CTVA - The Virginian 7.07 [182] "The Heritage" 30-Oct-1968

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 7.07 [182]
"The Heritage"

Original NBC Broadcast - 30 October 1968

Universal TV
Executive Producer Norman Macdonnell
Produced by Joel Rogosin
Written by Stephen Lord
Directed by Leo Penn

(shown in the ride in)
John McIntire as Clay Grainger
Doug McClure as Trampas
David Hartman as David Sutton [not in this episode]
Sara Lane as Elizabeth Grainger
James Drury as The Virginian

Guest star:
Buffy Sainte-Marie [Nai'Be]
V182_BuffyStMaire.jpg (83383 bytes)
Complete Ending Credits:
Also starring
Jeanette Nolan as Holly Grainger
Co-Starring [only the Indian character names were given in the credits]
Ned Romero as Tza'Wuda [June Bear aka J.B.]
Jim Davis as McKinley
Bill Fletcher as Russ Doty
Jay Silverheels as Den'Gwatzi
Eddie Little Sky ... Enga'Idga [Red Fox]
Ross Elliott ... Sheriff Abbott
Vicki Medlin ... Jodie Ashton
Semu Huaute ... Quih'Nah
Lois Red Elk .. .Pa'Guichap
Stuart Nisbet .. Bartender
Quent Sondergaard ... Wrangler
Harper Flaherty .. .Harper
Mary Romero ... Dah'Bu'Tzi
[I'm guessing that Mary Romero was co-star Ned Romero's real-life daughter][rho]
Karl Swenson as Nelson
Music Score Ralph Ferraro
Theme Percy Faith
Director of photography Enzo A. Martinelli
Art director ... George Patrick
Film Editor ... John Elias
Unit manager ... Willard H. Sheldon
Assistant director ... Mel A. Bishop
Set decorators ... John McCarthy and Perry Murdock
Sound ... David H. Moriarty
Color Coordinator ... Robert Brower
Editorial Supervision ... Richard Belding
Musical Supervision ... Stanley Wilson
Costumes by ... Helen Colvig
Makeup ... Bud Westmore
Hairstylist ... Larry Germain
The title "The Virginian" by permission of EMKA LTD.

Series regular characters appearing in this episode:
the Virginian, Trampas, Clay Grainger, Holly Grainger, Elizabeth Grainger,
Sheriff Mark Abbott, Harper, Bart the Bartender

Detailed Synopsis:
A train pulls into Medicine Bow. Among the passengers is Nai'Be, an
Indian girl returning from school in the East. She's greeted at the
station by Elizabeth and Clay Grainger. Nai'Be introduces them to
Jodie Ashton whom she met on the train. Jodie calls her "Nancy",
a name she picked up in school. Elizabeth admires Nai'Be's dress.
Nai'Be says she learned to sew in school. Elizabeth says J.B.
(June Bear) will be anxious to see her. J.B. is Nai'Be's fiance,
an Indian who has become one of Shiloh's top hands. He'll be
leaving soon to return to the reservation having learned the cattle
business from Clay and apparently will be taking Nai'Be with him.
They arrive at Shiloh where Holly has the guest room all ready for her.

Out on the range, we see the Virginian, Trampas and J.B on their
way to the Shoshone Indian Reservation to shore up the final details
of a cattle deal. J.B. is anxious to finish this trip so he can
get back to the ranch to see Nai'Be who "was only a girl when she
left for that school--she's a woman now!" The three cowboys then
see two men on horseback dragging an Indian by a rope. After stopping
them, we find out the two men work for a rancher named McKinley.
One of them, the foreman Russ Doty, says he caught the Indian rustling
one of their cattle. The Indian, named "Red Fox" says he found the
cattle in the river. The Virginian says that this is Shoshone land
and Doty has no right to be there. Doty produces a paper which he
says will give him the right. While the Virginian is reading the note,
Doty derisively notices that J.B. is also a Shoshone and that the three
cowboys work for "good-hearted Grainger" whom Doty resents for
undercutting other ranches on the sale of cattle to the government for
the Indians. The Virginian finishes reading the note and says they'd
better go see Den'Gwatzi, the chief. The note gives McKinley access
to the river, even though the Indian village is between his ranch and
the river. The Virginian says that Clay Grainger wil speak to the
Indian agent about this but Den'Gwatzi is dubious that he'll be able
to do anything.

Back at Shiloh, Elizabeth and Nai'Be are having a good time. Holly
asks Nai'Be about school. Nai'Be says that she enjoyed her stay there
but regrets that she learned and spoke only English, not Shoshone.
That night over supper Clay is incredulous over the contents of the
note, which was signed by the Secretary for Indian Affairs and the
Indian agent, Nelson. He says "that land was guaranteed to the
Shoshones by the President himself. It'll be the third time they
have to move." This talk apparently upsets Nai'Be, who is picking at
her food. After supper, Nai'Be expresses her doubts to J.B., who
tells her they must "learn from the Whites...how to survive."
Nai'Be replies, "How? As Indian? As Shoshone?"

