The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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"Woman From White Wing"*****
Original NBC Broadcast - 26 September 1962
Revue Studios Production
Produced by Charles Marquis Warren (no exec)
Teleplay by Morton Fine and David Friedkin
Story by Burt Kennedy
Directed by Burt Kennedy
(shown on the ride-in)
Lee J. Cobb as Judge Henry Garth
Doug McClure as Trampas
Gary Clarke as Steve Hill
James Drury as The Virginian
Barry Sullivan as Frank Dawson
Roberta Shore as Betsy
Tom Reese as Wid
Robert Sampson as Jesse
Parley Baer as The Senator
Jan Stine as Eddie
George Dunn as Biggs
Arnold Lessing as Mickey
Darrell Howe as The 1st Hand
Brendan Dillon as Mr. Bemis
Virginian Theme Percy Faith
Director of Photography - Lionel Lindon, A.S.C.
Art Director - George Patrick
Film Editor - George J. Nicholson
Editorial Dept. Head - David J. O'Connell (Department is abbreviated)
Musical Supervision - Stanley Wilson
Set Decorators - John McCarthy and Robert C. Bradfield
Color Consultant - Alex Quiroga
Color Processing by Consolidated Film Industries
Assistant Director - Edward K. Dodds
Sound - Frank H. Wilkinson
Costume Supervisor - Vincent Dee
Makeup - Leo Lotito
Hair Stylist - Florence Bush
The title "The Virginian" by permission of EMKA, LTD.
Series Regular Characters in this Episode:
Judge Garth, Betsy,
Virginian, Trampas, Steve with recurring characters Eddie and Mr. Bemis
In this episode, we see a man, a friend, from Judge Garth's past reappear
out of nowhere. Even though the Judge never gave up looking for him, he had
never had any success at finding him either. The man, Frank Dawson,
heavily consumed with jealousy, is determined to ruin the Judge and take
most prized possession: the Judge's daughter~Betsy!
Steve and the Virginian are riding on the north range rounding up strays
when they stop and take in the beauty of the land. "This country kind of takes
your breath don't it?" the Virginian comments to Steve with contentment in his voice.
He continues by asking Steve if he's ever been up here before. "Not this
far," Steve informs him. "You've never seen White Wing," the Virginian
tells him. They continue on, riding the short distance down to where a
house is. Not a whole house, a part of a house.
They dismount. Steve glances all around amazed, as the Virginian begins
telling Steve the story behind the unfinished home that stands before them.
"The Judge built it years ago, never finished it." "Why?" asks Steve curiously. "A woman," the
Virginian continues. "She came from a place called White Wing, that's why the Judge
gave it that name." Curious, Steve asks what the woman was to the Judge.
He tells Steve he doesn't know, just that the Judge doesn't welcome questions about
it. Quietly the Virginian continues. "A man builds a home for a woman,
gotta think on things like love, marriage, a life together." "It never
got done," Steve interrupts. "The most I know is, the woman died." At that
statement Steve jerks his head up looking straight at the Virginian.
"The Judge grieved," continues the Virginian. "He used to come up here,
spend some time looking at this house that never got built. Finally he quit
comin'. You think you know all there is to know about a person, somethin'
like this comes up, you find out what's important about him you never knew at all."
The Virginian notices a cup by the fireplace, he walks over and picks it
up. He quires that it looks like someone has been here. Looking past him,
Steve motions with his finger and says, "Still are."
The Virginian turns and sees three men. The man in the middle asks him if he
belongs to the cows on the other side of the rise. "That's right."
"Then it figures you work for Judge Garth," the man replies dryly. "I'm his
foreman, who are you?" the Virginian asks in return. "Dawson, Frank
Dawson. Name mean anything to
you?" "Should it?" the Virginian asks straightforwardly. "I don't know,
maybe not," Dawson answers without any emotion in his voice. Dawson doesn't
feel obligated to disclose any other information to the Judge's foreman than
he already has, only the fact that he rode in. The Virginian with
dislike for this man in his voice, asks if he plans on staying the day or
riding on. Changing his tone a bit, he tells the Virginian he had it in
mind to ride up to the Judge's place but since he's run into his foreman he
has a piece of work for him.
"Tell him for me...tell him I want to see him here. Just tell him this
Frank Dawson is waiting for him at White Wing like that." "And that'll do
it huh, he'll come arunnin'," asks the Virginian sarcastically. Frank
repeats his words, "right, arunnin'. Say 'Frank Dawson', say 'White Wing',
and get out of the way, truly."
Agitated, the Virginian tells Dawson he doesn't happen to be his messenger,
that he is sure Judge Garth would rather "hear it direct," especially if
he's "meanin' a threat."
