STELLA: Matt.

 

MATT: (tipping his hat) Stella. Thanks for coming.

 

THEY STARE AT EACH OTHER FOR A MOMENT BEFORE MATT STEPS OVER TO GET HER BAG.

 

MATT: I got you a room at the Dodge House.

 

STELLA: Is that Ė where you live now?

 

MATT: No.

 

STELLA: I guess we need to talk, huh?

 

MATT: I guess so.

 

STELLA: Take me to dinner?

 

MATT: (stopping on the boardwalk) Stella, Iím married now.

 

STELLA: (Her face falls, but she recovers.) Kitty?

 

MATT: Yeah.

 

STELLA: Well, congratulations.The Dodge House is fine.

 

MATT: We do need to talk, Stella.

 

STELLA: (uncomfortably) I know.

 

AS THEY WALK TOWARD THE DODGE HOUSE, THE EYES OF THE CITIZENS OF DODGE FOLLOW THEM.

 

XXXX

 

MEDIUM SHOT: ROOM IN THE DODGE HOUSE.STELLA AND MATT ENTER THE ROOM, AND MATT PLACES HER BAG ON THE BED.SHE TURNS TOWARD HIM, SMILING SADLY.

 

STELLA: You look good, Matt. Still tall as a tree. (nods toward his right leg, indicating the limp) Is that from anything in particular, or just years of getting beaten up and shot?

 

MATT: (ignoring the question) Stella, why did you do it?

 

STELLA: I donít know what you Ė

 

MATT: Your son almost got killed today because he thinks heís MY son.Do you realize how many people would love to get at me through my family?I have a real one, now, Stella.And it scares me every day what could happen to them.I donít need any false family to worry about, too.

 

STELLA: (suddenly very scared) Killed?

 

MATT: Heís all right, but Ė

 

STELLA: (sighing) I didnít think it would matter.I just wanted him to believe that his father was a noble, courageous, honest man.Not the corrupt, abusive, two-timing scum that Clegg Rawlins was.

 

MATT: (nodding as if he had already figured that) Heís the father?

 

STELLA: (nods) He was dead before I even knew I was going to have a baby.

 

MATT: You have to tell Dill Ė your son, Stella.Itís not fair to him.

 

STELLA: Or to you.I know.

 

SHE STEPS TOWARD HIM, PLACING HER HAND ON HIS CHEST IN AN INTIMATE TOUCH.MATT CLENCHES HIS TEETH TOGETHER, BUT DOESNíT MOVE BACK.

 

STELLA: I wanted you, Matt.Surely you knew that.I wanted you to want me, too.(wistfully) You were so kind, and so good, and so handsome.I could imagine Ė

 

MATT: Stella, donít Ė

 

SHE RUNS HER HAND UP AROUND HIS NECK AND INCHES FORWARD TO KISS HIM.JUST BEFORE THEIR LIPS MEET, MATT CATCHES HER HAND AND TUGS IT DOWN, STEPPING BACK.STELLA SIGHS SADLY.

 

STELLA: You loved her then, too. I guess you still do.

 

MATT: Stella, Iím sorry you thought Ė

 

STELLA: (shaking her head) No.You never led me on.I just hoped Ė (She steps away from him and turns her back.)Iíll tell him tonight.Is he Ė is he okay?

 

MATT: Heís a good boy, Stella. You did well.But you need to get him out of here as fast as you can.

 

STELLA: I just wish he didnít have to know who his real father was.

 

MATT IS ABOUT TO SAY SOMETHING WHEN A KNOCK INTERRUPTS THEM.MATT STEPS TO THE DOOR AND OPENS IT.HOWIE, THE HOTEL CLERK, LOOKS AT STELLA, THEN BACK TO MATT.

 

MATT: What is it, Howie?

 

HOWIE: Uh, drifter came in, Marshal, sayiní that a man was hurt in the alley behind the Lady Gay.Maybe dead.Wondered if I knew where you were.(He glances uneasily at Stella.)I, uh, I didnít say you were with Ė the lady.

 

MATT: (eyes narrowing) A drifter?

 

HOWIE: (still looking at Stella suspiciously) Yes, sir.

 

MATT: Anyone youíve seen before?

