GUNSMOKE SEASON 16 Episode #10 “The Scavengers” written by Jim Byrnes directed by Robert Totten music by Leon Klatzkin guests: Yaphet Kotto, Cicely Tyson, Slim Pickens, Roy Jenson, Link Wyler, Victor Holchak, James Almanzar, Eddie Little Sky, Victor Izay, Jerelyn Fields, Hank Wise, Steve Raines One desperate man named Piney Biggs (actor Yaphet Kotto) appears in the middle of a convoy of settlers slaughtered by Indians to find some food and water and even steals a gold watch from a dead man when a new group of Indians pops up to the place to rob the people. Biggs decides to play dead and inserts an arrow into his belly. A freight wagon brings Biggs at Dodge City where Doc takes care of him. Sam gives him a pair of boots filled with money and Dillon questions him about the massacre. Biggs goes home and finds out his wife Rachel (actress Cicely Tyson) and his little kid. That night, three trappers catch the Indian renegades and finds the dead man’s watch. The next morning, they brings them back at Dodge City. Meanwhile Dillon and Festus and the posse go searching the murderous Indians. Biggs is prepared to leave town but the trappers pays him $100 to identify the renegades and get the bounty. Later on, Biggs goes fetch Doc to examine his pregnant wife when the three trappers force him to drink at the cheap Bull’s Head saloon in order to confess the truth and reminds him the hanging hour of the renegades. At four o’clock, the trappers release Biggs who fires at them when Newly steps into … It’s a modest Film Noir and a miserabilist family drama about a poor and guilty man acting as a renegade Indian hence the episode title “The Scavengers” which leads to aftermaths. Writer Jim Byrnes compares the social situation of two minorities: the Indians and the black people. The cast (Slim Pickens, Roy Jenson, Link Wyler) of trapper characters is good and reminds the wild cowboys from the season 14 “The Good Samaritans”. Rawhide actor Steve Raines returns from the season 15 “Celia” but his part is extremely brief. Actor Slim Pickens returns from the season 11 “Sweet Billy, Singer of Songs”. Actors James Almanzar (“Coreyville”), Roy Jenson (“The Badge”), Eddie Little Sky (“The Innocent”) and Link Wyler (“The War Priest”) return from season 15. Actor Victor Izay returns from this season 16 “Luke”.