Ignoring his remark Frank continues with words that run cold in
the Virginian's ears.
"Say that on the day that I ride out of here, everything he's got, all his
land, all his ranches, will taste like ashes in his mouth, bitter. Say
that." And with that remark, the mysterious man who appeared out of nowhere
and his two companions turn around and leave.
The Judge emerges from the train that has just arrived in Medicine Bow to a
cheering crowd who have come to meet the new Senator.
Looking into the crowd of people, the Judge sees his foreman and
motions for him. The Virginian makes his way through the crowd and
excitedly greets his boss who is just as anxious to see him. He asks if
things went well while he was away. The Virginian reassures him they "managed
somehow." With softness in his voice the Judge asks, " how's Betsy."
Jokingly, the Virginian tells him, "seems she managed best of all, which is not to
say she didn't miss you Judge, cause she did." The Judge sees the humor in his
response and brags a little, saying, "now that's an intelligent child," and
lightly pokes a package into the Virginian's ribs and tells him "this is for her."
The Virginian asks the Judge if he made a good buy on cows. The Judge
proudly corrects him saying, "not cows, high bred beauties! And a Hereford bull
bull in the boxcar, blue ribbon prize, every ounce of him." The Virginian picks
up on the Judge's enthusiasm and asks if that might be the senator. Still
excited the Judge tells him distinctly enunciating every single word that, "this here senator
happens to be the first, the very first senator, from the state of Wyoming."
Taken with the Judge's excitement and pride the Virginian cajoles him
responding, "you're goin' to
stand right up there beside him. My, my, this is a glorious day for the
history of Wyomin'. Empire builder like you, politician like him, could be
you got some ambitions I don't know about Judge?"
The Judge raises his hand jokingly, pushing aside his words and hands him
the bill of lading for the cattle and tells him to take care of them,
adding, "Tell Betsy I'll be home as soon as I finish with the senator."
Stopping and taking in the "high bred beauties", Steve tells them, "they're
as pretty as if they were carved in butter." Walking over
to the next boxcar, they open the door and stand there a moment admiring the
Hereford bull the Judge so proudly boasted about. Amazed by what he sees,
Trampas greets the bull with a, "howdy brother." The Virginian smiles his approval.
When Mr. Biggs the station manager passes behind them, the Virginian
follows him telling him he'd be obliged if he'd sign the bill of lading so
they can unload the animals.
Mr. Biggs informs him it will have to wait but the Virginian doesn't accept
that as an answer. He tries to convince Mr. Biggs to sign by telling him
they have some prime stock here and Trampas' "brother" is in that car back
there. He continues to argue by suggesting he move them onto a siding up
track but Mr. Biggs still refuses informing him he can be fired
too. "Who'd do a thing like that?" the Virginian wanted to know. Mr. Biggs
tells him the Citizen's Improvement Committee. Rubbing his chin the
Virginian asks in a different tone if that might be Judge Garth. Mr. Biggs
says with irritation, "that'd be Judge Garth. Now you pay mind now, ain't
one cow to be unloaded until the senator's speech is finished."
Trampas asks why the Judge would lay down an order like that. The Virginian,
still thinking about his words with the Judge earlier, tells him could be he
has it in mind to run for governor. Trampas answers puzzled, "Without
unloadin' his cows???" The Virginian explains that with Wyomin' bein' a state and
all, it ain't seemly to run cows right through the middle of it. Man could
never get to be governor doin' a thing like that you know. Right then
they hear the crowd, and frustrated the Virginian says the senator must still
be talkin'. Sighing, Trampas says, "That's the way senators do."
The Virginian, bound to get his way, comes up with an idea. Talking to
Steve, he tells him to get some unloading planks. Steve points a finger at
him and reminds him about what Mr. Biggs said. He assures Steve, "I heard,
you do it." Steve leaves, handing Betsy's package back to Trampas. Trampas
reminds him of Steve's words and the Virginian tells him, "I heard it, I
heard him." He reminds Trampas that Mr. Biggs said there wasn't one cow to
be unloaded. In a lighter
mischievous voice he says, "he didn't say nothin' about a bull." In the
same childish manner, Trampas readily goes along with his boss agreeing happily,
"no sir, he didn't," and "whoa son," before hopping up into the boxcar.
