CTVA - The Virginian 1.30 "The Final Hour" 1-May-1963 NBC

The Classic TV Archive - TV Western series
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1.30 [--]
"The Final Hour"

Original NBC Airdate May 1,1963
Revue Studios
Executive Producer Roy Huggins
roduced by Frank Price
Teleplay by Harry Kleiner
Story by Ward Hawkins and Bernard Girard
Directed by Robert Douglas

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

Guest Star
V030_UllaJacobsson.jpg (69715 bytes)
Ulla Jacobsson

End Credits:
Roberta Shore as Betsy (regular)
Jacques Aubuchon
as Antek Wolski
Bert Freed
as Milo Henderson
Don Galloway
as Jack Henderson
Dean Fredericks
as Jan Wolski
Myron Healey
as Martin Croft
Sheldon Allman as Parker
Ross Elliott as The Sheriff
Whit Bissell as Burns
Richard Garland as Felton
Peter Mamakos as Walzchek
Ted Knight as The Miner
Anthony Jochim as Sylvester
Dan Sheridan (not credited - to be verified)
Murvyn Vye (not credited - to be verified)
As uncredited extras:-
Harper Flaherty (Shilo ranch hand Harper seasons 6 -9) appeared as a cowboy bystander in the saloon during the fight between Jan and Jack,
Cecil Combs (Shiloh ranch hand in the later seasons) appeared as one of the jurors at the trial 
Virginian Theme - Percy Faith
(no score credit was given, but Stevens and Rugolo's poignant theme from
1.20 "If You Have Tears" was used effectively in several scenes during this episode)

Director of Photography - Benjamin H. Kline, A.S.C.
Art Director - George Patrick
Film Editor - Bud 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 - Lyle Cain
Costume Supervisor - Vincent Dee
Makeup - Jack Barron
Hair Stylist - Florence Bush
The title "The Virginian" by permission of EMKA, LTD.

Series regular characters appearing in the episode: 
Featuring Judge Garth and Trampas with brief appearances by Betsy and the Virginian

