Gunsmoke

Season 10 Episode 21

Song for Dying

1
Aired Unknown Feb 13, 1965 on CBS

Episode Recap


A man with a guitar who introduces himself only as The Singer shows up at the Long Branch. While he's entertaining the crowd, someone takes a shot at him. Matt is forced to kill the shooter.

Later that night, The Singer comes up to Doc's office. Doc recognizes him as a former physician and wants to know why he has people shooting at him. The Singer tells Doc about a pregnancy gone wrong in which the woman died because he didn't have the proper tools and didn't get there in time. Doc wants The Singer to tell his story to the marshal but he refuses to do so because of his pride.

One of the townspeople approaches Matt on the street and suggests that The Singer should be run out of town. The citizen is worried that with someone gunning for him, The Singer poses a danger to the community. Matt refuses to run The Singer out of town without a good reason.

Will Lukins rides in and hails the marshal, asking to claim the body of the boy Matt shot. Doc Adams offers to help give the boy a decent burial in Dodge but Lukins refuses. Lukins says he will bury the boy and then come back to kill the Singer. Matt reminds him that if Lukins does, he'll be obliged to stop him. Lukins repeats his threat.

Matt finds the Singer behind the Long Branch singing to Kitty and confronts him regarding the feud with Lukins. Matt strongly suggests that the Singer should avoid trouble by leaving town. The Singer refuses to leave Dodge.

Doc rides out to Lukins' camp in an effort to convince him to stop gunning for the Singer. He tries to tell the Singer's side of the story but Lukins wouldn't listen. Lukins insists the Singer never intended to come out and attend the pregnancy. Doc warns Lukins that if he keeps gunning for the Singer in Dodge, Matt will shoot whoever comes after him.

A group of men come to Matt's office to again insist that he run The Singer out of town. Matt says he can't do it because he has no just cause under the law. He reminds them that he enforces the law in Dodge and that everyone there is entitled to protection.

The men leave Matt's office and go over to the Long Branch where they threaten the Singer and tell him to leave town. Matt follows and breaks up the mob. He then tells the Singer he's going to jail him.

At the jail, Matt waits for Lukins to make an appearance. He argues with both Festus and Doc over his decision to jail the Singer. Matt thinks the situation will be over as soon as Lukins shows up. Matt deputizes Festus to help out. When Kitty comes over to feed the Singer, she hands him train fare but he refuses it. As Matt walks her home, she pleads with him to put the Singer on the train but Matt says he can't go against the law.

The Lukins ride in and leave their horses on the edge of town. The youngest boy pleads with his pa to reconsider his plan. The elder Lukins refuses to consider anything but revenge.

Doc comes into the cell and tries to persuade the Singer to get on the train. He says he wants to face Lukins because he's tired of running. Doc finally convinces the Singer to get on the train and make a new start for himself.

Matt takes the Singer out the back way as the Lukins arrive in town on foot. Matt scouts his way to the train depot while the Lukins search Front Street. The three Lukins get into an ambush position as the marshal and the Singer arrive at the depot. Lukins fires the first shot but misses. One of the Lukins boys comes out calling for the marshal as the Elder Lukins fires again. He hits his boy.

The Singer breaks cover and rushes out to administer aid to the boy but Lukins kills him. Matt shoots back and kills the elder Lukins. The remaining boy surrenders and Matt tells Doc that the Singer died trying to help the boy who was shot.
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