Hearing the ruckus in the corral yard the senator gives Judge Garth a nasty
look just as the part of his speech comes to the "peace and quiet" of the
town. The Judge understands and leaves immediately to check it out. Nearing the
cars where his cows are waiting, he hears laughter coming from his three
hands. He stops short, hands in his pockets, with a look of utter
disapproval as Steve motions with his head to the Virginian as if to say
"trouble's coming." Like a little boy who's been caught with his hand in
the cookie jar, the Virginian boyishly turns around, places his hands on the
corral rail and puts his chin on top of his hands and looks at the
Judge. Motioning with one hand, he explains "Judge, I'll, I'll just never know how
that bull got out of his car all by himself." Stuttering he continues, "Trampas is,
ah, trying to, ah, get him back." Trampas, with his chest protruding proudly, is
in the corral standing with the bull's rein in his hand, causing the cows to become
incessantly loud and restless. The Judge, flabbergasted with his foreman,
looks at him for a moment, then says to him, "alright, get them out of here."
Happy, the Virginian tells him, " we'll get them out of here on tippee toe
Judge, I promise you that." Steve tips his hat and quickly turns to leave
while Trampas leads the bull towards the corral gate. The Judge just stands
there shaking his head, a slight smile breaking his lips.
Anxious for the boys' return, Betsy rides out and meets them on their way
home. After they joke with her about her "pretty riding," and her "gorgeous
new boots," that are in the box from Daddy, the Virginian sends
Steve and Trampas back to the herd telling them he wants to talk to Betsy.
"Betsy, there's a place called White Wing, you know anything about that place?"
Betsy tells him she knows something about it, not much though.
The Judge had begun telling her about it on her last birthday, but suddenly
stopped. "I asked him to take me there, but then he said he didn't want
to talk about it anymore. And then he said something else, not
to talk about what he told me." Sheepishly the Virginian tells Betsy that a
grown man like him should know better than to ask a child about things she
shouldn't tell realizing it isn't his place to ask her.
Her curiosity aroused, Betsy asks him why he wants to know.
Purposely avoiding her question, he tells her, "it's something I'm
planning on talking to your daddy about, " and to avoid further questions,
he suggests racing her back to the herd.
Later that same evening the Judge enters the bunkhouse and asks for the Virginian.
Sitting up in his bunk, the Virginian answers, "right here Judge." Knowing
that was a signal, the hands leave the two men alone.
With hands in his pockets, Judge Garth stands grounded in front of his
foreman, silent, waiting for an explanation of their event earlier in the
day. The Virginian doesn't wait for the Judge but begins explaining his
actions. "Sorry if I fouled anything up for you this afternoon Judge,
but uh, high bred stock like you brought home get restless all
cooped up, start bawlin'." With undirected anger in his voice the Judge blurts out,
"well, when you plant a bull in front of them, what did you expect them to do, curtsey?"
"Sorry, sorry if I spoiled your plans for the governorship Judge." "Who
wants to be governor?!" "Well, the way you were milk and honeying that
senator, I don't know." "I sent that senator home. Fed him some Wyoming
wine at the hotel, planted some ideas in
his ear for the good of the state and sent him home, and that's as much
political ambition as I'll ever have...for awhile." Enthusiastically the
Virginian lets him know, "and thats just as long as I'll be workin for ya."
In a calmer voice, the Judge reveals the true meaning of his visit to the bunkhouse.
"Betsy tells me you spoke about White Wing." The Virginian rises up from his bunk
and pulls a chair over to the table where the Judge is sitting. He tells the
Judge that he met a man there, his name was Frank Dawson. After a pause, the
Judge repeats the man's name softly, "Frank," and then asks, did you talk to him?"
"Yes," answers the Virginian. "What did he say?"
"That he was there, he wanted you to come to him." He pauses before
continuing on. "Something else he said. When he rode out of here everything
you owned would turn bitter." The Judge looks away. The Virginian asks the
Judge quietly and gently, "can I ask you why he said that?"
The Judge lets out a long sigh and with a mellow look on his face, begins
telling the story to his foreman and friend. "You know how it is with you and
Steve, and Trampas. Well, the three of you are friends, more than that.
Like three forks from a mother stream. Like it was the same blood flowing
through ya." With a look of fond remembrance, the Judge continues.
"That's how it was with me, Frank Dawson, and Ben. Ben Church. He's a
long time dead," the Judge says with very little life in his voice. The
Virginian notices the look of pain in his friend's face and
tells him "there's nothing, not a thing you need to tell me Judge. I've got no right to it."
Feeling the weight of it all, the Judge tells the Virginian, " needs
tellin'. Dawson waiting for me at White Wing," inhaling deeply repeats, "needs tellin'."
The Judge tells the Virginian his story of the three of them, Frank, Ben, and himself, riding
a wagon train out of Ohio to Wyoming, softly adding, "and a woman there. A
woman you'd dream... a woman..." He let his thoughts fade as he comes back
to the present warding off a warm yet painful memory he'd rather keep at a distance.
The Judge tells the Virginian the three of them were given land from the
government to build their homes on, to settle, and to put an end to drifting,
interjecting that it may happen to him and Steve and Trampas some day. The
Virginian still quiet tells the Judge, "we don't think about it."