 

HOWIE: Couple of times at the Lady Gay.

 

MATT: Okay, thanks, Howie.

 

HOWIE LINGERS, WATCHING STELLA.MATT FROWNS, AND SHUTS THE DOOR, TURNING BACK TO STELLA.

 

MATT: Iíll be back later.Youíre going to tell him?

 

STELLA: Tonight.

 

HE NODS AT HER AND STEPS OUT OF THE ROOM.CLOSE SHOT ON STELLA: TEARS FILL HER EYES AS SHE WATCHES HIM GO.

 

XXXX

 

MEDIUM EXTERIOR SHOT: MATT STEPS CAUTIOUSLY INTO THE ALLEY BEHIND THE LADY GAY.WE HEAR A MAN MOANING FURTHER IN.MATT WALKS DEEPER INTO THE ALLEY.IN THE SHADOWS, WE SEE SLIGHT MOVEMENT.

 

MATT: Anybody back here?You need help?

 

A FIGURE HOLDING A BOARD STEPS UP BEHIND MATT AND SWINGS THE BOARD AGAINST HIS LEFT SIDE.WITH A HARSH GRUNT, MATT DROPS TO THE GROUND, HIS ARMS CRADLING HIS ALREADY-INJURED RIBS.INCAPACITATED BY THE PAIN, HE IS UNABLE TO MOVE, MUCH LESS FOLLOW HIS ATTACKER.

 

CUT TO CLOSE SHOT: WE SEE THAT HICKMAN IS THE ONE WHO HAS ATTACKED MATT.HE NODS IN SATISFACTION AND WALKS CALMLY FROM THE ALLEY.

 

CLOSE SHOT: MATT IS LYING ON THE GROUND, TEETH CLENCHED AND EYES CLOSED TIGHT AS HE TRIES TO GET CONTROL OVER THE PAIN.

 

XXXX

 

MEDIUM INTERIOR SHOT: THE LONG BRANCH.SAM IS STANDING BEHIND THE BAR.KITTY IS SITTING AT A TABLE, GOING OVER THE BOOKS.AT THE DOOR, STELLA CARNEY PAUSES, LOOKS IN AND SPOTS KITTY.WITH A DEEP BREATH, SHE ENTERS.

 

KITTY LOOKS UP, SURPRISED.SHE DOESNíT RISE, BUT WAITS FOR STELLA TO COME TO HER.SAM WATCHES A BIT WARILY.

 

STELLA: Kitty.Itís been a long time.

 

KITTY: It has.

 

STELLA: You look wonderful.The years have been kind.

 

KITTY: Thank you.

 

STELLA: May I sit?

 

KITTY: (throws a hand casually toward a chair) Be my guest.

 

STELLA: I wanted to see you, Kitty, and tell you Ė tell you Iím sorry.Iím sorry for any embarrassment or pain Iíve caused you.

 

KITTY DOESNíT RESPOND, BUT WAITS FOR HER TO CONTINUE.

 

STELLA: There was nothing between Matt and me.(smiles wistfully) Not that I didnít want there to be, but he wouldnít let it.When I found out I was going to have a baby, I was already in Denver, and I just couldnít stomach the thought that my child would be the son of that no-account Clegg Rawlins.I wished Ė (She looks apologetically at Kitty.) I wished it was Mattís.I wished I could tell my son that his father was a tall, strong, handsome, brave, noble man.(smiles ruefully) So, I did.I told him his father was the great Matt Dillon, and that he could grow up to be just like him.(She ducks her head a moment, then looks at Kitty.)Heís not Mattís, Kitty.We never Ė

 

KITTY: I know.

 

STELLA: Iíll tell Dillon, and weíll go.Itíll be hard for him to accept.

 

KITTY: Heíll be all right.

 

STELLA: I have to say, Mattís still quite a man.

 

KITTY: I know that, too.

 

STELLA: (smiling sadly) I guess you do.

 

THEIR CONVERSATION IS INTERRUPTED BY NOISE FROM THE STREET.KITTY AND STELLA RISE AND WALK TOWARD THE SWINGING DOORS OF THE LONG BRANCH.

