Silas Shute, an aging rough bounty-hunter, brings in a man that he claims has a price on his head. Tells Marshal Dillon that he was going to bring him alive but things went wrong and he had to shoot the criminal. Marshal Dillon informs Silas that the man he claimed he shot was actually a local rancher and not a wanted man. Then Silas changes his story and tells Matt that the guy was actually dead hanging in a tree and he cut him down and then shot him.
Silas takes Matt and Festus out to the Rucker's property where he said he cut the man down from the tree. There was no evidence of anyone ever being hung from the tree. Matt has nothing else to do but lock Silas up and wait for trial.
Matt tends to believe the ornery bounty-hunter and believes that the Rucker family is hiding information. Ben Rucker (Morgan Woodward) has two sons, Gabe and Seth. Ben and Gabe had mistaken the rancher for cattle-rustlers and hung the innocent man where Silas had found him.
Silas goes on trial for murder and it just so happens that Seth Rucker is on the jury. With the trial looking like Silas will be convicted the verdict goes to the jury.
Even though there was nothing really remarkable in this episode, the viewer does get a nice interesting story. I won't say that it was one of the best stories but the characters were enough to hold the show together. Nice watch.
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