Reassuringly the Judge tells him, "you will."
Bringing the subject back to the Judge the Virginian says, " well, you were
having me with my mouth open about that wagon train and Wyomin, and that girl."
Looking away into the depths of his heart, the Judge tenderly repeats her
name shaking his head lightly and allowing her name to flow from his lips,
"Annie," and after a long pause repeats her name again, "Annie."
Sighing deeply, he continues, telling him the reasons why they left the
safety of the wagon train, with one of them being because, "Annie was carrying a child."
Problem was, the four of them got lost, lost on the "forgotten edge of a wind-swept world."
All that was left was Frank, sick, Ben dead, and him and Annie, and the one horse.
No water, no food. At Frank's pleading, the Judge lifted Annie to the horse and led it off
into the desert looking for help, swearing on his life's blood he'd come
back for him. After a few days they came across a camp where they
were fed and given water. The Judge went back out looking for Frank but he wasn't there. "I yelled
his name against that forsaken wind, he wasn't there, so I rode away."
When he finishes telling his story, the Judge looks away, far away, into his past that has been buried
for over 15 years.
"What happened to Annie," the Virginian asks. The Judge tells him they
moved into Wyoming and found a place, telling the Virginian "you know which
place," not wanting to say the name, and the Virginian half asks, "White
Wing ?" The Judge doesn't answer him but just continues with his story. "I
started to build her a home,
she bore the child, girl child," and with deep deep sadness he tells him
painfully, "three months later, Annie died."
The Virginian lowers his eyes feeling the pain his close friend is feeling
in sharing a part of his life that has been buried up until now but must be
brought to the forefront with the arrival of his old friend. Continuing, the
Judge finishes with telling the Virginian ,"Betsy's Annie's child." The
Virginian was taken aback slightly. He didn't know who Betsy's mother was.
Back in the present, the Judge tells the Virginian he's riding into White
Wing and he wants him to keep an eye on things, but the Virginian,
jaw set in place, tells the Judge, "Trampas can do that. I'm goin' with ya."
The Judge tells him what's between him and Dawson is just that, but the
Virginian tells him he's got two men with him, and with humor in his voice and
a slight smile on his lips, the Judge says, "you figure you're as good as
the two of them put together?" The answer the Virginian gives is,
"I'll bring your horse around Judge." "You do that," he tells his foreman
with sadness and unmentioned appreciation showing on his face, not needing to be said.
Their eyes meet momentarily, before the Virginian rises and leaves the Judge
still very deep in thought.
"Frank, I'm a, I'm glad to see ya," the difficult words sputter out of the
Judge's mouth falling onto Dawson's hardened ears. Dawson turns back to look
at the Judge with disdain in his eyes. "I came back to look for ya Frank," the Judge continues.
With scorn in his voice, Frank tells the Judge he doesn't doubt he came
back to look for him, but when he didn't find him, he let it end there. The
Judge tries to tell Dawson he never stopped looking for him, but Dawson
calls him a liar telling him he didn't look hard enough.
Seeing Dawson wasn't believing anything the Judge was telling him, the
Virginian tells Dawson he remembers the Judge
reading something in the paper about an old friend of his who broke jail
down in Texas and asks bluntly, "that be you mister?" Annoyed, Frank pulls
his jacket higher onto his shoulder to ward off the cold air inside the open
house. Continuing, the Virginian tells Frank the Judge had told him he'd
been looking for his friend for almost 15 years.
Somewhat convinced Frank states to the Judge, " you didn't just forget about
me Garth after you found me gone." The Judge asks Frank why would he do
that, Frank answers sharply, "because you loved Annie." "We all loved
her," the Judge reminds Frank. Speculating, Dawson tells the Judge that
with he and Ben gone Annie belonged to him, what he always wanted. He got
land that was theirs, land that should have been his, getting rich off of their stake.
With slight agitation in his voice, the Judge reiterates his statement telling
Frank again that he looked
for him and couldn't find him swearing upon that fact that was the way it happened.
Ignoring the Judge's reiteration, Frank tells the Judge his story about what
happened to him after he and Annie left him alone.
He tells him about the people who found him, the fact that his tongue was so
thick that he would have choked on it in another hour. That he had to be
tied up in ropes because, "I was raving crazy, Garth, my brain
filled with that exploding sun," and that "I wandered around a Texas town
sick, pitied, laughed at, then I shot a man and was put in jail for 20 years. Oh,
I didn't kill him, but they put me in a four cell Texas jail for 20 years."
Softly the Judge says, "I'm sorry." Continuing to challenge the Judge's
claim Frank tells him it wouldn't have been too hard for anyone to
find him if they were looking. How he had spent all of those years thinking of a
plan to get back at him. Telling him he had heard about him a few months
back, how he was here, and how he
was rich, powerful, and had everything that he, (Dawson), should have had.
