Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in the rough and tumble Dodge City.
Matt has to get Dodge City back from outlaws.
Woodley and Cantwell get into a fight over splitting up the money they earned from trapping and gambling. Matt breaks it up and they go their separate ways for the night. As Cantwell is walking down an alley, Claude and Ab Benteen, the sons of a local rancher, rob and kill him. Woodley is accused, tried, and sentenced to hang in a month. During this time, Ab's conscience is bothering him and drives him to drink heavily. In a drunken stupor he draws on a cowboy in the Long Branch and is shot. He makes a death confession to Matt that he and his brother really killed Cantwell. With Woodley scheduled to hang the very next day, Matt tries to telegraph the sheriff in Hays City but the telegraph lines are down due to a raging storm. He then has to go to his old friends, Adam and Clara Benteen, to explain what happened to Ab and take Claude into custody. Fighting time to get to Hays City to stop the hanging Matt is faced with a rifle-bearing Adam, trying to set his son
Sam and Frank Band, and two of their friends, arrive in the small town of Greenwood, OK expecting to quench their thirst with whiskey and find only soda pop available. Not being overly smart or long on manners, they shoot up the small general store/sheriff's office. Thad, sheriff Greenwood's son and deputy, talks his father into issuing an arrest warrant for the men, just before he dies of a heart attack. After catching up with the four vandals in Dodge, Matt has to explain to Thad that an Oklahoma warrant isn't executable in Kansas. Matt and Festus have been trying to hunt down a pack of wolves suspected of butchering cattle on the nearby ranches. But, something isn't quite right about the way the animals have been attacking and, even though a bounty has been offered for each wolf pelt turned in, none have been forthcoming. Matt and Festus begin to put two-and-two together and turn their suspicions towards the Band's and their friends.
Matt is riding along when he's confronted by Miguel Samando, a bandito who wants to kill the "famous Matt Dillon." Miguel isn't as fast as he thinks he is and is killed. Immediately thereafter another rider shows up, but this time is Matt's old ex-lawman friend Jack Pinto. Jack has decided to give up law enforcement and head to California to make his fortune. They drape Miguel over his horse and head for Dodge. Festus notices a rough looking character ride into Dodge and stop at the Long Branch. Failing to find Matt, he decides to check things out for himself. He goes to the Long Branch and finds three gunslingers; Doyle Phleger, Al Tresh and Billy Coe. Playing the role of a dim-witted hick in need of a drink, Festus makes friends with Al Tresh. A bottle or two later he gets Tresh to admit that he was offered $25,000 to kill Matt. It turns out that Miguel, Doyle and Billy were made the same offer. When Matt gets into town Festus fills him in. Jack offers Matt hi
Jeb Crater and his prospecting partner Sholo are camping when Stretch Morgan rides up. Jeb invites him to share a cup of coffee and is impressed with his prowess with a gun. Explaining that they've finally struck it rich, Jeb hires Stretch as a bodyguard. Arriving in Dodge, Jeb tells everyone he's going to throw a party at the Long Branch. After bathing, Jeb and Stretch hide the gold pouches in the ground under the bath tub (Jeb doesn't trust banks), not telling Sholo because he might reveal its location if he has too much to drink. After the party Jeb is hit on the head and the search is on for Stretch.
