Harrison Destry: [narrating] There's a lot of magic in the word "gold". Men who had never done a day of work in their life would break their backs for it... even die for it. A lot of them did. Then, when the excitement was all over, you sometimes wondered if it had been worth it. 'Course, you couldn't really blame the gold - just depended on how a man handled it. Me? I'd like enough to spend and not enough to get me in trouble, because trouble's a thing I try to stay away from. My name's Destry. I like peace and quiet - providing it's of my own choosing. I spent some time in Texas State Prison, but that's not the kind of peace and quiet I'm talking about. A matter of fact, I've been spending a lot of time looking for the fellow who framed me and got me into that mess.
Harrison Destry: [narrating] I hadn't really thought of it before, but gold had something to do with that, too. I was accused of stealing some, which I didn't, but I couldn't make the judge see it my way. Since then what little gold I come by, I still come by honest, but some people don't draw that fine a line. Reminds me of a girl I met a few years back. She liked gold, too. She figured out her own ways to go about getting' it. Only trouble was, most folks in that town didn't like her ways.
[during a shoot-out, Destry and a saloon-girl take refuge behind a piano which is peppered with bullets]
Harrison Destry: It's all right, honey, as long as they stay in the higher octaves.
Harrison Destry: Spink, I'm forming a committee.
Spink: A committee?
Harrison Destry: A committee to advise me. I mean, somebody who might not be, you know, personally eligible to win the prize.
Jewel Scrogg: Careful now, love.
Harrison Destry: Well now, look, I don't know anybody in this town and you two know everyone. Tell you what we do. Besides you got that broad experience of human nature. Look, we make lists, put everybody's name down who's eligible, go through and discuss 'em one by one. Then next Sunday, we'll have a grand final public award ceremoney - so nobody can jump me without witnesses - and you two can sit on the platform with badges on.
Spink: Well, but don't you think we ought to have a three-man committee... sort of spread out the risk a little?
Jewel Scrogg: Oh, don't be silly, Spink. Who else in town is willing to admit they aren't the most deservin'?
Harrison Destry: Thank you for that warm reception. Well, folks, when old John Beasley named me to pick out the most deservin' person in Gomorrah, I knew that you would want me to do a good and thorough, fair and square job, without fear and favor or prejudice. Well, ever since then, I've been meeting almost constantly with my advisory committee. Also, in my spare time, I've been threatened, chased up and down alleyways and dark streets, clouted on the head, dropped down a well... Well, I mean, it's about gotten to the point where I think the most deserving person in Gomorrah... is me.
[the citizens of Gomorrah react angrily]
Harrison Destry: Just a little joke, folks, just a little joke. Want to keep everybody cheerful.
[speaking at John Beasley's grave]
Harrison Destry: Well, John, it was a good idea, but I'm afraid it didn't turn out. Gold doesn't necessarily bring out the best in folks. Well, let's see, we lost Sarah Sprague and we gained Ed Bender, so I guess we turned out about even. But, John, if you find any gold down there, you hold on to it, will you? I don't think Gomorrah's ready for any more civic virture.