Trampas comes out of the bunkhouse early one morning to see Judge Garth driving away in his surrey.  Betsy, dressed in her robe, runs down the steps from the house to join the cowboy.  Since they both seem concerned about her father Betsy asks, "You'll side with him, won't you, even if the others turn against him?"  Trampas replies, "I am taking his pay."  But Betsy knows "the pay has nothing to do with it," and Trampas agrees he'll go along with his boss because Garth will do what he thinks is right.  Out overlooking the valley, the Judge meets with mine boss Martin Croft (Healey) who is anxious for him to provide the right of way across his land so the laborers he's bringing in from Pennsylvania can begin mining coal. But the Judge isn't ready to give his consent until he confers with the other ranchers because he cares about their opinions. He also reminisces that he and Betsy used to picnic in the valley, and the place held a special meaning to them both. Croft's blunt reply is that people "can't let memories get in the way of progress."  When the Judge arrives in town, one of the storekeepers presses him to "do the right thing." In his dilemma the Judge says simply, "I'm trying to."  Garth greets Milo Henderson (Freed) and his son Jack (Galloway) outside the meeting hall. As Jack exits, the Judge remarks that children grow up so fast--but maybe not as fast as we think, we just "don't like to recognize change until it's forced on us." Jack finds Trampas eating lunch at the saloon and teases that he knows a girl who has a sister--but the catch is they live in Cheyenne. Trampas replies that he'd need a week off to get there and back, so that was another one that got away. Jack asks Trampas if he knows which way the Judge will decide.  Trampas relates that the last he heard Garth was "still on the fence." Jack is certain his father won't back down, and if he's pushed there will be trouble. In the meeting the other ranchers express that they don't want miners around interfering with the cattle business.  Garth tells them, since he will provide the right of way across his land, only a small part of the range will be affected.  Parker (Allman) had seen the destruction strip mining did near his home town. He also doesn't like the fact that the workers will be Polish because of past experiences with them and his feelings that "Polacks" are different from "us" in every way.  Milo argues if the Judge doesn't give the right of way there will be no coal mining, so why take a chance on ruining the range.  Garth notes, "Nothing stands still. If it doesn't grow, it dies." They had gone about as far as they could working the land, and the best they could do now was for every rancher to hold on to what he'd "carved out for himself." But this is exactly what the others wish since they had toiled hard for their property and want to have something to hand down to their children. Garth tries to convince the men that they have to think beyond themselves to the future of Medicine Bow.  The mines would bring new business opportunities.  Yes, it would hurt at first because they will have to cut down the size of their herds, but "in time we can only profit because we didn't stand in the way of progress and get passed by."  Back at Shiloh, the Judge and Virginian are discussing the upcoming roundup when Trampas enters as summoned.  To Trampas' disappointment, he is told he won't be going out with the other hands because the Judge has another job for him to do. When Trampas reckons,"It must be pretty important," the Virginian leaves the room with, "I hope he measures up, at least half way." Garth explains his need for someone to help the miners settle into their new home, and Trampas asks, " Why me, to nurse maid a bunch of gophers?"   The Judge mentions the Virginian was his first choice, but he couldn't be spared, then tells his young cowhand he won't be going on the roundup either.  Trampas knows now Garth must be expecting trouble from the other ranchers.  The Judge hopes Trampas being at the mine camp will smooth things over a little. Trampas seems dubious about this assignment, and the Judge smiles, "I know it's a big responsibility, but you can handle it." Without enthusiasm, Trampas states, "Thanks." Trampas and the Judge meet the train, and Garth is introduced to Mr. Wolski (Aubuchon) and his son Jan (Fredericks).  Wolski will act as spokesman for the group since he can speak some English. Out of the last train car steps a lovely young woman (Jacobsson).  Not seeing anyone to meet her, she tries to lift her suitcase but the handle breaks. As the girl sits down on her travelling bag, Jack notices her and goes over to introduce himself.   Her first name is Polcia, but even she can't pronounce her entire last name. Polcia seems pleased that Jack is a "cowboy," the first one she'd seen "except out of the train window."  Jack is even more pleased as he tells her, "Then let me be the first to welcome you to Medicine Bow." He picks up her suitcase and offers her his arm, but Jan appears and escorts Polcia away. When Jack objects, Trampas interrupts and tells his friend to leave things be. As she and Jan are leaving, Polcia looks at Trampas, and he tips his hat to her.  Jack is riled that Jan would "act like he owns her" and asks Trampas, "Did you get a look at her?"   