“Gunsmoke”, the radio show, 1955. Christmas show. Molder and his wife moved to Dodge City over a year ago. Now, Hechst shows up, a mountain man from the Ozarks, dressed in a coonskin cap. He never met a marshall before, and calls Matt Dillon, “Peace officer”. Hechst has come to Dodge to fulfill his responsibility under the rules of the Hechst/Molder family feud. He wants to kill Molder.

But he won’t kill on a Sunday, and when he finds Molder on a Saturday night, it is already late and, as Chester points out when he and Dillon confront him, “it is after midnight; it is Sunday”.

So, instead of killing Molder, Hechst invites him for a drink and conversation. They trace back the feud, and discover or remember that it involved a fight between two of their great grandfathers over the woman who became the great grandmother of one of them. “Why, that almost makes us related”, they decide, so instead of killing one another, they decide that Hechst should stay in Dodge, and move in with the Molders and help them grow their farm.

They invite Matt and Chester to spend Christmas with them.

I caught this on the radio tonight. Clearly, some things have changed for the better.


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