 

CUT TO MEDIUM EXTERIOR SHOT: FRONT STREET.DILLON CARNEY IS STANDING ON THE BOARDWALK OUTSIDE THE LONG BRANCH.HICKMAN STRIDES PURPOSEFULLY INTO THE STREET.SEVERAL CITIZENS SEE HIM AND STOP TO WATCH.

 

CUT TO CLOSE EXTERIOR SHOT: CARNEY SEES HIM.HE SWALLOWS, THEN GRITS HIS TEETH AND STEPS OUT ONTO THE STREET, AS WELL.

 

HICKMAN: Yer daddyís not around now taí help you none, boy.

 

CARNEY: I donít need anyoneís help.

 

HICKMAN: That remains to be seen.

 

THEY SQUARE OFF, HANDS HOVERING OVER THEIR GUNS.PEOPLE SCRAMBLE OFF THE STREET, KEEPING THEIR EYES ON THE TWO MEN.JUST AS WE THINK ONE OF THEM WILL DRAW, WE HEAR:

 

STELLA: Stop!Dillon, please!

 

CUT TO MEDIUM SHOT: KITTY, SAM, AND STELLA ARE STANDING, HORRIFIED, OUTSIDE THE LONG BRANCH.

 

CARNEY: Get back, Ma.Iíll be all right.Itís in the blood.You told me so.

 

STELLA: No, itís not!Itís not in your blood!

 

CARNEY: What are you talking about?

 

STELLA: Youíre Ė youíre not Matt Dillonís son.I lied!

 

CARNEY: I donít believe you.

 

STELLA RUSHES OUT INTO THE STREET TO STAND IN FRONT OF CARNEY.

 

STELLA: Itís true.Please donít do this.

 

HICKMAN: Get outta the way, lady.Yer boyís gonna be a man today.

 

STELLA: (pleading) Dillon, donít do this.Matt Dillon is not your father.I wished he was.I wanted him to be so much that I started believing it myself.

 

CARNEY: (still looking straight at Hickman) If heís not my pa, then who is?

 

STELLA: (hesitates a moment, then decides she must tell him the truth) Your father was a no-account, corrupt small-town sheriff who never cared anything for me and died before you were born.

 

CARNEY: (pained to hear this, but still looking at Hickman) No!I wonít believe that!Youíre just trying to keep me from getting hurt.

 

STELLA: (voice softening) Iím sorry, Dillon.I named you that because I didnít want you to grow up thinking you were sired by Clegg Rawlins.I named you after the best man Iíd ever known.

 

HICKMAN: Sheís lying, kid.Get the hell outta the way, woman, or Iíll kill you, too.

 

STELLA: I wonít let you do it.

 

HICKMAN: Draw, boy.Or are you too puny to fill your daddyís big boots?

 

CARNEY: (fury gathering in his eyes) Iíll show you how puny I am!

 

HIS HAND GOES FOR HIS GUN, BUT WE HEAR A FAMILIAR VOICE, STRAINED BUT CLEAR.

 

MATT: Hold it!

 

CUT TO CLOSE SHOT: MATT IS STANDING NEXT TO THE BOARDWALK.HE IS NOT STANDING COMPLETELY STRAIGHT, AND HE IS SWAYING NOTICABLY.WE ARE NOT QUITE SURE HOW HE IS STAYING ON HIS FEET.

 

MEDIUM SHOT: OUTSIDE THE LONG BRANCH. KITTY STARTS TO MOVE TOWARD HIM, BUT SAM CATCHES HER ARM AND STOPS HER.

 

HICKMAN: (not turning) Stay outta this, Marshal.Let your boy fight his own fights.

 

MATT: Any fight you have today, Hickman, is with me.

 

CARNEY: I can do it, Marshal.

 

MATT: (a little breathless) What good will it do you to beat a boy at the draw, Hickman?Why donít you try drawing on a man, instead?

 

THE TAUNT WORKS.HICKMAN SNARLS AND SWIRLS AROUND, HIS GUN ALREADY IN HIS HAND AS HE RAISES AND FIRES TOWARD MATT.BUT THE MARSHAL, DESPITE HIS WEAKNESS AND PAIN, SLIDES THE GUN FROM HIS HOLSTER AND FIRES ALL IN ONE SMOOTH MOTION.

