CTVA - The Virginian 2.19 [049] "The Drifter" 29-Jan-1964

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 2.19 [049]
"The Drifter"
Original NBC Broadcast - 29 January 1964

Revue Productions
Executive Producer Frank Price
Produced by Winston Miller
Teleplay by Carey Wilbur / Story by Frank Fenton
Directed by Don McDougall

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

Guest Star [not shown in ride-in]
Leif Erickson

Full ending credits:
Co-Starring
Mariette Hartley as Maria
#
Michael Forest
as Hugh Stager
#
with
Gregg Palmer as Sunday
Frank Albertson as Sheriff Webb
Cal Bartlett as Dolan
Tyler McVey as Matthew Barclay
Jackie Russell as Billie
Rex Holman as Donovan
Mike Ragan as Shorty
Chuck Courtney as Jerry
#
Virginian Theme
Percy Faith
#
Director of Photography
Benjamin H. Kline A.S.C.
#
Story Editor
Cy Chermak
#
Art Director . . . George Patrick
Film Editor . . . Edward Biery
Assistant Director . . . Les Berke
Set Decorators . . . John McCarthy and Perry Murdock
Sound . . . Earl Crain, Jr.
Color Consultant . . . Alex Quiroga
Color By Pathe
#
Editorial Department Head . . . David J. O'Connell
Musical Supervision . . . Stanley Wilson
Costume Supervisor . . . Vincent Dee
Makeup . . . Bud Westmore
Hair Stylist . . . Larry Germain
The title "The Virginian" by permission of EMKA, Ltd.

Series regular characters appearing in this episode:
Judge Henry Garth, Steve Hill, The Virginian

Synopsis:
"Its awful hard for a man to change his
course. Keep movin on, the past always
comes along to catch up with ya. Sooner or later,
when a man thinks he's all set, its time to be movin on again".
~~The Virginian~~

Steve and the Virginian are out rounding up strays when Steve spies an old
abandoned ranch. Curious as to why there would be such a "beat-up" site on
Shiloh range, he asks the Virginian about it. The Virginian glances over
and tells Steve it used to be the Peterson Ranch before it became
part of Shiloh. Steve asks if he knows what happened to them.
The Virginian answers somberly, "they died".

The Virginian stares, oblivious to Steve's presence next to him, and his
mind trails behind him thinking~~could it have been only 7 years ago, only
7 years when he first rode across Judge Garth's land,
looking for peace and
quiet, unknowing of the range war he was riding into......a range war over
property rights. Who would end up owning the most land.

His next image was of his horse being shot out from underneath him and
waking up to a splash of water being thrown at his face. After finding out
he was mistaken for one of Peterson's gunmen, he rides into Medicine Bow
and goes into the saloon where he meets a stranger who offers to buy him a
drink. When the Virginian asks why he would do that, the stranger says he
just needs the company since he was a Peterson hand and made the mistake
of coming into the saloon alone, and points out a few of the Shiloh hands
just waiting for the right time to jump him. Understanding and remembering
his meeting with them, the Virginian offers to help the guy get out by
sitting at the table and causing a disturbance. The Peterson hand got out
and the Virginian landed up in jail for his efforts.
After a good nights sleep in the Medicine Bow jail, the Virginian is
bailed out by the big man himself~~Miles Peterson, after finding out he had
helped Dolan, his ranch hand, get out of that precarious spot in the saloon
the night before. Grateful, Peterson offers the Virginian a job,
$100/month plus cartridges.
The Virginian, seeing Peterson has sized him up wrong,
tells him he thought he was looking for cowhands. Peterson, realizing he
did have him sized up wrong, laughs and hires him as a cowhand. This doesn't sit
too well with Peterson's foreman who has been building up his own garrison
of gunfighters, but he keeps his place with the old man. His time will
eventually come. Already feeling his time as foreman is short
which would jeopardize his standing as inheriting one of the largest
spreads in the Wyoming Territory by marrying the boss's daughter,
Hugh Stager takes
matters into his own hands by plotting the old man's murder.
To keep tempers raised on both sides and to get rid of this drifter who
had begun to show affection towards Maria, Peterson's daughter, Stager has
Jerry wait and bushwhack the Virginian while riding fence and leaves him for dead.

While out riding, Judge Garth finds the wounded Virginian and takes him to
Shiloh's closest lineshack and nurses him until he's strong enough to ride
back to the ranch. In his delirium the Virginian mumbles quite a bit. He has
a few suspicions of who may have shot him but after mumbling, keeps it to himself.

Back at Shiloh, the Virginian watches as the Judge mounts his horse and
leaves for town. He takes this opportunity to enter the Judge's house and
looks over the rifles in the Judge's gunrack. Checking all of the rifles,
he confirms what he already believed, the Judge was not the person who
shot him, the cartridge did not match.
Startling the Virginian, the Judge, who had forgotten his tally book,
confirmed the findings. "You won't find anything that uses a .40 caliber
in there or the bunkhouse either. A man generally doesn't try to kill
another man, and then nurse him back to life".
"True enough", responds the Virginian. "I'll have to go back and tell them".

During his recovery, the Virginian gets to know the Judge very well. A
bond is already beginning to form,
especially as the Judge shows the Virginian
his future~a prize bull for building good blood stock for not only
himself, but his neighbors as well.
The Virginian comments that all his life, he's heard "talk" before, but
rarely seen anyone do anything with it.
We also see the beginning of a friendship, when the Judge comes out of the
house and hands the Virginian a glass of lemonade and sits down with him on the porch.
Looking up towards the sky, the Judge shares a fact with him. He doesn't
know which is his favorite time of the day, evening or morning. The
Virginian asks what he did before becoming a Judge. When he finds out
he was a lawyer, he lets him know he'll remember that, suggesting he could
possibly need one. The Judge tells him he hopes he never does since
that was a long time ago. The Virginian shares his past with the Judge,
deepening the bond and the trust they are developing with one another.

The next day the Virginian leaves, knowing he has to go back and clear the
Judge's name from any wrong doing and get to the bottom of who shot him.
To find out who owns the Sharps carbie that takes the .40 caliber bullet
that shot him and more than likely killed Mr. Peterson.
Before leaving, with understanding in his voice, the Judge bids him well,
and tells the Virginian there will always be a place for him at Shiloh.
The Virginian responds by saying, "I may be back".
The Judge allows his eyes to follow as he rides out, passing the
bunkhouse, they wave goodbye once more.
The Judge is deep in thought over this new
young man he has met and become extremely fond of.

Along the way back to the Peterson ranch, the Virginian stops at the site
where he was shot and finds the shell of the cartridge that was used to shoot him.
Confronting Stager, and now wearing his gun, the truth is shown in a
shootout leaving all but the Virginian, dead, including Maria.

Steve calls to the Virginian a bit impatiently, "Hey, what's keepin ya?"
The Virginian whispers to himself~~"nothin", and reins his horse towards home. (arl)

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Main Contributor for this episode: Andrea Lopez [arl]