Jayce McCaw deals unfairly with a Pawnee Indian family and winds up killing the father, shooting Kioga (the son), and leaving the daughter unprotected in the wilderness. When he gets into Dodge he near strangles Howie, the Dodge House desk clerk, just to get a woman's name. Kioga, still wounded, tracks him to Dodge and shows up in Mr. Bodkin's bank wanting to cash in a gold nugget for money. He's taken up to Doc's for treatment and Matt leaves him the $110.00 Mr. Bodkin redeemed the gold for. After Doc's treatment Kioga buys white man's clothes and hat, and gets his hair cut in order to blend in. That night he tries to kill McCaw, but misses. McCaw, being short on brains and manners, smarts off to Matt and gets thrown in jail. Kioga disturbs the peace to get thrown in with McCaw. Another failed attempt. The next day, another failed attempt using a rifle as McCaw rides out of town. Kioga grabs a horse and takes off after him. He finally captures McCaw and stake
Turner's called in from the range to talk to his boss, Chris Thornton. Upon his arrival Thornton tells him he knows his name is really Luke Frazer. He tells Thornton he'll be gone by sundown, but Thornton has different ideas. He shows Luke a wanted poster of Otto Fry, the man who killed Thornton's son. He tells Luke he'll give him a thousand acres as a place of his own if he'll track down Fry and kill him; he can even keep the $600 reward! Frazer heads out looking for Fry and lands in Dodge. Wouldn't you know, he's an old friend of Festus'. It turns out that Fry is better known around Dodge as local rancher Lon Jensen. Matt gets to him first and puts him in jail where Frazer can't get to him. He then sends a telegram to the sheriff in Buckland and learns that the charges had been dropped when Thornton's son made a deathbed confession, admitting to assaulting Fry's wife. When Frazer learns that he's been set up to commit murder he heads back to Buckland to deal w
Jim Forbes returns from serving three years in prison for "swindling" the folks of Dodge. He had ran out of money mining for gold, salted the mine (planted high grade quartz ore in it), and borrowed funds from the townspeople to continue mining. Now, backed by money provided by his sister, he's reopened the mine in order to prove to the people of Dodge that there is gold in it, and to pay them back. Once locals Jason Holt and Clint Fisher find out that Forbes has some money in the bank they demand he make restitution with it, forcefully. Things eventually deteriorate to the point where Forbes straps on a gun and goes looking for Holt and Fisher!
Murdering sidewinder Del Ordman heads to Dodge to kill the marshal for killing his brother, but Matt had to go out-of-town and asked Festus to keep an eye on things. As Matt's leaving, Malachi Harper, a buffalo bone scavenger, arrives in town. He finds a letter waiting for him informing him that his brother Ethan, a well-to-do businessman from Baltimore, is coming through Dodge on his way to San Francisco. Malachi hasn't seen his brother in 35 years but wrote him once and told him that he was the marshal of Dodge City. Festus, Doc and Kitty play along with the charade. Ordman, not knowing the marshal by name, confronts Malachi and tries to kill him. When Matt comes back Festus fills him in on what's going on, while Ordman is facing Malachi down at the Long Branch!
Frank and Edmund Dano arrive home after six years in prison for rustling cattle. Considering Frank the bad seed of the family, and the evil influence that got the younger Edmund sent to prison, Mr. Dano gives him a not-to-warm reception. Frank wants to leave, but because his mother is ailing with a bad heart, he stays at her request. As the situation deteriorates between Frank and his father, Edmund offers to tell their parents that it was he who was mixed up with the rustling and that Frank only got into trouble trying to get him out of it. Frank says no to prevent further disappointment for their parents and moves to a farm house on some nearby land that his father purchased. Edmund takes up with Elise Howell, a clerk in the freight office. After $20,000 is stolen from the Garden City stage, recovered, and returned to the freight office, Edmund talks Elsie into helping him steal it. Things don't go as smoothly as planned and Elisie's employer, Mr. Daniels, get
Judd Print and his two boys, Verlyn and Coy, have met Wade Bonney, his 12 year old son Homer, and his gravely ill wife on the trail and traveled together for a few days. After Mrs. Bonney dies, Judd shoots Wade in the back and steals all of his valuables. Verlyn knows what happened, but Coy doesn't because he was off looking for Homer at the time. From a hilltop Homer had witnessed the murder. Hiding, and refusing to come down for fear of being killed himself, he is left there to die of exposure. But, instead, Homer finds his father's gun and heads across the prairie to hunt Judd and his boys down. Doc runs across Homer while on the trail, gives him some water, almost gets shot, and takes him back to Dodge to tend his minor scratches and get some food into him. He also hides Homer's gun. When Homer sees Judd and Verlyn in town he searches Doc's office, finds the gun and goes after them. Not realizing that Doc removed the bullets, he gets cornered in Moss Grimm
Gorman, Mandee, Keys, and Torreon break out of Leavenworth Territorial Prison and abduct Matt while he's on his nightly rounds. A note is found on the telegraph office door from Gorman explaining that they've got Matt and he won't be harmed if they get to the Mexican border unmolested. The instructions in the note call for the Dodge telegrapher to wire all towns south, between Dodge and the Oklahoma border, and inform all peace officers to stay out of their way or they'll kill Matt. Festus has gone to Jetmore to pick up some horses and Doc and Kitty send Thad to tell him what's happened. When Thad catches up with him and they head out after Matt. Then, things get tense when the gang finds one stubborn lawman and nineteen deputies in front of them only a few miles from the Oklahoma border.
