Gunsmoke - The Treasure of John Walking Fox (1966)
Octagonal California Pioneer $50 gold coin "slug"
This episode of the CBS television program "Gunsmoke" shows a large octagonal coin or "slug",
apparently one of the California Gold Discovery Centennial medals made around 1948.
Miss Kitty runs a saloon, Festus is Matt's deputy, and Doc Adams is the town doctor.
The show was set in the 1870's to 1880's.
who encounters some greedy cowboys and townspeople.
1. "Gunsmoke" opening showdown sequence
The opening sequence of the program was a classic.
2. John Walking Fox (Leonard Nimoy)
This was Leonard Nimoy's last guest television appearance before his long run as
"Mr. Spock" on "Star Trek".
3. Camp of John and Jacob Beamus, the hide hunter
John Walking Fox, an Indian, is the companion of a animal hide hunter named Jacob Beamus.
They have been out hunting animal skins for a long period of time and are now camped
near Dodge City.
because he is an Indian.
head into town to sell the hides.
Jacob that the market is soft and will only pay him 25 cents a skin.
Jacob pulls out a pistol to argue the point and Aaron then pulls his pistol and shoots Jacob fatally.
4. Shooting of Jacob Beamus by Aaron Tigue (Richard Webb)
Marshall Dillon arrives and witnesses tell him that it was a self-defense shooting.
John takes the body of his friend to the undertaker Percy Crump for burial and pays for an
expensive coffin and funeral with a $50 gold piece.
5. Undertaker Percy Crump
6. The coin on the table, clearly octagonal
7. Closeup of the saloon coin
The coin has a figure of a miner '49er and the legend:
THE DAYS OF OLD / THE DAYS OF GOLD / THE DAYS OF FORTY NINE / CALIFORNIA
medals made around 1948 by the Irvine & Jachens Company of San Francisco, California.
The medal legend is from an old song of the California Gold Rush, which begins:
Here you see old Tom Moore, A relic of by-gone days
A bummer, too, they call me now, But what care I for praise?
For my heart is filled with woe, And I often grieve and pine,
For the days of old, the days of gold, the days of forty-nine.
An example of a similar medal:
8. California Gold Discovery Centennial Medal - Miner Standing
This item was manufactured by the Irvine & Jachens Company of San Francisco, California.
For more information on this item, please visit:
California Gold Discovery Centennial Medal
Back in Dodge City at Kitty's Saloon, Kitty's assistant Festus bites the coin, it is real gold.
9. Festus bites the coin
They look at it, and note the design of a Miner '49er and a Rattlesnake.
Percy tells the saloon customers:
"Well, you ain't ever seen one of those. Look again. A '49er panning gold, and a rattlesnake".
"Way I hear it, there's only one coin ever minted had them things on it".
Festus bites it and hands it to Kitty.
Kitty asks Percy where he got it and he answers "The Indian gave it to me".
Kitty sends Festus and the coin over to Matt Dillon.
Percy talks to the cowboys about the animal hide hunter and Indian being together for 10 years
"I never seen a white man so took with an Indian, or vice versa".
10. Kitty holds the coin
The coin is sent to Marshall Matt Dillon, who shows it to Doc Adams.
11. Matt gets story from Doc
Doc wonders how the two broke men got such a valuable coin.
Doc explains that it was from a shipment of specially minted gold coins that a San Francisco bank
sent to the east in 1850, and that the shipment disappeared "east of Pueblo" (Colorado).
Matt: "Tell me, Doc. What do you remember about that story of the gold shipment that was lost
somewhere east of Pueblo years ago".
Doc: "Well, that was after the gold strike in California.
Now, the story goes that this bank out there made up a whole shipment of these, just like this,
just what they're supposed to be, with a rattlesnake on one side and a '49er on the other.
And they sent a whole shipment east under heavy guard, and it vanished, disappeared into thin air.
About $100,000 worth".