 

HICKMANíS GUN FIRES WIDE.THE GUNMANíS JAW DROPS IN SURPRISE AS WE SEE A DARK STAIN SPREAD ACROSS HIS SHIRT FRONT.AFTER A MOMENT, HE PITCHES FORWARD INTO THE DUST OF FRONT STREET.

 

CUT TO CLOSE SHOT ON CARNEY: HE BREATHES IN RELIEF AND SHAKILY REPLACES HIS HALF-DRAWN GUN IN HIS HOLSTER.

 

CUT TO CLOSE SHOT ON STELLA: SHE IS CRYING IN RELIEF.

 

CUT TO CLOSE SHOT ON MATT: HE SWAYS A LITTLE MORE, THEN THE COLOR DRAINS FROM HIS FACE, AND HE DROPS TO HIS KNEES, HIS STRENGTH GONE.

 

KITTY: Matt!

 

MEDIUM SHOT: KITTY RUSHES TOWARD HIM FROM THE LONG BRANCH, SAM FOLLOWING HER.DOC APPEARS FROM HIS OFFICE AND HURRIES DOWN THE STAIRS AS BEST HE CAN.

 

CUT TO MEDIUM SHOT: STELLA AND CARNEY IN THE STREET.SHE TRIES TO HUG HIM, BUT HE STEPS BACK, LOOKING STRICKEN.

 

CARNEY: Why?Why did you tell me he was my father?

 

STELLA: I thought Ė I thought I was doing the right thing.Clegg Rawlins was nothing I wanted my son to be like.But Matt Dillon Ė

 

CUT TO CLOSE SHOT: MATT IS LYING, HEAD IN KITTYíS LAP AS DOC REACHES HIM.HE RIPS OPEN MATTíS SHIRT AND RUNS HIS HANDS OVER THE SWOLLEN FLESH OVER HIS RIBS.MATT GROANS.FESTUS AND SAM LEAN OVER THE MARSHAL, LOOKING ON IN WORRY.

 

KITTY: Doc?

 

DOC: I donít know, Kitty.Itís the same place he was hurt before.Looks like somebody slammed a two-by-four against him.I can feel at least one rib broken.

 

FESTUS: But heís gonna be arrite, ainít he?

 

DOC: (looks up at Kitty, his expression unsure) Letís get him up to my office;

 

SEVERAL MEN GATHER AROUND TO HELP LIFT MATT CAREFULLY.

 

CUT TO CLOSE SHOT: STELLA IS CLUTCHING CARNEYíS ARM.

 

STELLA: Matt Dillon is a noble, brave, handsome man.A man I wanted to be the father of my son.

 

CARNEY: But, why Ė

 

STELLA: I tried to raise you right, Dillon, to have pride.I wanted you to have someone to look up to, to be proud of, to be like.

 

CARNEY: (He stares at her for a long moment, then his gaze softens and he smiles.) But, I do, Ma.

 

STELLA: You canít keep on saying that Matt Dillon is your father.

 

CARNEY: Iím not talking about him.Iím talking about you.

 

SHE CLOSES HER EYES IN RELIEF AND HUGS HIM.HE HUGS BACK.

 

 

FADE OUT

 

 

XXXX

 

 

FADE IN:

 

 

EPILOGUE

 

MEDIUM INTERIOR SHOT, DAY: DOCíS OFFICE.MATT IS ONCE AGAIN PERCHED ON THE EXAM TABLE, HIS SHIRT DRAPED OVER A CHAIR SO THAT DOC CAN CHECK ON HIS INJURIES.HIS LEFT SIDE IS DISCOLORED WITH DEEP BRUISES.KITTY IS WATCHING, HER EXPRESSION CAUTIOUS, BUT NOT TOO WORRIED.DOC SHAKES HIS HEAD AND CLUCKS HIS TONGUE.MATT WINCES AS DOC PUSHES A LITTLE TOO HARD AGAINST HIS SIDE.

 

DOC: Youíre not taking it easy, are you?

 

MATT: Iím not back at work.

 

DOC: (He looks pointedly at Kitty.) Thatís not what Iím talking about.