A gang of outlaws (Dove Baily, Coley Martin, Harve Kane, Hank Wheeler, and siblings Eddie and Allie Sommers) are being chased by two posses for robbing the railroad of $20,000 and shooting three employees. Matt manages to shoot one of them in the shoulder before they get away. A couple days later Doc finds Allie in his office with a bullet wound in her shoulder. Matt suspects she may have been one of the gang members, but says nothing. She tells Matt that she was separated from a wagon train and shot by Indians. After two weeks convalescing, and getting to like city life, Allie sees Kane in town. He tells her that Matt shot her brother down when he was trying to surrender. He wants her to lead Matt into a trap so they can kill him and then show the gang where her brother hid the money before he died. This task proves to be a little more difficult than it sounds; Matt and Festus are pretty hard to kill.
Thad goes to the marshal's office to get Festus (Matt's out-of-town) and tells him there's a problem at the Long Branch. When they get there, Kitty tells them she got rid of the two brothers that were drunk and disorderly. As her and Sam are closing up, Sam takes a crate of empty bottles to the cellar and Kitty goes up to her room. Waiting there is Richard Strom, one of the brothers, who gags her and starts beating her. A window breaks in the struggle and brings Festus, Thad and Sam running. Richard Strom shoots Festus and is killed by return fire. Several days later Oklahoma judge Calvin Strom shows up in town with his two remaining sons, Mark and Cal, Jr. (the one that was with Richard the night of the shooting). Judge Strom wants charges brought against Festus for murder and against Kitty for conspiracy to commit murder, but Matt refuses and orders the judge and his two sons out of Dodge. That night Mark ambushes Matt and puts a bullet in his leg while his fa
Kitty inherits a gold mine from a friend who passed away. She wanted Matt to accompany her to the town of Pickaxe to register and transfer the deed, but he had to go out-of-town on business. A bit miffed, she decides to make the trip alone. After the stage drops her off in the middle of the prairie by a pile of crates and barrels, she waits in the hot sun for the freight driver from Pickaxe. He is not helpful; she has to put her own luggage in the wagon and climb up on her own. When she arrives in Pickaxe she finds the local citizenry even less helpful, with the exception of Richard Danby, a young mute boy. When Matt finds out she made the trip on her own he sends Thad to check on her, and send a letter back on the stage concerning her welfare. After Thad arrives, dead tired from riding all night, Richard takes him and Kitty up to the mine. There they find Pa Gibbijohn and his two boys, Jud and Ed, jumping her claim. They manage to chase the rascals off, but when
Holly and Walker, two bounty hunters, come across a dead sheriff and his prisoner. The prisoner, John Drago, is still alive, but badly injured from his horse throwing him. Holly finds a wanted poster in the sheriff's pocket indicating the reward for Drago, dead or alive, from the Mexican authorities is thirty-thousand dollars. They take Drago into Dodge for medical treatment. Doc and Matt insist on keeping Drago under guard in a hotel room until he's fit to ride. Local farmer Austin Boyle's wife is under Doc's care because she's having a difficult time carrying her baby and, knowing he could use the money, Festus suggests that Matt hire him as a guard. A Kansas City Beacon Newspaper reporter, George Flint, is in town and keeps stirring up trouble between the bounty hunters and Matt to create an interesting story. Flint eventually plants the idea in the bounty hunter's minds to offer Boyle three-thousand dollars to kill Drago so they can quickly get to Mexico and
Festus sees Lambert, Emery and Sweet Billy Haggen on a farm outside of Dodge, grabs a well bucket, puts it over his head and starts running off into the fields for fear of getting his ear shot off; not the whole ear, just the little hangy-down part (refer to episode #364 "Eliab's Aim" for details). Sweet Billy shoots the bucket, they catch up to Festus, and then explain that the only reason they're there is to find Sweet Billy a wife. Festus reluctantly agrees to help and starts lining up local gals for Sweet Billy to meet. The one prerequisite that Sweet Billy has is that the woman he marries must be able to read and write. It happens that Pony Beal and his daughter Orabelle are in town, and when she sees Sweet Billy she decides to go after him. Sweet Billy is also quite taken with her and, when he finds that she can read and write, decides to marry her. With his three uncle's permission they go to see Orabelle's father, who also agrees, provided they pay him a
