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Gunsmoke "Cheap Labor" (6/17/56) by John Meston

Cast

Matt Dillon
Man in bar
Foss Capper
Chester
Ben Stancil
Carrie
Miss Kitty
Hank (Stancil's man)

(Intro with Gunsmoke Theme western music... horse riding
sound effect and gunshot)

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.
Marshall and the smell of Gunsmoke.

(Gunsmoke theme music)

ANNOUNCER
Gunsmoke -- the transcribed story of
the violence that moved west with
young America... and the story of a
man who moved with it.

DILLON
I'm that man. Matt Dillon, United
States Marshall. The first man they
look for and the last they wanna
meet. It's a chancy job, and it makes
a man watchful... and a little
lonely.

(Theme music swells and then fades to the sounds of people
talking and eating/drinking in a saloon.)

MAN IN
SALOON
(Drunk)
So your name's Foss Capper, huh?

CAPPER
Yea, that's right mister.

MAN
Well you say your name out like
you've got nothin to hide.

CAPPER
Well now you're right again.

MAN
Hmm... well I guess a man who wanted
to hide somethin need to be wearing a
gun to help him do it.

CAPPER
Maybe.

MAN
Well er you agreein with me er ain't
you agreein with me?

CAPPER
(Laughing)
Any way you want it, mister.

MAN
Yea... you're big Capper, but I ain't
afraid a you.

CAPPER
There's no reason you should be.

MAN
You're awful big. Man'd be a fool to
go against ya without a gun, wouldn't
he?
(Pause... no response)
...well, wouldn't he?!

CAPPER
Mister, have a drink.

MAN
Naw. Here, you have this instead. I
always carry an extra gun in my belt.

CAPPER
I don't want your gun.

MAN
Well I can't fight you lessn' ya got
a gun... you're too big.

CAPPER
We got no cause to fight, mister, now
you take you're gun back.

MAN
(Laughing)
You're afraid. You're a coward.
You're a stinkin'...

CAPPER
(Interrupting)
Don't you push it Mister.

MAN
I said you're a coward.

DILLON
Alright, feller, you've had enough.

MAN
Aw... you... now you keep outta this.

DILLON
I am wearin a gun, mister, and I'll
bend it across your skull in a
minute.

MAN
Oh... you're the Marshall.

DILLON
Get out of here. Go on, move.

MAN
Sure...
(Walking away)
Sure.

CAPPER
Well... s'pose I oughtta thank you,
Marshall.

DILLON
No need.

CAPPER
Name is Foss Capper.

DILLON
You know, most men around Dodge do
wear guns, Capper.

CAPPER
I've had enough of fightin',
Marshall.

DILLON
Oh? And where was that?

CAPPER
Why the war... had it from Harper's
Ferry all the way to Richmond. You
know, a man gets tired of killin'.

DILLON
Yea, I know.

CHESTER
Mr. Dillon?

DILLON
Yeah, what is it, Chester?

CHESTER
Mr. Dillon, Ben Stancil's out there
in the street.

DILLON
So?

CHESTER
He's about to beat up one of his
riders.

DILLON
I suppose it has to do with his
sister again, huh?

CHESTER
Yes sir, it sure does, and Carrie's
there too.

DILLON
Alright, let's go.

CHESTER
Oh, I declare... that poor Carrie.
Mr. Dillon, she was tryin' to load
their wagon all by herself and this
rider of Stancil's come along, and he
was helpin' her when Stancil himself
come up and got real sore about it.

DILLON
Stancil doesn't deserve a sister like
Carrie.

CHESTER
She's as nice as he is mean and ugly.
There they are.

DILLON
Yeah.

CHESTER
Well, say... where's that cowboy at?

DILLON
He's lyin' on the ground behind
Stancil.

CHESTER
Well I sure didn't hear no shootin'.

BEN
Get back to loadin' that stuff
Carrie.
(pause)
Did you hear me?

CARRIE
Yes, I hear you Ben.

DILLON
Well, I hope you didn't kill him,
Stancil.

STANCIL
He's alright, Marshall. I only
knocked him down.

CHESTER
Well... I'll go get some water from
over there and...

STANCIL
I shouldda killed him.