 

KITTY: Doc!Mattís been seriously hurt.Do you think we would Ė nevermind.Donít answer that.

 

DOC: Two more weeks before you even set one foot in that jailhouse, and I mean it.

 

MATT: (starts to protest, but decides not to) One little broken rib Ė

 

DOC: That could have punched right through your lung, and then you wouldnít be sitting here arguing with me at all.

 

KITTY: (a pained expression at the thought) Two more weeks, Doc.Iíll make sure he takes it easy.

 

DOC: Hmph.Thatís like puttiní the bear in charge of the honey.

 

MATT: (smirks) Didnít you say women need a little reassurance now and then?

 

DOC: (blushing) Get outta here, both of you, before I tell Bobby and Emily you want them to sleep right between the two of you every night until they grow up and leave home.

 

MATT: (wincing) You play dirty, Doc.

 

HE EASES OFF THE TABLE VERY GINGERLY.KITTY SLIDES AN ARM AROUND HIS WAIST, BUT DOESNíT IMPOSE TOO MUCH.WITH HER HELP HE SHRUGS BACK INTO HIS SHIRT AND TUCKS IT IN.

 

DOC: I hear Stella and Dillon are headed back to Denver this morning.

 

KITTY: Thatís right.

 

DOC: The boy seems to accept the truth now.Maybe Stella did do the right thing, after all.

 

MATT: A boy canít run away from his roots, Doc.But he can overcome them.

 

KITTY: Maybe he can move on and be his own man.

 

DOC: I hope he can. You headed home?

 

MATT: Well Ė

 

KITTY: (firmly) Yes, we are.(She looks pointedly at Matt.)

 

MATT: (giving in easily) Yes, we are.

 

DOC NODS FONDLY AT THE TWO AND SWIPES HIS MUSTACHE AS THEY LEAVE.

 

CLOSE EXTERIOR SHOT: MATT MAKES HIS WAY SLOWLY DOWN THE STEPS WITH KITTY AT HIS SIDE.WHEN THEY REACH THE BOTTOM WE HEAR:

 

CARNEY: (off stage) Marshal!

 

CUT TO MEDIUM SHOT: CARNEY AND STELLA ARE WALKING TOWARD MATT AND KITTY.THEY SEEM HAPPY OR AT LEAST RESOLVED TO THE SITUATION.

 

KITTY: Dillon.Stella.(She grasps Mattís arm harder and a little possessively.)

 

STELLA: Youíre looking better, Matt.

 

MATT: Feeling better, thanks.

 

STELLA: I want to thank you again for Ė for what you did.

 

MATT: You two off on the stage?

 

STELLA: Yes.Weíre headed back to Denver.Once again, Iím sorry.(She looks at Kitty as she says this.)

 

KITTY NODS IN ACCEPTANCE.

 

CARNEY: (extending his hand) I understand why my ma did it, Marshal, but I have to say Iím sorry youíre not my pa.Iíd be awful proud if you were.

 

MATT: (shaking the boyís hand) Well, son, Iíd be awful proud, too.

 

CARNEY GRINS IN DELIGHT.STELLA SMILES GRATEFULLY AT MATT.KITTY LOOKS UP AT HIM TENDERLY.

 

STELLA: Weíd better get going.

 

KITTY:Good luck to you, Dillon.

 

CARNEY: (tips his hat) Thank you, maíam.

 

KITTY AND MATT WATCH THEM WALK TOWARD THE STAGE.

 

KITTY: (shaking her head) Well, are there any more out there?

 

MATT: Anymore what?

 

KITTY: Any more of your old girlfriends.

 

MATT: (uncomfortably) Kitty Ė

 

KITTY: Because Iím feeling like I just might need some more reassurance.

 

MATT: (His brow rises as he catches on, and we see the heat in his gaze.) Well, now.I believe I can provide that.(He tucks her hand into the crook of his arm, and guides her toward the Long Branch.) Yes, maíam, I believe I can.

 

KITTY: (murmuring, but clear enough as they walk away) I know you can, Cowboy.I know you can.

 

 

DISSOLVE TO CREDITS

 

 

FADE TO BLACK: END OF EPISODE

 

 

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