Les McConnell, posing as a gun salesman, is the front-man for the Stark Gang. He's gone into Sedalia, Missouri as the advanced scout for a bank heist. The gang rides in and robs the bank, killing the bank manager. They get away and later decide to hit the bank in Dodge, even though McConnell advises against messing with Marshal Dillon. The leader, Jim Stark, dismisses the warning and sets the gang's path toward Dodge. McConnell goes in ahead of the gang to check things out. The bank gets robbed and, as the gang is riding out of town, they run headlong into Matt and Festus. Some of the gang members are killed and one is severely wounded. Doc is kidnapped and taken along to tend him. Matt starts to put together a large posse to chase the gang down, but McConnell has other ideas.
After the Stark Gang robs the bank in Dodge, front-man Les McConnell sets several buildings on fire to prevent a posse from pursuing the gang. Matt leaves most of the men in town to battle the flames and takes only Festus and a handful of others to pursue the gang. The gang stops at Mr. Early's ranch and gets fresh horses. When Matt and his men arrive Early tries to obstruct them and send them on a false trail, but one of Matt's men finds the real trail. With very tired horses, they press on. Coming upon another ranch they find that the gang has once again acquired fresh horses and a wagon, but this time the rancher wasn't their friend; he'd managed to hide three horses from the gang. Matt and Festus take the fresh horses and continue after the gang. When they catch up to the what's left of the gang (some were wounded and died, others were killed due to internal squabbles) a gun battle erupts, with Doc in the middle of it!
Doc Brown's medicine show comes to Dodge. One of his main attractions is Sandy, a young man quite quick and agile with pistols. His problem is that his arrogance rivals his abilities. This is demonstrated by his insistence on pushing Festus into a gunfight, which Sandy loses. With a bullet wound in his side, Matt out of town, Doc Brown accusing Festus of murder by drawing down on Sandy while he was drunk, and not wanting to have to put Matt in the position of arresting his friend when he returns, Festus decides to run for the Nebraska border. En route, he is forced to trade Ruth (his mule) and his pistol for a fresh horse. He then comes upon a saloon with Mr. Gabin and his two boys, who are less than hospitable. Festus rides on and seeks shelter in a barn from an imminent rain storm. The following morning he meets and befriends the family that owns the farm. During breakfast two gunmen ride up and tell Esther Harris, the owner of the farm and a widow, that they're
Jason rides up to Jed Woodard's homestead and asks if he can water his horse. While he's doing that Jed notices a guitar strapped to Jason's horse. He takes it out and starts fooling with it. Jason is very possessive about the instrument and each time he asks Jed to give it to him Jed abuses it a little more. Finally, he's knocking it against a sharp piece of wood and is on the verge of puncturing it. Jason will take no more, draws his knife, and stabs Jed in the chest. He digs a grave but doesn't finish burying the body because two riders are approaching. He arrives in Dodge and stops in at the Long Branch where Kitty is throwing a birthday party for Doc. Kitty asks him to play some music, and he agrees to play in return for some food. The following day Jack and Dan, the two riders that scared Jason off, arrive in Dodge. They disturb the peace and Matt relieves them of their guns. Later that night they get into a fight with Jason and Matt throws them in jail. W
Spellman, Travers and Aikens are robbing a stage when the guard shoots Spellman in the leg, resulting in Travers killing the guard and wounding the driver. Being wounded himself, Spellman has a difficult time keeping up with Travers and Aikens and is left to fend for himself. When the stage gets to Dodge the robbery is reported to Matt who takes off after the criminals, leaving Festus in charge in town. Doc is feeling really bad because he thought the driver would live, but died from the wounds. Kitty suggests that as long as he has to ride to Pearl Miller's place, a goodly distance out of Dodge, to deliver her baby that he take a fishing pole along and get a couple of days rest. Doc takes her advice and tries to sneak out of town without Festus finding out. Matt follows the outlaw's trail to Benson Flats and Mr. Tonkins' farm. Tonkins tells Matt the outlaws came by earlier and which direction they went. It turns out that Spellman was in Tonkins' house with a gu