DILLON
For what? Trying to help Carrie do a
man's work...

STANCIL
Carrie's my sister, Marshall. What
she does ain't no business of yours.

DILLON
No. But your keepin men away from her
the way you do is gonna lead to real
trouble one of these days.

STANCILL
My trouble, Marshall.

DILLON
Not if you kill somebody. You know, I
guess men don't like the way you
treat her... there's somebody else
tryin to help her.

STANCIL
What?

DILLON
Now just take it easy Stancil, that
man's not wearin' a gun.

STANCIL
Then he better go get one.

CAPPER
There ya are ma'am.

STANCIL
What do you think you're doin'
stranger?

CAPPER
Well that box seemed a little heavy
for a lady to be liftin'.

CARRIE
Please, Ben. He meant no harm.

STANCIL
You know this man?

CARRIE
Well, he told me his name.

STANCIL
Carrie, you're turning into a regular
da...

CAPPER
Now I wouldn't talk like that mister.

STANCIL
You shut up.

DILLON
There's been enough fightin' for one
day. Stancil, your wagon's loaded...
so why don't you get goin'.

STANCIL
All I can say to you mister is you
better get yourself a gun. Get up on
the seat, Carrie.

CAPPER
Good day, Miss Carrie.

CARRIE
Goodbye, Mr. Capper.

STANCIL
(To horses)
Huh there! Huh!

DILLON
Well, how did you get mixed up in
this, Capper?

CAPPER
I was curious, so I followed ya out.
Then I seen her struggling with that
box. Couldn't just stand there and
watch her, could I?

DILLON
Uh huh. You just remember somethin'
Some day Stancil's gonna kill
somebody over her.

CAPPER
Well I sure hope it won't be me.

DILLON
Then you know what to do, huh?

CAPPER
Yeah. Yeah, I know what to do,
Marshall.

(Theme music swells... and then changes to a sort of sad,
lonely cowboy music.)

KITTY
Hi, Matt.

DILLON
Hi Kitty, you shoppin'?

KITTY
Well I guess I woman's always
shoppin, Matt, whether she buys
anything or not.
(Laugh)

DILLON
(Also chuckling)
I believe that. Well, now.

KITTY
Hmm? What?

DILLON
That's Carrie Stancil.

KITTY
Oh. Well sure.

DILLON
But isn't that Foss Capper drivin'
her wagon?

KITTY
Well where you been the last few
weeks, Matt? He drives her wagon
every time she comes to town.

DILLON
He does?

KITTY
Well sure. He rides out and meets her
part way, ties his horse behind, and
they drive in together.

DILLON
And this has been goin' on for a
couple of weeks, you say?

KITTY
Oh... well at least.

DILLON
Ben Stancil hasn't found out, I take
it.

KITTY
I doubt if Capper's ever showed
himself anywhere near the ranch,
Matt.

DILLON
Why... ya think he's afraid?

KITTY
Don't you?

DILLON
Maybe he only wants to avoid a fight.

KITTY
Isn't that the same thing?

DILLON
No, not necessarily, Kitty.

KITTY
Well if he wasn't a coward, he'd be
wearin' a gun, wouldn't he?

DILLON
I don't know, Kitty. I haven't
decided about Foss Capper.

KITTY
Look at them, Matt. There so wrapped
up in each other they don't even see
us.

CARRIE
No, Foss. This is the last time. It
has to be.

CAPPER
I hope I don't bring ya no trouble,
Carrie, but I ain't gonna stop seein'
you.

KITTY
Huh. She's smarter than he is.

DILLON
Yeah, maybe.

KITTY
You know, I guess she'll never be
able to get away from that brother of
hers. I... oh... Matt, look.

DILLON
Yeah.

KITTY
There's gonna be trouble, Matt.
Stancil looks awful mad.

DILLON
(Sighing)
Well, I don't like to interfere in
family matters, but this time I guess
I'd better.

KITTY
Yeah, you'd better hurry too.

DILLON
Yeah, I will.

(Sound of footsteps walking and store door opening - bell)

STANCIL
What's goin' on, Carrie?

CARRIE
Please, Ben. Let's talk about it at
home. Not here.