Matt: "Well... well, now, if it disappeared somewhere east of Pueblo,
it could have been near Dodge".
Doc: "Well, that's what I always figured".
John is still in the area waiting for the headstone for Jacob's grave to be finished.
He is still camped in the woods when Gainer and his pals show up.
They start to roughly interrogate John about the location of the rest of the coins,
he tells them that there is a map but he doesn't have it.
12. The cowboys question John
Aaron Tigue shows up with a shotgun, chases the three men off, and takes John into town
to check into a hotel.
13. At the hotel
John spends another of the coins at the hotel
14. Closeup of the hotel coin
The hotel clerk examines the coin.
15. Closeup of the coin reverse
Marshall Dillon calls on John at the hotel and asks him directly where he got the two coins.
John doesn't answer directly, but supplies riddles.
16. John and Matt
John: "Suppose I were to say I found them on the prairie, just the two of them".
Matt: "Did you?"
John: "Or that they were given to me by an elder of the tribe, as talismans to ward off evil".
Matt: "Is that what you're saying?"
John: "I haven't said anything. And I haven't done anything, but spend two coins that belong to me".
Matt: "Well, John, I'm afraid you've done a whole lot more than that. You got half this town stirred up".
John: "If they see water in the desert where there is no water, it's their eyes that lie, not my mouth".
Matt: "Well, John, I'm going to tell you something. Just having any of those coins in your possession
is liable to lead you to a lot more trouble than you bargained for".
John: "Have no fear for me, Marshal.
No man kills the bee. He only wants to follow him to the honey".
The townspeople gather to talk about the coins.
17. Excited townspeople
John and Aaron are staying at the hotel in adjoining rooms.
John has a "map" drawn on an animal skin, he puts it into a pillow.
He then tells Aaron that he is going out for a while and asks Aaron to watch over his stuff.
Aaron takes the opportunity to enter John's room, search it, and finds the map.
18. Aaron finds the map
A crudely drawn map on the skin of a furry animal.
19. The Map
The three cowboys then enter the room, a gunfight ensues, Aaron falls out the window, dead.
The cowboys head out to where John was camped and use the map to locate a place to start digging.
20. Three men digging
They uncover the coffin of Jacob Beamus, then the Marshall, Festus, and John appear,
and a shootout ensues.
Gainer's two pals are killed and he is arrested.
22. Matt and John shaking hands
The grave marker reads "Jacob Beamus 1820-1874 R.I.P", thus setting the episode in 1874.
Matt: "Morning, John".
John: "Morning, Marshal".
Matt: "Nice looking headstone".
John: "It says Jacob is remembered. Gainer He will hang?"
John: "It is well".
Matt: "Well, John, I guess things worked out just the way you planned, didn't they?"
There are those who say it is out there somewhere.
You were Jacob's friend. I shall think of you often"
John: "Good-bye, Marshal".
They shake hands.
Matt: "Good-bye, John"
James Arness as Matt Dillon
Milburn Stone as Doc
Amanda Blake as Kitty
Ken Curtis as Festus
Leonard Nimoy as John Walking Fox
Richard Webb as Aaron Tigue
Writers: Leo Bagby, Clyde Ware
Lost Dutchman Mine Octagonal Medal:
I bought this "Lost Dutchman Mine" octagonal medal for $15 at a California coin show in October 2013.
23. Lost Dutchman Mine Octagonal Medal
It was a large octagonal medal which imitated a California pioneer $50 gold coin or "slug".
I bought it because I had read the story of the Lost Dutchman Mine and I liked the design
with a miner panning for gold on the obverse and a coiled rattlesnake on the reverse.
I said that I would and he told me that 500 of these were produced after one was used in a
1966 episode of the television show "Gunsmoke" which stars Leonard Nimoy as an Indian.
match the prop coin shown in the episode at all.
the medals were made for "Gunsmoke" fans or octagonal collectors.
Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, Arizona, and is not mentioned in the episode.