He was everything Dawson should have been.He had thought about the
obvious like getting out of jail, shooting him, but saw that killing him
wasn't much of a way. Or burning him out,
but Frank knew his old friend better than that, knowing he would just
start over again and build back up again.
"Then thinking about it, it came to me what I was going to do, and here I
am," were the icy words Frank let flow from his mouth to the Judge's ears.
With little emotion Judge Garth asks Frank, "what do you want?" "We both
know what I want and what I'm going to get from you and why," is Frank's
cold reply. "But that can come later."
Changing the subject, Frank tells the Judge he heard about Annie dying and
asks him how long afterwards it was. The Judge tells him it was 3 months,
Asking if Annie ever mentioned his name, the Judge, shaking his head slightly
says, "nothing." Stone faced Frank tells the Judge he said what he came here
to say for now. "Meantime Judge," he says heavily, "I'm going to let you
sweat." He and his two companions,Wid and
Jesse, who shared the same prison cell with Frank, leave and
the Judge and the Virginian turn to go as well, pausing at the door.
Feeling the pain his boss is obviously going through, the
Virginian asks if there is anything he can do to help. The Judge tells him
to keep what was said there tonight between themselves. Standing behind
him, the Virginian tells him he understands, but then gently prompts the
Judge to share more.
"Something bothers me Judge, the story you told me about you and him and
Annie." Even gentler he tells the Judge it seemed like he left something out of
it, something important. When the Judge ignores him, the Virginian changes
the conversation and asks him why he doesn't do anything to have Dawson
arrested since he is a man broke from jail and the Judge is a man of the
law. Still quiet and reserved, no emotion showing on his face, the Judgeanswers, "I can't."
Betsy gallops past Steve and Trampas out on the range. Steve calls after Betsy as
she rides past them but she doesn't stop.
Taking one look at each other, Steve and Trampas go galloping after her.
When they almost catch
up to her, Trampas reins up and Steve asks why he did that. Smartly,
Trampas tells Steve he has it all figured out. "Its them new boots she's
wearin'. Ah, you catch up with her now, she's going to weep." They
continue following her but at a slower pace.
Dawson is watching from the top of the hill. He leaves his two
companions and rides down towards Betsy who has slowed to a trot with a look
of contentment on her face. "Betsy," he calls out. Betsy stops and looks
at the unfamiliar man approaching her. She asks him who he is and he tells her.
Puzzled, she asks how he knew her name. He tells her he knows the Judge
has a girl named Betsy and guesses that's who she is. He tells her he's riding
into town, but is mostly looking for her. When Betsy asks why, Frank tells
her it's a long story, and "one you'll have to
know sometime soon, but not yet, not now."
Betsy repeats the fact Frank knows her father. He nods his head yes, his
lips quivering, feeling
the pain of the words he is having difficulty saying. The words finally emerge
from the depths of his heart when he tells her he knew her mother also, a
very long time ago.
Betsy becomes very excited and spills out several questions all at once.
"I don't remember too much about her, I was only 4 or 5 months old when she
died. But was she beautiful, I mean very very beautiful? I just know she was!"
Frank, looking at Betsy lovingly, tells her she looks like her mother, the
way she smiles, the way
her hair wisps, touching the piece that's loose beside her face fondly with his hand.
"Miss Betsy." Betsy hears Steve calling from behind her. With caution in his eyes,
Frank watches as Steve and Trampas approach. Protectively Steve asks Frank what
he is doing there, when he doesn't answer, he tells him he should move along. Frank tells
Betsy they will talk again and rides back up the hill to Wid and Jesse and
then continue their ride into town.
When Betsy protests, Steve drills her about their conversation. He urges her
to tell him everything and then suggests they get back to the house
and offers to race her back to Shiloh. Put off by Steve's rudeness, Betsy
declines telling him she doesn't want to race and turns her horse around and
rides back slowly. Turning to watch the three ride away, Steve tells
Trampas they are the three from White Wing he told him about, surmising
the Judge wouldn't be happy about hearing Frank spoke to Betsy.
Steve was correct, the Judge was not at all happy with his news and
instructed Steve to tell Betsy not to wander far from the ranch. Betsy was
not too happy with that news but didn't go inside to question her father's
After Steve and Trampas leave the room, the Virginian walks over to the
desk and putting his hands on his hips, asks the Judge point blank if
is what's on Dawson's mind. Not wishing to reveal his secret, the Judge
feigned ignorance by asking, "What?" Not being turned away that easily, the
Virginian tells him, "Betsy." Still feigning ignorance and denying the name
daughter out of the Virginian's mouth, the Judge looks away and says
unconvincingly, yet quietly, "No." Determined, the Virginian tells the Judge
outright that he thinks it is. He continues his guess with telling the
Judge uninhibited why he thinks it is Betsy.