STANCIL
We're gonna settle this here and
now... and you ain't gonna stop it,
Marshall.

DILLON
I just wanted to make sure you
remember that Foss Capper doesn't
carry a gun, Stancil.

STANCIL
Dirty coward... of course he doesn't.

CAPPER
A gun wouldn't solve anything,
Stancil.

STANCIL
It'd get you killed. That'd solve
things.

CAPPER
Maybe for you. Not for Carrie.

STANCIL
I don't even wanna hear you sayin'
her name.

CAPPER
You're gonna have to hear it. Now
it's gone on long enough, Stancil,
the way you treat her.

STANCIL
What I do with Carrie ain't no
business of yours.

CAPPER
I want Carrie to marry me.

CARRIE
Foss. You never told me that.

CAPPER
Well I... I been thinkin on that
Carrie. I figured to wait, but I
guess there ain't time now for
waitin'.

CARRIE
Oh, Foss.

CAPPER
Carrie's worked hard for you,
Stancil, and you never gave her a
thing of her own. You kept everybody
from her for fear of losin' her. She
ain't a woman to you... a sister.
She's nothin' but cheap labor.

STANCIL
I'll kill you sure, now.

DILLON
No you won't, because you'd hang for
it.

STANCIL
I'll get you Capper. One way or the
other.

CAPPER
Hmph. Carrie?

CARRIE
Yes?

CAPPER
You go on back to the ranch and get
what things you need. I'll be waitin'
right here for you tomorrow noon.

STANCIL
No, Carrie...

CAPPER
You can't stop us, Stancil.
(To Carrie)
You're gonna be free, Carrie. You
can make up your mind later about
marryin' me, but you're gonna be
free.

STANCIL
Carrie...

CAPPER
Stancil, you shut up! And don't you
lay a finger on her, or I'll just
beat you to death. Go on now, Carrie.

CARRIE
Alright, Foss.

CAPPER
Noon tomorrow, Carrie. I'll be
waitin'.

(Sound of footsteps and door opening and closing bell as
Carrie leaves.)

CAPPER
And you mind what I said, Stancil.
Don't you try to stop her.

STANCIL
I won't try to stop her. It's you I'm
gonna stop.

(Sound of footsteps and door opening and closing bell as
Stancil leaves)

CAPPER
Now you know, Marshall, I didn't mean
to cause trouble when I come here.

DILLON
(Chuckling)
Well, maybe not, Capper, but you sure
done it.

(Theme music swells and then fades into slow, melancholy
western music)

(Sound of door opening and footsteps)

CHESTER
Mr. Dillon?

DILLON
Yeah, what is it, Chester?

CHESTER
You'd better get on out there, quick.
It's fixin' ta happen. Ben Stancil
just rode in with two of his men.

DILLON
Has Carrie showed up yet?

CHESTER
No, sir, she ain't. But Foss Capper
was waitin' for her when them others
came in.

DILLON
I didn't think Stancil would let her
go without a fight.

CHESTER
Oh there's gonna be a fight,
alright... of some kind. Look how
their crowdin'.

(Many footsteps)

STANCIL
Capper. I'm gonna fix you good.

CAPPER
I see you brought plenty of help.

STANCIL
Well... you're too big for one man to
handle, but the three of us can do
it.

DILLON
No, ya don't Stancil.

STANCIL
You keep out of this, Marshall...

DILLON
You don't think I'm gonna stand by
and watch three men work over one, do
ya?!

CAPPER
Wait, Marshall.

DILLON
Yeah, what, Capper?

CAPPER
Now there ain't no other way. I'll
take 'em on... all of 'em. It's got
to be done.

CHESTER
Wait a minute. Look who's comin'
yonder.

STANCIL
It's Carrie. I told her to go back
home.

CHESTER
What in the world's the matter with
her? She looks like she got drug.

STANCIL
You keep away from her, Capper.

DILLON
Shut up, Stancil, leave him be.

CAPPER
What happened to you?

CARRIE
(Upset)
They caught up with me at the edge of
town...

CAPPER
Here. I'll help you down.

CARRIE
I got here anyway. He couldn't stop
me.

CAPPER
Did your brother do this to you?
...Did he knock you around?