Paul Wiley and his gang get into a shootout with Matt and some of the townsfolk after robbing the bank in Dodge. During the shootout Mrs. Ayers and her young boy are shot down in the street. Wounded in the leg, Wiley ducks into the church. He finds Rev. Porter, his fiancÃ©e Phyllis, and Mrs. Howell there and sends Phyllis for a doctor. Matt sends posses out in a couple directions because the gang scattered. Festus figures out that Wiley may have doubled back towards Dodge. He sends his posse on while he and Thad head back for town. Doc tells Wiley he needs special instruments from his office to extract the bullet. Reluctantly, Wiley let's him go. Doc's forced into telling Festus about Wiley and is overheard by local citizen Baker, who then tells Mr. Ayers that the man responsible for wounding his wife and son is in the church. Ayers, Baker and a moderate crowd decide to go get Wiley. Festus and Doc try to stop them, but it's a bullet fired from Wiley's pistol int
An Indian woman asks for help in seeing that her father isn't killed for a crime he didn't commit. When Thad offers to help the girl the laws of her tribe could bring more trouble. Thad tries to see Gray horse, and is accused of attacking an Indian. The Indian agent arrests Thad. Sara and Two Bears talk about what will happen after her father dies. As time nears for John Two Bears to die Matt & Thad learn that Gray Horse took the horses.
Ed's gang robs the bank in Dodge City and kills a customer. During their escape Billy, Ed's younger brother, is wounded and arrested. Matt took off after the gang but lost them. That evening, while dinning with Kitty, Thad introduces his friend, Will Taylor, to Matt. It's apparent that he idolizes the marshal and offers to help in any way he can. Later that night the four outlaws return to Dodge, one of them becoming deceased in a failed attempt to break Billy out of jail. The next morning Matt leaves Thad in charge of the jail while he and Festus try, yet again, to track Ed and the rest of the gang down. In the meantime, Doc had to pay a visit to an expectant mother on one of the outlying ranches. On his way back to town he's stopped by two of the gang members, beaten, and given a message to deliver to Matt that all of his friends will meet the same fate, or worse, if he doesn't let Billy go. Doc finds that Matt isn't back yet when he gets to town. Ed rides into
Thad discovers Bass in Pawnee Creek and tells Doc and Festus about it. They decided to take a few days to go fishing for Bass and head out. Thad warned them to avoid the buffalo hunters; but they did, of course, run into them. When the clan leader, Argonaut, discovers that Festus is a Haggen things start to deteriorate. It seems that one of his kin married up with one of Festus' second cousins who ran off and left her while she was expecting. The child, Piney, is now nine years old and gravely ill. When Argonaut discovers that Doc is a "real book learnin' doctor" he insists that they come to his camp and look at Piney, at gun-point. Doc then meets Addie, the very attractive daughter of Argonaut, who is the clan's pseudo-doctor. Unfortunately, her herbal concoctions are no match for an appendicitis. Doc has to operate, saves Piney's life, and earns the respect of Addie. Ready to leave and finish their fishing trip, Argonaut disagrees and insists that Doc stay on
Ian McGovern, his mother, and son, David, immigrate from Scotland and find a nice plot of land just outside of Dodge. According to the land office they have a right to homestead it, but according to Ben Payson the land is his. When Ben appeals to Matt about it he's told that the land is public domain and, when it comes down to it, he'll have to stand on the side of the law. Ben is not pleased with this response. When Ben's daughter, Betsy's, horse throws her and she's nearly charged by a wild boar, David comes to her rescue. When Betsy gets home she finds her father less than appreciative. Soon Ben finds out that David and Betsy are sweet on each other. A fight takes place between the two fathers and Ben insists that if David continues to see Betsy he'll kill him. When Ben's ranch hands get back from delivering his cattle to market he takes them with him to burn out the "squatters," but Thad and Betsy ride for the marshal.