"I'm going to tell it to you Judge," he says as he puts his right hand on
the Judge's desk,
"you're not fightin' back." At that statement the Judge, feeling like a
child who is being admonished by his parent, looks up at his foreman as he
continues his thoughts.
"And the reason for it has got to have Betsy in it. That's the only way it
makes a little bit of sense what's happenin' between you and Dawson."
Walking to the front of the desk the Virginian goes on. "Him bein' an
escaped man and
you not doin' anything about it is part of it. After a pause he goes on.
"But mostly it's the story you told about you, and him, and Annie out there
in the desert. The Virginian with what little knowledge he has of the
situation tries to convince the Judge that what he did out there was right.
The Virginian knows something has to be up because the Judge would never put
up with the insolence that Frank has shown to him. No escaped convict would
be given asylum on the Judge's property.
In one last attempt to understand and finish putting the pieces to the
together, the Virginian asks why.
Easing up on his tone, and leaning over the desk bringing himself closer to
the man in sitting in front of him, he insists it has to have something to
do with Betsy.
Gentler still, he tells him he knows that is the only way Dawson could
Looking away from the man in front of him, staring at his desk, he realizes
he no longer can keep his secret from him. The Judge admits that the night
before at White Wing, as soon as Frank began talking about
Betsy, he knew what it was he was after.
Bringing himself up to his full height, the Virginian asks the Judge softly
and tenderly with just as much emotion, and even a hint of fear that what he
is thinking is coming true, he asks if Frank has a right to
With a hint of annoyance and pain in his voice, the Virginian is still taken
aback when the Judge admits the painful truth, "Yes he has a right to her,
father." The Virginian was still not prepared for the truth the Judge told
him and the pain and surprise of it is clearly in his eyes as the Judge
continues, still mildly annoyed, "Annie was married to him."
Being the man that he is, instead of questioning the Judge how this could
all come about, he stands behind him and asks what he's going to
With a deep sigh, the Judge tells him he's going to keep talking to him. As
long as he's doing that, Betsy is still with him. The two remain silent as
the Judge looks up quickly at his foreman and then back down, once again
deep in thought.
[What the Judge feared all those years was coming true. Losing Betsy to
Frank, her"real" father. Perhaps he could have once given her back, but
not now, not after 15 years...]
The Virginian, keeping his eye on Betsy who is confined to the ranch,
spies Dawson behind a rock watching Betsy as she rides her horse in the
corral. The Virginian mounts his horse and rides up to see what Dawson is
doing on the Judge's property.
Dawson speaks first, complimenting Betsy's riding stating she's a nice kid,
well made, knows what she's doing. The Virginian agrees with Dawson
telling him, " You're right, even though you might be sort of prejudice,
you being her father."
Dawson quickly turns and looks at him with a bit of surprise on his face
asking, "he couldn't keep it to himself? And you're that close to him? Did
you to me," he asks eyebrows raised? The Virginian tells him he's
just an interested bystander and comes to the point asking Dawson what he
wants from the Judge.
They both know~ to put the Judge through a hurt. Dawson explains he can't
let anything so important go. Simply being paid off wouldn't be enough.
thinks Betsy needs to have her "real" father but the Virginian,
glancing down at Betsy, lets him know with assurance that she'll never
have him as a father. The Judge will do anything before he loses her.
Still determined he'll have Betsy, he tells the Virginian he hates the
Judge but the Virginian calls it as it really is. "What you have isn't
hate, it's plain and rotten envy my friend." Using his poker knowledge,
he explains it in simple terms. "You drew a bad hand, played it wrong, and
came up loser."
Dawson tells the Virginian that the best thing for Betsy is to know who her
real father is but the Virginian tells him exactly what will happen if he
does. He tells him what he'll really find out is that the Judge means
to her and he'll mean nothing. It will be Betsy he'll be breaking,
his own youngster. Otherwise he would have been run off by now.
The Judge leaves his study unable to concentrate on his paperwork and climbs
the stairs to Betsy's room.
He looks in on her as he used to do when she was a child. He accidentally
awakens her and they begin reminiscing about the times long ago when he used
to come to her room when she was a little girl and tell her a story. Betsy
remembers, but asks him why he stopped coming . In a loving voice he tells
her it was because he felt sure nothing would ever happen to her. Then
with a smile on his face he asks if she'd like for him to tell her a story.
All smiles and with excitement in her voice, she tells him, "yes, I would,"
props herself up on her pillow, placing her arms behind her head and waiting
expectantly for her father to begin his story.