STANCIL
You get back on that wagon and go
home, Carrie.

DILLON
Alright, hold it Stancil. Let her
talk.

CAPPER
Carrie, did he do it?

CARRIE
Yes.

STANCIL
You sure need convincin', Carrie...

DILLON
I told you to shut up, Stancil.

CAPPER
Chester?

CHESTER
Yeah?

CAPPER
Would you be good enough to take
Carrie over to Miss Kitty's? Cause I
got a little business here.

CHESTER
I'd be glad to.

CAPPER
Don't you move, Stancil.

CHESTER
You come on with me, Carrie.

STANCIL
Alright boys. Let's get to work.

CAPPER
Now just a minute, Stancil. I've
changed my mind.

STANCIL
What?

CAPPER
I ain't goin' ta fight you. Not now.
Not that way. We're gonna settle this
for good and all.

STANCIL
What are you talkin' about?

CAPPER
Marshall Dillon could I ask you a
favor?

DILLON
What, Capper?

CAPPER
Lend me your gun. ...well?

DILLON
(Hesitating)
...alright. Alright, here it is.

CAPPER
Thank you.

STANCIL
Now what's this?! What are you two
doin'? Who ever heard of a lawman
lendin' his gun?

DILLON
I think Capper's right, Stancil. This
business has got to be settled for
good. And he's the one to do it, not
me.

STANCIL
O.K. then you can watch him die. You
ready boys?

HANK
Now wait a minute, Stancil. You
didn't say nothin' about no gun
fightin'.

STANCIL
What difference that make?

HANK
There's somethin' about him. I don't
like the way he wears that gun. He
looks kind of professional to me.

STANCIL
He's nothin but a tin horn and he's a
coward at that.

HANK
He ain't no coward. And I ain't
havin' no part of this. Come on Bob,
let's don't be fools.

(Sound of footsteps walking away)

STANCIL
(Calling to them)
Now you're fired... both of ya.

(Continued sound of footsteps)

HANK
(Calling back)
Good.

CAPPER
Stancil?

STANCIL
Was he right, Capper? Are you a
gunman?

CAPPER
You can find out; easy enough.

STANCIL
You gonna stand there and allow this,
Marshall?

DILLON
I can't stop it now.

STANCIL
Well I think he is a gunman. I think
he's a killer.

CAPPER
Stancil. You're through. Get goin'.

(Sound of footsteps as Stancil walks away)

STANCIL
(Sighing)
...Welp...

CAPPER
Marshall. Your gun. I thank you.

DILLON
Sure.

CAPPER
You remember, I told ya how a man
gets tired of killin'?

DILLON
I had a feelin it was more than the
war that did it, Capper...

CAPPER
I was all through wearin' a gun.
That's why I asked Carrie to marry
me.

DILLON
So?

CAPPER
You tell her for me, Marshall. Tell
her I was ready to kill her brother.
I can't ask her to marry me now. The
day will always come when I'll have
to put on a gun again.

DILLON
Not against Stancil.

CAPPER
Well there's others. Man like me's
got enemies.

DILLON
Why don't ya tell her about it
yourself, Capper?

CAPPER
It wouldn't be fair. I'd be
influencin' her the wrong way just
bein' there. Will ya do it?

DILLON
It's too late.

CAPPER
Huh?

DILLON
Look behind you.

CAPPER
Oh.

DILLON
She didn't go to Kitty's. She was
waitin' to see what happened. Yeah.
She saw ya, Capper... gun and all.
She doesn't look like she's comin' to
tell you goodbye.

CAPPER
Hm. No. No, she doesn't, does she?

(Sound of footsteps as Carrie approaches)

CARRIE
Foss?

(Theme music swells)

ANNOUNCER
You know, writers like Ned Blum drew
exaggerated pictures of the West. But
they did no real harm. But next week
two writers from New York come to
Dodge, and are the cause of an Indian
massacre. And that was the West.

(Theme music out)

ANNOUNCER:
"Cheap Labor" was written by John
Meston, Matt Dillon was portrayed by ----
, Foss Capper was played by ----, ----
played Chester, ---- was Ben Stancil,
Miss ---- gave life to Carrie Stancil
and the lovely ---- played Miss
Kitty.

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