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Have Gun, Will Travel: The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs

A former slave wants a chance to say goodbye to her husband, who has been sentenced to hang. She hires Paladin to escort her as well as bring his body home for burial.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 5x8
Production Number: 30965
Airdate: Saturday November 04th, 1961

Guest Stars
Roy BarcroftRoy Barcroft
As Marshal
Edward FaulknerEdward Faulkner
As Harden (Jim Harden)
Peggy ReaPeggy Rea
As Widow
Barry CahillBarry Cahill
As Perrell
Hal NeedhamHal Needham
As Turner
Stewart EastStewart East
As Mullaney
As Sarah Gibbs
Rupert CrosseRupert Crosse
As Aaron (Aaron Gibbs)
Main Cast
Richard BooneRichard Boone
As Paladin
Episode Quotes
Paladin: Can I help?
Sarah Gibbs: Well, I, can't rightly say as you can, but, you're welcome to try. See, I, I told this old mule to get me to Dunbar. But he knows too much and he just laid down.
Paladin: Dunbar?
Sarah Gibbs: You goin' there?
Paladin: No, I'm headed back to San Francisco.
Sarah Gibbs: He'll get better, won't he? Not never? We've been through a valley of days, this mule and me. Course I wouldn't wish to knows he was sufferin'.
Paladin: There isn't any use trying to dispose of the carcass, the, coyotes'd just dig it up again.
Sarah Gibbs: Ah, that don't matter to him none now. Neither good nor bad. There's no sun to burn him. No wind to shiver him. Never again. But, for a man, that's... it's different, it ought to be different. When a man comes to his end, he ought to be... buried. Buried proper, and words said over him. no matter what he was born to.

Marshal: What are you here for?
Paladin: You hanging three men here this afternoon?
Marshall: Yep.
Paladin: What time?
Marshal: Two o'clock.
Paladin: Well, the wife of one of them is here to see him.
Marshal: Gibb's wife?
Paladin: That's right.
Marshal: Well, the rule is that nobody can see any one of them. 'Cept at the hangin' of course, which is open to the public.
Paladin: Why?
I'll tell you why. Fourteen good, honest men are lyin' under that pit. Mister, they had wives, children... brothers. None of them got to say goodbye to any of 'em. The three that killed 'em don't deserve nothin' better than what they gave.

Marshal: And I think even a sort like you could understand how a man might feel about his brother, especially when he owes him his life.
Paladin: That's right, Marshall. But I can also understand what a wife would feel for her husband.Marshal: Well, if it was up to me...
Paladin: It is up to you.
Marshal: Take a look at those folks out there. The only reason that Gibbs and the other two are bein' hung today, instead of torn limb from limb three months ago, is that I sent for the state rangers. And even with them here, we just barely missed havin' a lynchin'. Now, if it'd been an ordinary gunplay or somethin' like that, it might have been different, but, these folks are keyed up about this, and have been for quite some time.
Paladin: Marshal, your job is to see that punishment is carried out, not vengeance. At two o'clock, you're going to send a man to his death. You, not your deputy. Not those people over there. You!
Marshal: Oh, I don't want any more trouble in this camp, ehhh, you saw how Jim Harden took to the idea.
Paladin: Is it your deputy you're afraid of?
Marshal: Oh, I told you that-...
Paladin: Don't tell me anything, you come over here, and tell Sarah Gibbs. Come on.
Marshal: All right, all right. I'll arrange for her to see him.

Sarah Gibbs: Comin' all this way not knowin' he was alive. It seems different. Before, it was just a cold lump inside. Now, I don't know if I'll be able to face him.

Marshal: I made up my own mind. Now, I know how you feel, Jim...
Harden: Do you know? You never worked the mines. You never been pinned down there under a mountain of rock. You think Frank didn't want to say a last word before he died? Think he didn't want to know somebody cared? But you're gonna let the man that killed my brother have that. Is that what you're gonna do?
Marshal: Look, Jim. I had an old yella dog once. Went rabid on me, near tore my arm off. But I tossed him a piece of meat to chew on before I killed him. Now, if I can do that much for an old yellow mongrel, I can certainly do as much for a human bein'!

Sarah Gibbs: I just wanna give him a Christian burial. Put him next to his own flesh.
Harden: Maybe you can tell me some way to get my brother up outta that pit and bury him Christian! Ed, your boy Tom was in Number Three. You got a headstone for him some place? Your husband was down there. You got some place for the kids to put flowers on him? Well, I say they don't deserve no better! I say they get dumped down the sluice pit!
Paladin: Harden. These three men are dead. You can't frighten them anymore, now what do you want? You want her? You want to haul her away, hang her up on those gallows, is that what you want for a headmarker for your brother?

Paladin: Harden.
Harden: My leg.
Paladin: What about your leg?
Harden: It was crushed in a cave-in a year ago March.
Paladin: And you've been using that as an excuse to cadge drinks and sympathy ever since.
Harden: People been nice to me, sure, but that ain't my fault, is it? My leg and what all--you know I couldn't go back down to the mines.
Paladin: Harden, it's no crime to accept help from your friends when you need it, but I'll tell you something. I think that accident was the luckiest thing that ever happened to you. And I'll tell the whole world that I don't think you were much of a man before the accident, because you aren't much of a man now, and the only excuse you've got is a sprung leg.
Harden: Now, hold on, you ain't got no call to talk to me like...
Paladin: Harden, you tell me one thing. You think you're the only human being in this whole world that ever had to fight hardship?

Other Episode Crew

CreatorHerb Meadow  |  Sam Rolfe
Associate ProducerAlbert Ruben  |  Howard Joslin
CastingPeggy Rea
MusicRene Garriguenc
Make-upDonald Roberson
Set DecoratorFay Babcock
Property MasterArthur Friedrich
Production Sound MixerFrederick A. Kessler
Script SupervisorRichard Chaffee
Re-Recording MixerJoel Moss
Director of PhotographyFrank Phillips
Art DirectorRichard Y. Haman
Main Title ThemeBernard Herrmann
Main Title Theme Written/performedJohnny Western
Film EditorEverett Sutherland
CostumerJoseph Dimmitt
Assistant DirectorGary Nelson
ConductorLud Gluskin
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