CTVA - The Virginian 1.26 "Echo of Another Day" 27-Mar-1963 NBC

The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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1.26 [--]
"Echo Of Another Day"

(not to be confused with episode #124 'Echo Of Thunder')
Original NBC Broadcast - 27 March 1963

Revue Studios Production
Executive Producer Roy Huggins
Produced by Warren Duff
Written by Frank Fenton
Directed by William Graham

(shown on the ride-in)
Lee J. Cobb as Judge Henry Garth (not in this episode)
Doug McClure as Trampas
Gary Clarke as Steve Hill (not in this episode)
James Drury as The Virginian

Guest Star:
Bradford Dillman [ Sam Harder]
Co-Starring: (also on the ride-in)
John Dehner [ Bleeck]
Edward Asner [ George Johnson]

End Credits (complete)
(co-stars were listed during the ride in--no co-stars at the end)

Francis J. McDonald ... Saul Weintraub
Russell Thorson ... The Sheriff
Grace Lee Whitney ... Nina
John Mitchum ... Madison
Frank Sully ... Danny
Frank Watkins ... Gregg
Joe Moross as Landegger
Virginian Theme Percy Faith
Director of Photography - Lionel Lindon, A.S.C.
Supervising Producer - Frank Price
Art Director - George Patrick
Film Editor - Budd Small
Editorial Dept. Head - David J. O'Connell
Musical Supervision - Stanley Wilson
Set Decorators - John McCarthy and James M. Walters
Color Consultant - Alex Quiroga
Color Processing by Consolidated Film Industries
Assistant Director - Charles S. Gould
Sound - Earl Crain, Jr.
Costume Supervisor - Vincent Dee
Makeup - Jack Barron
Hair Stylist - Florence Bush
The title "The Virginian" by permission of EMKA, LTD.

Series Regular Characters in this Episode :
Virginian and Trampas
With Recurring Characters:
Sheriff Evans and Danny the bartender

Brief Synopsis:
Fresh out of prison, Sam Harder determines to return the gold he took during a train holdup.  Years earlier Trampas had declined to be in on the robbery, and Sam had made sure the rest of the gang let him go on his way.  With his friend back in Medicine Bow, Trampas wants to help protect the man from the fast gun who had instigated the crime but because of his former manner of life is suspected by a government agent to be Harder's accomplice.  The Virginian, however, has faith that Trampas is a changed man.

More Detailed Synopsis:
Upon his release from prison Sam Harder (Dillman), an old friend of Trampas', shows up in Medicine Bow.  Five years previously Sam had become involved with some low-lifes in a train robbery, intending to use his share of the $50,000 to buy a diamond ring for his wife. The gang had invited Trampas to go in on the haul, but the young cowboy declined. Afraid Trampas might spill information about the upcoming train heist the gang was reluctant to let him go. But Sam could "prove" his own abilities with a gun if need be and told the others, "He's out of it." Now that he's a free man Harder is determined to return the gold to the government and get on with his life. One person stands in his way--Bleeck (Dehner), the greedy fast gun who had instigated the robbery and, unable to find the stash himself, has been waiting for Sam to return and lead him to the bullion. Trampas, spotting Sam at the saloon, asks the Virginian to give him a job at the ranch.  There are no complaints when it comes to the man's work, but the Virginian is concerned he might influence Trampas to turn back to his wild way of living, something the foreman will not tolerate because Trampas is his friend.  Sam doesn't want Trampas to get involved because he's sure Bleeck will try to kill him after he leads him to the money.  Not wanting to chance interference, Sam and Trampas argue in the saloon. Trampas "lets" Sam knock him unconscious, and Harder leaves without him.  But two of Bleeck's cohorts, "The Rat" and "The Pig," pick up the boy and take him to the meeting place. To complicate the matter, government agent George Johnson (Asner) comes to town also set on following Sam to the gold and insists that, since Trampas and Harder had been working together around the time of the robbery, the young cowhand was probably an accomplice to the crime.  Even though the Virginian "doubts it," Johnson becomes even more convinced when Trampas disappears at the same time Sam leaves to meet Bleeck. The agent tries to follow, but Harder ropes him from his horse and leaves him afoot.  Johnson is picked up by a man returning to town and encounters the Virginian and a posse who are on the trail of the outlaws.  The Virginian makes it known that he doesn't care about the gold or Bleeck or Harder or the government or anything else but Trampas--he just wants Trampas--and takes charge of the hunt, insisting Sheriff Evans can't track the men without his help. When asked if he thought Harder was trying to prove something, the Virginian states, "I believe Trampas is trying to prove something or I wouldn't be here," commenting he thought Trampas felt he owed Sam for his life.  Intent on protecting his pal and confident his boss will come to the rescue, Trampas leaves signs along the trail, thus proving the faith the Virginian has in him. The money located, "The Rat" wants to take over, but Bleeck guns him down.  Now talking about the gold, Bleeck knows it's always been "You give it back or I take it all. They can have it.  All you can do is buy something...But you and me have to prove this thing between us."   Sam is faster on the draw but has respect for the dead outlaw and tells the arriving posse not to rough up the body because Bleeck "was a man." Contemplating the events (while Trampas goes to dance with a barmaid who "owed" him for a bottle of perfume "straight from Paris") Sam comments to the Virginian Bleeck was "dead without ever learning how to live. But he sure knew how to die."

Memorable moments in the relationship between the Virginian and Trampas:
The Virginian didn't want anyone interfering with the kind of man Trampas was becoming (see 2.01 "Ride a Dark Trail" for the kind of man he had been). In this well-directed scene aptly set in the barn while Sam and the Virginian were drying a new born foal, we are given Frank Fenton's wonderful assessment of human nature when the Virginian warns Harder that Trampas is his friend, and he won't stand for him to try to pull the young cowboy back to his wild ways--"We all think we've changed, we think we've become something better and different. We think we've grown up.  Then something happens like a prairie catches fire or a herd bolts and stampedes or a star falls.  And we find out we're back again to something we thought we'd forgotten."   The government agent kept insisting Trampas was an accomplice to the crime and wondered how the Virginian could "still believe in that kid" when, to all appearances, it looked like Trampas and the gang were "chummy."  The Virginian told him, "Whether he's right or wrong I'm going to be here for him."  Later when Johnson asked if he believed there was any man who, "if the price was right, wouldn't put a knife in your back," the foreman (finding the knife Trampas had stuck in the tree as a trail marker) replied, "Yeah. A man who'd put one in a tree."  As for Trampas' regards for the Virginian, he respected his boss's abilities, assuring Harder he could "follow a rabbit all over St. Louis" and would think things out and not hurry or interfere before the time was right. After hearing the Virginian's "coyote" signals Trampas told Harder the foreman was out there and wanted to let them know he was around in case they needed him. When Harder commented, "You think a lot of him," Trampas nonchalantly stated, "I can take him or leave him.   I'd just hate for him to leave me."

Where was that scene?: 
Viewers may remember Bleeck singing then talking about the time his teacher told him he sang like a "bullfrog."  When Sam asked about his mother, Bleeck reply was "Are you some kind of hammer looking for nails?"

Horse trivia:
  James Drury rode a different Appaloosa in this episode which looked very much like Stormy, the horse Robert Horton used in WAGON TRAIN. Bradford Dillman also appears in 9.17 "The Legacy of Spencer Flats"

In addition to portraying Morgan Starr during the 4th season interim between Judge Garth and new owner John Grainger, John Dehner made guest appearances in 2.02 "To Make This Place Remember" and 8.03 "Halfway Back From Hell" [bj] *

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