The next morning Holly remarks to Clay that Nai'Be seems "different...troubled."
Clay agrees and says he hopes they did the right thing by sending her
East to school. In town Trampas and J.B. get into a barroom scuffle with
two cowboys who make ethnic slurs about J.B.'s background.

Back at Shiloh, in a candid moment, Nai'Be expresses to Clay her regrets
for being away from her people. Clay says that by sending her to school
and teaching J.B. the cattle business he thought they could do great things
for the Shoshone. The Indian agent, Nelson, arrives and even though he's
old friends with Nai'Be and the Grangers, he makes a few well-meaning but
insensitive remarks. Clay asks him about the note McKinley holds giving
him riparian rights to the river through the Indian village. Nelson
regretfully says that McKinley went over his head and wrote to Washington.
There's nothing he can do.

Out on the range, McKinley and Doty are driving their cattle. The cattle
are getting pretty dry but McKinley says they should be reaching the river
soon by going through the Shoshone village "if it's still there."
Meanwhile, the Virginian and Trampas are herding the Shiloh cattle and J.B.
and Nai'Be are enjoying a quiet moment by a brook. J.B. reminisces about
the old days when Nai'Be used to ask so many questions. He asks Nai'Be
if the school answered all of her questions. "Not all," she replies,
"but I did learn some new questions." J.B. counters, "Nai'Be, you're
the answer to all my questions" and kisses her. She looks at him
scornfully and walks away. That evening, Nai'Be sees the Virginian who
is rubbing down his horse in the barn after a hard day's work and in
preparation for the next day's drive to the reservation. They, too,
reminisce about the old days and she recalls how she shed her Shoshone
buckskins for a store-bought dress just before she went off to school:
"Finally I belonged. I was one of them. Not Nai'Be, a Shoshone Indian
off the reservation, but just 'Nancy'." "Is that what you want to be,
just 'Nancy'?" asks the Virginian. She replies, "By your standards
that's what I'm supposed to be, isn't it?" The Virginian counters,
"The way I see it, it doesn't matter what you are or what you call
yourself, it's finding out who you are that's important." While
walking back to the house, Nai'Be tells the Virginian that she may not
go with them to the reservation after all. She needs more time to think.
J.B., who had seen the two walking to the house, later asks the Virginian
if anything was wrong with Nai'Be; if she'll be ready to go to the
reservation tomorrow. The Virginian says she may not be going and J.B.
says he's not surprised. He thought there was something wrong.
The Virginian says there's nothing wrong, she just needs time to get
used to being back. He tries to reassure J.B. that she'll soon be
"chomping at the bit" to get back to the reservation.

Later that evening, Nai'Be is reading a book from Clay's library.
She says to Clay that one of her teachers told her that the answers
to most problems can be found in books "written by someone who'd
faced the same problem themselves." Clay replies, "He's probably right.
People don't change. Only the world they live in changes."
She asks, "Don't you think when the world changes, it changes the people in it?"
She answers her own question: "I don't know. I can't be 'Nancy' on
the reservation, but I can't be Nai'Be at all anymore and while I'm
Nancy here I just perform the tricks I've learned." Clay answers,
"Well, Nai'Be, if you went through what you did just because you
believed in me, then I've been as misled as you. There's only one
thing that's clear to me now and that's that whatever decisions you
make from now on, we must all be sure they're your own." In the
kitchen afterwards, Clay and Holly are discussing the situation.
Clay now thinks he can understand Nai'Be's point of view. Maybe
they've been wrong all along. They sent her to school so she could
return and teach the Indians how to better themselves. But by
"bettering themselves" maybe they just meant showing them the White
man's way of doing things rather than showing them the Shoshone
way to survive in a White world. We see the extent to which Nai'Be
is stil conflicted in the next scene, where she has another
conversation, this time with Elizabeth, who dearly wants her to
stay. Nai'Be says that that would be staying in her world and
maybe she should return to the reservation.

The next day Clay is seeing the drive off as Nai'Be, Holly and
Elizabeth approach. Nai'Be tells J.B. and Clay that she's changed
her mind and wants to go to the reservation at least for a little while.
"Have I seemed ungracious?" she asks. "No," Clay replies, "honest!"

After some scenes on the cattle drive with Nai'Be still expressing her
doubts, the scene shifts to McKinley's cattle drive where Nelson is
unsuccessfully trying to keep him from going through the Shoshone village.
Nelson is equally unsuccessful in trying to persuade the Shoshones
to move out of the way. The Shiloh drive arrives first on reservation
land. The Virginian, J.B. and Nai'Be ride into the village and are met
by Nelson who tells them of his frustration in trying to ease the situation.
For the first time since going away to school, Nai'Be looks upon a
sea of Indian faces as she has now truly returned to her homeland.
She is greeted warmly by Pa'Guichap who introduces her to her child,
Dah'Bu'Tzi. She said the "old ones wanted me to give her away." Nai'Be
is incredulous but Pa'Guichap says, "The children, they are hungry, but
I keep her. I say soon Tza'Wuda (J.B.) would come and give them beef
and Nai'Be to help the children."

