Once a Haggen

Season 9, Ep 18, Aired 2/1/64
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  • Episode Description
  • Festus Haggen, Bucko Taos, and 2 other card players lose to a player's hand of a full house (3Qs-2As). Broke, Slim asks Kitty to extend credit to him and Festus, she turns them down. As Festus and Slim walk out the door they joke about robbing a bank, a stagecoach and even robbing the winner of the poker game for drink money. Later at the Dodge house Matt, Doc, and Chester find the winning poker player dead from being stabbed 3 times. Matt finds one of Bucko's buttons made out of a Mexican dollar. Matt arrests Bucko on suspicion of the murder. Matt asks Festus where he and Bucko were at during the time of the murder. Festus says they were both at Pop Schiller's place. As Matt starts to take Festus over to Pop's place to verify that fact, April Clomley walks in and tells the marshal that Festus didn't have anything to do with the crime and he was with her. Pop claims that Festus was there all alone by himself. Pop shows Matt the inventory book which read nothing about Bucko Taos. Matt says Bucko will have to go at his murder trial alone. Sentence is passed. Later Matt discusses the case with Kitty. Matt figures it's possible that either Festus or Pop was lying about whether or not Bucko was at Pop Schiller's place. Kitty doubts that Pop would lie. Matt thinks it's possible that Festus and and Pop were both were lying, that Festus wasn't there at all either. Festus goes over to Bucko's shack to get his harmonica and finds April has followed him. Festus explains to her that he's has to help his friend he knows is innocent. April agrees a man's gotta be loyal to his friend and she asks him to be careful. Meanwhile at the Marshal's office, Matt moves Bucko to the front cell of the jail. Bucko explains to Matt that he told the court everything he knew but could not remember all. But suddenly Bucko remembers and tells Matt that it seemed that somebody called Pop outside. Festus arrives to visit Bucko and give him a newspaper and his harmonica. Bucko starts playing and Festus sings, keeping Matt entertained for about 3 hours. Meanwhile April visits Pop Schiller at his place and does some detective work. She flatters Pop by telling him he seems real young and he offers her a cup of coffee but she would rather have a shot of red-eye instead. Pop decides to have a nip along with her. As Pop drinks his shot and not looking at April, she dumps her drink in the spittoon then pretends to drink from the glass when Pop does look. She asks for another shot of red-eye. Pop pours her and himself another and again when Pop's not looking, April dumps hers in the spittoon and pretends to drink. Meanwhile back at the Marshal's office Doc Adams comes over as Festus and Bucko are really rocking it with the music. Festus is tired and goes home to go to bed. Bucko asks Doc, when a man hangs does he die quick? Doc says yes. Bucko is relieved to hear that. Chester arrives and begins to play cribbage with Doc. Matt leaves to go to Pop's to ask him more questions. Meanwhile at Pop's April continues to "drink" with him. She tells Pop that he seems hardly any older than Festus is. Pop says Festus is a young whipper- snapper compared to himself. April says Festus don't act like it and that he always leaves her alone and hardly ever takes her dancing. She invites Pop to dance with her. Pop hesitates and says you need music to dance. April makes music by singing "La, la, la, la, la,...", they dance. And as they dance she says he's a much better dancer than Festus. She tells him Festus doesn't act like he's in his prime, and that he's always leaving her and that he won't even attempt dancing even when celebrating. Then April tells Pop that she bets Festus was celebrating there with Bucko during that night of the murder. She states, "I bet him and Bucko could hardly walk when they came through that door over there." Pop replies laughing, "Walk through? They couldn't hardly stagger through. You should've seen them, holding each other up and singing at the top of their lungs and..." suddenly Pop realizes that he just spilled the beans that Bucko WAS there on that night of the murder. April tells Pop, she's gotta be going, but Pop won't let her leave and Matt walks in and April tells the marshal that Festus was right, Bucko was there that night of the murder. Pop tells Matt not to pay her no mind, she's drunk. April says, "I ain't drunk but I bet that spittoon of yours sure is!" Back at the office, Festus comes to spring Bucko out of jail and at gunpoint locks Chester in the cell. As the two go for their horses they are ambushed by a dozen men with guns led by the Curly, the real killer. Chester sees that from the back jail window. Matt is convinced that Bucko was there on the night of the murder thanks to April. Pop says he can't tell the truth or else he'll be killed. Matt persuades Pop to tell all exactly as it was. Back at the jail Chester attempts to fish for the jail keys on the rack but to no avail. April walks in the office and lets Chester out. He tells April that the outlaw gang are taking Festus and Bucko to the west end of town to hang them. Chester goes to tell the marshall, as Matt still over at Pop's boarding house searches for the stolen money and finds it hidden at the bottom of the furnace. As the gang attempts to hang Festus and Bucko, Festus works his hands free of the rope. April runs in saying "Stop it, Bunko aint guilty the marshall found it out." As Curly spooks the horses away, Festus quickly jumps and grabs the bar holding both nooses, climbs up and grabs Bucko by the collar so he doesn't hang. The marshal arrives and throws Festus a knife to cut Bucko loose. Matt tells Fickett and Curly that he found out the truth from Pop and that he found the money in Curly's room. Curly attempts to shoot Pop but Matt is faster and shoots and kills Curly. Matt tells the gang I want you all to appear in court tomorrow morning. Pop apologizes to Bucko for lying and jeopardizing him. Matt asks April to take Festus and Buck home and keep them out of trouble. Festus asks Matt what he plans to do with Pop. Undecided he lets Pop go with Festus and tells Pop to be in his office next morning. Chester tells Matt he's too soft-heated to be a law man. Matt tells Chester, "I doubt that Curly would agree with you there."moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Burt Reynolds


  • Ken Curtis


  • Dennis Weaver


  • Roger Ewing


  • Buck Taylor

    Newly O' Brien

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • Fickett: I'd like to say that doing one's duty is not always a pleasant chore. But decent honest citizens have got to support the demands of justice. Festus: You wouldn't know justice if it snuck up and bit you on the seat of the pants!

    Notes (2)

    • The song April sings "La, la, la, la, la" in making music for her and Pop to dance by is the tune of the melody "Beautiful Dreamer" by Stephen Foster.

    • Ken Curtis (Festus) sings seriously in this episode.

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