Trampas assesses, "Enough to see she's a pack of trouble."  At the camp Trampas is chopping down trees when Polcia brings him some food and suggests they have a picnic together.  Looking around with apprehension, Trampas tells her he will eat with Jan and Mr. Wolski, but when he arrives with the meal Jan wants to know what Polcia is doing then leaves to find her.  Polcia is at a pool kicking her feet near the waterfall as Jack rides up. The girl tells him he'll find Trampas back at the camp, but Jack has come to see her, not Trampas.  When he notices Polcia trying to dry her legs with her hands, he offers his bandana and starts to dry them for her. He asks had Trampas never mentioned "Jack, the ankle drier."  Polcia sighs that Trampas hardly ever spoke to her then wonders if he was the same with every girl. Jack responds, "Let him loose where there's a pretty girl and you can't even corral him.  I remember a time--come to think of it, I can't remember." Polcia inquires how long he had known Trampas. Jack reckons it had been about four years, and the two of them were more like brothers than friends. Then, feeling somewhat envious, Jack wants to know why Polcia is talking about Trampas when he had come all the way out to see her.  Not answering his question, Polcia requests he give her a ride back to camp. Jan sees them together and takes her off the horse. Igniting with jealousy, Jan demands she not see Jack again--it wasn't because he doesn't trust her, he just knows what a man feels when he gets near her.  Jan is hungry for marriage, but Polcia wants to be free, especially now that "for the first time in my life I feel I am part of the world."  Jan considers she feels part of Jack and won't allow it to be so.  Yet Polcia stands for her rights and asserts, "Back there in that little town you could own me, but not here." Wolski would like to let his men go into Medicine Bow because the longer they are kept apart from the townsfolk the harder it will be to learn to live together in harmony.  Trampas reluctantly agrees and hopes there won't be any trouble.  When the cowboy goes to his tent he finds Polcia there waiting for him. Although he tries to usher her out, she won't leave until he tells her why he keeps "avoiding" her.   Trampas states he heard she is "spoken for," but Polcia insists she never told Jan she would marry him. She had gone to live with the Wolskis after her father was killed in a mine accident. She "was his from then on" and "couldn't 't have any friends, girls or boys." But she had left that life behind her.  She "knew something wonderful would happen" to her "here, and it has." Trampas continues his misgivings about Polcia's presence with, "first Jack, and now me," then informs her that, since it was his job to keep the peace, he had told Jack not to come around anymore. Polcia questions, "Is that the real reason?" and kisses him. Trampas sends her away with the demand that she not come back in his tent again.  When Polcia returns to her own tent, Jan accuses her of having been with Jack. Later the miners are in the saloon engaging in a friendly arm wrestling contest.   One of the coal diggers (Knight) makes the invitation that if anyone beats Jan he will buy his drinks for the whole night.  Jack takes up the challenge, but Jan uses excessive force and crushes Jack's arm against the table.  Jack wants to end the matter with a gunfight, but Jan declares that in his country men settle arguments with their bare hands.  With two jealous males as opponents, the fight becomes more violent than intended, and Jack is killed by Jan's blows.  After the funeral Trampas is the last to leave Jack's grave.  Polcia approaches him with a soft, "You blame me, don't you."  There will be an inquest into the cause of Jack's death, and Milo and Parker ride out to Shiloh to insist the Judge close the right of way so the miners will have to leave.  They fear when the jury decides that Jack was "brutally murdered," the miners will tear the town apart and there'd be more trouble than they'd ever seen in Medicine Bow. When Garth refuses to go along with Milo's wishes, the rancher broods that it was the Judge's decision that brought in the laborers in the first place, and (whatever the verdict) he hopes Garth can live with himself knowing he could have stopped what's bound to happen. In his jail cell Jan assures his father he didn't mean to kill Jack at the saloon (although he could have done so earlier when he saw him with Polcia), but accident or not he expects to be hanged anyway. Wolski encourages his son that in Poland there is an old saying, "A man is no man who will not fight for right." Polcia is next to see Jan, and he tells her he hadn't intended to cause Jack's death because he could never hurt her by killing someone she loved.   When Polcia explains that Jack had just been someone to meet and talk to, Jan urges Polcia to marry him as soon as he is freed from jail.  But she still rejects his proposal, and Jan suspects there must be someone else she's attracted to.  The miners finish their visit with Jan and load up to leave town, but some ranch hands begin to heckle them. Trampas intervenes and goes to fisticuffs with one of Henderson's cowboys.   