In Den'Gwatzi's tepee, Red Fox argues that the Shoshone should hold their
ground and not let McKinley's herd go through. J.B. says that there's
other land on the other side of the river. The Virginian says to Den'Gwatzi
that "a man as wise as you" wouldn't allow innocent women and children to
be killed. Nelson reluctantly insists that McKinley has the legal right
to drive his cattle to the river. Den'Gwatzi finally gives in saying
"There is no tomorrow for the Shoshone, only yesterday. Tell McKinley
we will leave the village at the rise of the sun." As the others are
leaving the tepee, Den'Gwatzi adds a parting shot, "When no more land
remains, what will you do with our people? Tie a rope around our necks
and pet us like the dogs you keep?"

That night as they are preparing to move Den'Gwatzi says to Nai'Be,
"Before there was joy in you, laughter. Now you are troubled."
She disagrees, saying that it gives her great pleasure to see him.
"And Tza'Wuda?" asks Den'Gwatzi. "Yes," she replies, "but there are
things he cannot understand and I cannot make him understand."
"Perhaps he sees you as changed," answers Den'Gwatzi, "I do not.
To me you are the same, holding my hand, asking questions, laughing.
The joy is still in you. You must find it again."

Back at the Shiloh group's camp Nelson rides up with the news that
McKinley has agreed to wait until morning, but then, Shoshone or no
Shoshone, he's coming through. This upsets Nai'Be, who has just
arrived at the campfire and she walks away followed by J.B. She
admits that moving is part of what bothers her and J.B. finally lets
out his frustrations: "I try to understand, Nai'Be, but ever since
you returned you seem strange...I thought so much about you while
you were away, about the day you'd return and we'd start our life together.
Is there someone else? Someone back there?" "Yes," she replies,
"there is someone else there--Nai'Be." She relates that when she
went away to school the people were nice to her but treated her as
a curiosity, a Shoshone squaw. She tried to make them forget who
she was and she succeeded, but she's not trying now to forget who
she was, she's trying to find out who she is. "Can't you see, June Bear?
You and I, we've made a place for ourselves in their world as
they wished. They told us our world was dying and we believed them.
They said 'choose between our life and your death' and we chose.
Now they say, 'go back to your people and spread our way of life among
them.' Well, how can I go back and stand as a symbol of how a Shoshone
can be redeemed for having been born a Shoshone?" To this, he slaps
her and she rides out. The camera trains on J.B.'s face as he gives
an expression of regret for having done that.

Nai'Be mistakenly rides into the McKinley camp, where she is attacked
by Doty. Doty calls her several ethnic slurs. J.B. rides in to the
rescue and after dispatching Doty, asks her, "Where did you think you
were running? Where do you think you can run? You can't run away
from yourself, Nai'Be!"

We next see the Shoshone crossing the river. Nelson says that most
have left the village with Den'Gwatzi, but a few have remained behind
with Red Fox. Trampas warns that if McKinley brings that herd through,
"There'll be no stopping 'em!" As Nelson, the Virginian and Trampas
go to try and hold off McKinley, J.B. says to Nai'Be, "You're afraid
to live for what you are, you're not afraid to die for it." "You're
wrong, June Bear," she replies.

The remaining Indians, led by Red Fox, start shooting at McKinley's
cattle drive in an attempt to stop them, but succeed only in stampeding
the herd toward the village. The Virginian and Trampas try to turn
the stampede but are only partly successful. J.B., Red Fox and the
others ride into the village in a last ditch effort to warn the
stragglers of the coming stampede but are not able to save Pa'Guichap,
who is trampled trying to save her daughter, Dah'Bu'Tzi.

At Pa'Guichap's graveside, J.B. says they can take Dah'Bu'Tzi home.
"Where is home?" asks Nai'Be. "Where it has always been," replies
J.B., "in our hearts. Nai'Be, I don't understand all your questions
but we can look for the answers together. Come with us. We will
nourish each other and our people." J.B. goes to get the girl, but
she doesn't respond until Nai'Be joins him. The episode closes with
J.B. (carrying Dah'Bu'Tzi) and Nai'Be crossing the river to their new home.

Buffy Sainte-Marie was a popular Native-American folksinger/songwriter
and Indian activist in the 1960's. She agreed to do this show only if
real Indians were cast in the supporting roles. Ms Sainte-Marie later
co-wrote the Academy Award winning song "Up Where We Belong" for the movie
"An Officer and a Gentleman" in 1982.

Once again, there's a time problem with this episode. The circumstances
indicate that the Graingers have lived at Shiloh for a long time, but in
fact, it's only been a little over two years since Elizabeth first moved
to Shiloh with her Granddad John and brother Stacey, and only a little
over six months since Clay and Holly arrived on the scene. [rho]

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Main Contributor for this episode :  Robert Henry Ohlemeyer [rho]