Festus is nearly rundown by a speeding wagon on the trail between Hays City and Dodge. He soon finds the wagon further up the trail with a broken wheel. Here he meets Angus McTabboot and his 'unofficial' nephew Jock. It turns out that Angus is on his way to Dodge to open a newspaper and winds up hiring Festus as a reporter, with Jock as his aide to read and write for him. After digging three bullets out of the back of Angus' wagon, Matt speaks to Angus and discovers he was run out of Hays City for printing "the truth about people," regardless of the consequences. The first thing Festus writes about is how local rancher Merl Benlan got his start by rustling cattle down in Texas. Merl gets pretty upset and goes after Festus and Angus. Then, when Angus explains the concept of advertising to Festus, he creates a price war between Mr. Jonas' and Clab Chummer's general stores, which gets seriously out of hand. Things eventually deteriorate and Festus runs a front page
Jacob Beamus and his good Comanche friend, John Walking Fox, are bringing a load of buffalo pelts into Dodge. Gainer, Holtz and Banjo, three morally bankrupt saddle tramps, try to force their way into staying at their camp and are invited to leave. When the three see Jacob and John Walking Fox coming into Dodge they give them some more trouble. They manage to get to Aaron Tigue's trading store, where an argument takes place between Jacob and Aaron over the previously promised price of the pelts, and Jacob is killed. John Walking Fox pays Percy Crump, Dodge City's undertaker, for a funeral and headstone for Jacob with a '49er' $50 gold piece, a rare coin minted once by a California bank. It seems that the old coin shipment of $100,000 was lost between Pueblo, Colorado and Dodge City, Kansas in 1850. When he then pays for a hotel room with another coin, Tigue and the saddle tramps are convinced that the Indian knows where the rest of the coins are buried. It turns
Joey and Bernie Jeffords are in the Hays City Trail's End Saloon watching Jim Barrett, a famous gunfighter, shoot pool. Joey decides he's faster than Barrett and gets killed trying to prove it. Bernie takes Joey home and informs his pa as to what happened. When Barrett arrives in Dodge City, Matt throws him in jail until he gets confirmation from the territorial governor that there's no warrants out for him. When he releases him, he tells Barrett that if he so much as breaks a whiskey glass in Dodge he'll throw him back in jail. Barrett promises to start no trouble. However, a young man in town keeps trying to kill Barrett, but keeps getting outwitted. In the meantime, Ike Jeffords gathers up his grown sons and heads for Dodge to settle the score with Barrett. That night one of the Jeffords boys calls Barrett out into the street while his father and three brothers wait in ambush!
After Asa Longworth comes to Dodge City dressed in Preacher's clothes (the clothes belong to the Preacher that Asa killed) everybody thinks he has come to hold a sermon. He later tells everybody that he is in Dodge to watch someone die. Asa tells Matt the clothes belong to his twin brother. Matt asks for the name of the person who killed Asa's twin brother & the town where the killing took place. Dougherty tells Matt he saw Asa in Garden City last week but didn't use a gun to kill anyone!
Kyle Stoner shoots another man after seeing his girlfriend with another man. John Stoner feels Matt shouldn't have taken Kyle's gun. Kyle comes back to The Long Branch with a dress for Wilma. Jack Smith and Joe Brown beat up Festus hoping to take on Matt. Kyle finally tries to take on Matt to see who can draw their gun faster. Kyle is killed by Matt because Kyle wouldn't drop his gun belt. John Stoner gives tells Matt that Woody, Jack and Joe are wanted for Robbery in Oklahoma.