He tells her a story about a man and a woman who didn't have any children.
One day while the old man was out hunting he came to a pool of water he had
never seen before. He knelt down to take a drink. When he was finished, he
noticed that his reflection in the pool was of a young man and thought he
had discovered the fountain of youth. He quickly ran home and told his wife
of the fountain of youth he had found. She was so excited that she ran
straight to the pool and took a drink.
The man waited and waited, but his wife never returned so he went after her.
When he got to the pool, he didn't see a young woman but a child. His heart
was broken, she had drank too much of the water.
With pain in his eyes and his voice, the Judge continues looking away
from his daughter sadly, finishing the story. "Although he lost someone he
loved very much, he loved the child too because she was of this woman."
And with a tender smile on his face, the Judge continues the story telling
Betsy the old man picked the child up and carried her home, protected her
for as long as he lived.
Betsy intuitively suspects her father's mood has something to do with her,
tells him she knows he is worried about something. The Judge tries to cover
it up by sighing deeply and telling her it's just "the way of the world,"
and nothing for her to worry about. He kisses her goodnight on the
forehead, blows the light in the lamp out, tells her to "go to sleep," and
leaves, still heavy hearted.
When the day dawns, Frank leaves White Wing where he, Wid, and
Jesse are staying and rides at a comfortable pace towards Shiloh. Frank
stops on a ridge above the house. The Judge, on his way back to the house
from the corral, looks up and sees Dawson looking down at him.
He stops abruptly, and pausing briefly, they make eye contact.
Inside his study, the Judge cocks his rifle and, with a sense of urgency,
walks towards the study door but is stopped abruptly by the Virginian.
"Judge?" Stone faced, with his jaw set in place the Judge turns and tells
the Virginian with marked determination, "that man's on my land, I'm gonna
run him off." The Virginian asks him if he's going to kill him if he has
Echoing his words he repeats, "if I have to." Glancing out of the
window the Virginian tells him there's no hurry. They both peek out to see
Frank riding up towards the house. Going outside to meet him, the
Judge hands his rifle to the Virginian and commands him to stay by the
Walking to the middle landing, the two old friends meet. After a brief
discussion, Frank tells the Judge he has come for Betsy. The Judge tells
Frank that the desert sun is still in his brain. Frank tells him he isn't
this out of hate but the Judge tells him point blank he has no other reason
because "you can't love her."
Frank insists the Judge tell Betsy and allow her to decide for herself.
thought, the Judge turns to the Virginian who has walked down and is
standing behind the Judge on the upper deck, and tells him to get Betsy.
Riding around the ranch in the vicinity of the house, the Virginian can't
find Betsy. He rides up to Trampas and Steve working on the windmill and
asks them if they've seen her. Trampas says he hasn't but Steve says he saw
her about an hour before riding north. "Riding easy Steve?" "No, riding
hard." Riding back towards the house, Trampas calls after him, "Hey, Steve
says she was riding north, where ya goin'?" The Virginian lets him know he's
back to the house to get the Judge and Dawson.
The three men pick up Betsy's trail~~north towards White Wing, with 2 sets
prints trailing her~~Wid and Jesse!! Finding the house, Betsy steps inside
and as she looks around suddenly, she's startled by the sound of horses.
around she sees Wid and Jesse. Knowing she should get back because everyone
will be worried about her, she starts to leave
but is stopped by Wid and Jesse who are blocking the door. Betsy tries
to step past them but Wid engages her in conversation, arousing her
telling her he knows
about White Wing and his friend Dawson. Curious, Betsy steps back inside.
She shares what little she knows about White Wing.
While the two of them are talking they hear a voice in the distance, the
Judge's voice, calling~"Betsy!"
Wid immediately pushes Betsy behind the fireplace and draws his gun. Jesse,
who is still in
the doorway, jumps inside drawing his gun as well while taking cover.
Frank calls to them but they refuse to listen to him any longer knowing
Betsy is a
them. The Judge tells them he'll give them anything they want.
Frank tells the Judge he can't make a deal with them but the Judge without
hesitation and unthinkingly remarks, "that's my daughter in there, I'm going
to get her out unharmed." Frank instantly glares at the Judge, but Garth
isn't paying attention to Frank, his mind is on Betsy, HIS daughter, and
getting her out. He commands Dawson and the Virginian to stay where they
are and he begins riding down towards them. The Virginian pulls his rifle
out of its
saddle holster and checks it. Then he rides around to the back of the
Half way down the Judge is told to dismount and unbuckle his gun belt. He
continues walking towards
when suddenly Frank rides past him. The Judge yells out his name.
Bullets fly. One of them knocks Frank from his horse. After he stops
tumbling, he pulls his gun, aims, and fires, shooting Wid and killing him.