Later at the mine camp, while Polcia tends to Trampas' battle wounds, Wolski thanks the young man for coming to their aid then advises him to go back to Shiloh because the cattlemen might otherwise brand him as a traitor.  But Trampas has taken his responsibility seriously and replies, "That's their lookout. Mine's to do my job, and I can't leave while there is still trouble." After Wolski departs, Polcia discloses she's very sorry about what happened to Jack and in a way it was her fault because Jan thought she had been with him that night. Trampas is alarmed that she didn't tell Jan the truth, and Polcia confesses it was because she was afraid of what Jan would do to a man she loves.  She knew from the start that she loved him, and Trampas acknowledges it was the same for him from the day he saw her at the train station. He didn't understand himself at all because it was the first time he had felt this way about any woman. He asks her to marry him, but she is reluctant to do so. Taking Polcia to himself, Trampas assures her he won't let Jan stand in their way.  At the law office Croft confronts Sheriff Abbott and insists he free Jan since he's convinced Jack's death was an accident but fears the townspeople will convict Jan just because they don't like the miners.  Mark argues that he trusts the jury to make the right decision.  He's going to back them up no matter which way they decide and warns Croft, "If you stick your long nose into it I'll twist it off."  Before the inquest Trampas stops by the saloon where he again is pestered by Milo's ranch hand.  Milo doesn't want the men "wasting muscle hitting each other." He asks Trampas to join him in a drink, but Trampas has one he's "working on." Milo is certain Trampas will stand up with him against the miners, but the cowboy refuses to do so.  Parker can't believe Trampas could side with "that kind." Trampas asks, "Just what kind are they," and Parker replies, "You've lived with them.  Can you eat their slop or understand what they say?  They sound like a pack of monkeys." Trampas seethes, "They're just as much my kind as you are."  Milo warns him if he sides with the miners he'll have to take what they take." Trampas adds, "And give what they give.   I don't want that either. Walk easy, Mr. Henderson, so Jack can rest easy." At the inquest the jury decides Jack's death had been an accident. Understandably, this verdict doesn't set well with Milo Henderson. There's a celebration at the mine camp after Jan's release from jail, but Polcia finds it difficult to join in the festivities. To Jan's inquiry, the girl denies she is looking for someone and walks away from him. Mr. Wolski asks her if she had seen "our friend Trampas." When she seems surprised that he would pose such a question to her, Wolski replies, "Canvas walls are thin." The Judge calls for Trampas and tells him he's not to go back to the mine camp because he doesn't want him caught in the middle of trouble. Trampas objects that his peace keeping duties are far from finished and asserts, "You can't hold me, Judge, even if it means my job." Garth wonders,"To protect Jan Wolski? Or is there another reason?" Trampas mutters, "Both I guess." The Judge bid's him, "Take care." The next morning Trampas arrives back at the camp and informs Wolski that Henderson was out for revenge and it might be best if Jan laid low for a few days.  Jan will not hear of this and maintains they will be ready for a fight should the vengeful ranchers dare approach them.  Unable to reason with Jan, Trampas leaves to try to persuade Milo to give up the hunt.  As Trampas rides away, Polcia is angered that Jan would let him face the ranchers alone and mounts a horse to go after him. Trampas stands in the road to block the men from coming closer to the camp.  Milo tells the young man to get out of the way because he doesn't want him hurt.  When Trampas holds his ground, Parker draws his gun. Trampas is quicker on the trigger, and his bullet hits its mark. However, Parker's gun discharges and the slug pierces through Polcia who, unbeknownst to Trampas, had been observing the goings on behind him. Trampas rushes to her side but finds she is already dead. Jan arrives, and Trampas can do nothing but shake his head and hand her body over to him.  Trampas returns to Milo and his bunch and cries, "Is that enough blood for you, or do you want more? There's the man you want.  Go on, shoot him down.  And then keep on going and kill all the rest of them. That'll bring your son back, won't it." At that moment the sheriff and Garth ride upon the scene. As Trampas stands alone at Polcia's grave, the Judge comes alongside him and tells the grieving boy he'll ride back to the ranch with him.  Garth tries to console Trampas that he knows what it is like to lose someone.  But it might be a help if Trampas could understand that Polcia's death had brought a measure of peace to the valley. It would be some time before either side understood each other, but that would come because of the tragedy. (bj)

This is one of my favorite episodes.  It is the first serious love interest for Trampas and his first individual assignment of an important responsibility. This story was the second in the series of what I consider destiny episodes in Trampas' life (1.09 "West" being the first). (bj)

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