The Virginian, from around the back of the cabin, fires and kills Jesse.
Frightened, Betsy runs into her father's arms where he caresses her,
reassuring her "it's alright baby, "it's all over honey."
Frank, watching, says, "nooo, it isn't." Approaching the two, he tells
Betsy he was "terrible worried" about her. "Why should you be worried about
me? Frank explains that all he could think of when she was in there was
that she was very young, and what is due her is a long time to live. "Ain't
no use for pain to happen to you too soon, Betsy."
"Who ARE you?" Looking at the Judge, pain in his eyes, he tells her, "A
friend of your daddy's." Dawson takes one last look at them,
mounts his horse, and rides out slowly. The Virginian rides up beside
father and daughter, and together they watch Frank as he rides away. His
eyes following Frank, Betsy still in his arms, the Judge repeats Frank's
words to her in a gentle and grateful voice, "An old friend."
"The Woman From White Wing" is my most favorite and endeared episode of the
entire series. This is such a very romantic episode without any sex or
women aside from Betsy. It focuses on the love between two men~ a foreman
and his boss, a father for his daughter, and the friendship between the
foreman and his 2 top hands, Steve and Trampas.
The bantering is very enjoyable to watch and listen to. Plus we are shown
closeness the three characters share with their teasing comaraderie. This
episode is of a serious nature yet also has its humor.
My emotions for this episode are overwhelming which have
made this almost difficult to write. It introduces the love, bond,
and deep friendship between a wealthy ranch owner, Judge Henry Garth, and
his foreman, the Virginian.
I can see the Virginian feels deeply the Judge's
pain and grief in losing the woman he loved even though he never knew her.
I find myself torn between the Judge and Frank Dawson. I'm sure Frank loved
his wife Annie very much, showing it by thinking of her and their unborn
child when he asks the Judge to go on without him to find food and water.
You could see the love for Betsy in his eyes yet he could have made better
choices in his life, such as working his way back to Wyoming instead of
shooting a man. But the Judge, out of his love for Annie, took Betsy as his
own child, loving and caring for her as though she were his own flesh and
blood. The story the Judge tells Betsy clearly shows this.
I also wonder if Betsy's name was Betsy Dawson Garth or if she was just
given the last name of Garth with Annie and the Judge believing Frank was
This is one script I would love to read without the cuts in it.
This entire episode ties in together and is very consistent throughout.
At the time of this episode, the Virginian has been the Judge's foreman for
approximately 7 years. (See episode 2.19  THE DRIFTER). When the
Virginian mentions to
Steve at White Wing, "you think you know everything there is to know about a
person, then you find out you don't," he was probably thinking of this
The Judge loved Betsy very much. It isn't easy for a man to love another
man's child but the Judge did exactly that. Frank couldn't love Betsy as the
Judge loved her because he didn't raise her. I think he was in love with a
memory and a past that was long gone.
We learn in this episode about how the Judge ended up in Wyoming, starting
out from Ohio with his 2 close friends. In the episode 1.04 , THE BIG
DEAL, we learn that the Judge bought up all of the parcels of land around
him which confirms the fact that many people, Ben Church and Frank Dawson
included, were moving to open the west up. This must be how the Judge built
up Shiloh to become an extremely large working cattle ranch.
I find it interesting that Judge Garth, possibly hurt so deeply over Annie's
death, that he rarely told Betsy about her which explains the barrage of
questions she asks Frank when they meet.
The language they use is very interesting and intriguing to me such as, "a
piece of work," meaning an errand, and "a hurt" which means to cause pain,
deep pain in this instance.
Incorrect use of the English language sounds odd when used by everyday
yet in the western series it seems almost appropriate.
This episode calls Wyoming a state whereas all of the other episodes
still refer to Wyoming as a territory.
We see the deep love the Judge has for Betsy in episode 1.04  THE BIG
After Betsy is injured by the barbed wire fence the Judge tells Senor
will pay his exorbitant price.
Nothing is ever again mentioned concerning Betsy's adoption.
I would also like to add that I feel Barry Sullivan did an excellent job of
portraying Frank Dawson.
In the begining where Steve, Trampas, and the Virginian. are walking over to
the boxcars, it
appears to me that Doug McClure/ Trampas is limping slightly. Possibly
an injury during a non-filming event such as a rodeo.
I'm wondering if the premise of Betsy being another man's child was later
scrapped by the producers as the mention of her real parents was never
brought up again, and I doubt that any viewer would even suspect Betsy was
not the Judge's "blood" daughter if they had not seen this episode. See
comments 1.17  "The Judgment," 2.12  "A Time Remembered," and 4.07
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Main Contributor for this episode: Andrea Lopez [arl]