CTVA - The Virginian 7.15 [190] "Death Wait" 15-Jan-1969

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7.15 [190]
"Death Wait"

Original NBC Broadcast - 15 January 1969

Universal City Studios, Inc.
Executive Producer Norman Macdonnell
Produced by David Levinson
Written by Gerald Sanford
Directed by Charles S. Dubin

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

Guest Stars:

V190_HaroldJStone.jpg (68701 bytes)
(Pictured foreground Harold J. Stone with David Hartman & Doug McClure background)
Harold J. Stone
[Grant Buchanan]
Sheila Larken
[Ellen Jones]
Murray MacLeod
[Lorne Buchanan]

Full ending credits:
Conlan Carter
as Jory Kinkaid
Rachel Ames  (aka Judith Ames)
. . . Mary Kinkaid
Clyde Ventura
. . . Case Buchanan
Jean Peloquin . . . Jean
Ed Faulkner . . . Matt Clayton
Nicolas Beauvy . . . Ben Kinkaid
Theme Percy Faith
[No score credit was given, but some of Bernard Herrmann's music from 7.16
"Last Grave at Socorro Creek" (which, incidentally, aired a week later) was
evident as well as Stevens and Rugolo's main theme from 1.20 "If You Have
Tears" played on the piano in a bar scene]
Director of Photography Robert Wyckoff
Art Director . . . William J. Kenney
Film Editor . . . John Elias
Unit Manager . . . Henry Kline
Assistant Director . . . Donald C. Klune
Set Decorations . . . John McCarthy and Perry Murdock
Sound . . . Burdick Trask
Color Coordinator . . . Robert Brower
Editorial Supervision . . . Richard Belding
Musical Supervision . . . Stanley Wilson
Costumes by Helen Colvig
Makeup . . . Bud Westmore
Hair Stylist . . . Larry Germain
The Title "THE VIRGINIAN" by permission of EMKA, LTD.

Series regular characters appearing in this episode: Dave Sutton, Trampas,
Elizabeth Grainger, Jean, and brief appearance by Cecil


Case Buchanan (Ventura) is just like his father--he takes pleasure in
pushing people around. The Buchanans are out to buy up the ranches
in the area, and Case threatens Jory Kinkaid (Carter) with increasing calamity
until he's forced to sell for much less than his place is worth. In town,
Dave Sutton is enjoying his time with a
bar girl named Ellen (Larken). When she laughs at his story about having a
"heart to heart conversation with a horse," Dave comments, "The nicest sound
in the world is the laughter of pretty girls and children." This prompts
Ellen to ask him about starting a family of his own, but Dave isn't ready
for marriage. Ellen feels Dave has led her on and begins to argue with him.
Case decides to rescue the girl from Dave's "insults" by offering to buy her
a drink. Dave makes the remark that the way Case looks at women is more of
an insult than any of his comments, and this begins the feud between the two
men. On another day, Dave and Jean are driving the buckboard
back from town complaining that Trampas (who was acting as temporary Shiloh
foreman) wouldn't even let them take time for a beer. Case, out for a
ride with Ellen, tries to run them off the road
in his buggy. One of the wheels on the buckboard hits a pothole,
and Dave is thrown off to the ground.
Case ridicules Dave in front of Ellen and challenges him
to settle the feud then and there, but Jean reminds Dave
that Trampas wants them back at the ranch. Having worked all day, Dave would like
to rest and eat, but Trampas gruffs that all the hands were as
tired as he was and sends him out on the range to check for stray
cattle. Dave finds Case down by one of the Shiloh watering holes and draws
his gun as he tells him to get off the ranch. Case makes the excuse that he
was just out hunting and needed to fill his canteen. Dave wants to be
cautious and get the canteen for Case, but when he reaches for it Buchanan
goes for his firearm. The cowhand shoots on instinct and kills Case.
While Dave is looking for
Trampas in the Shiloh study, Liz comes in and asks if something is wrong.
She tries to reassure him that he killed a man in self defense, but Dave
won't be soothed with those words. When he takes Case's body to town he
finds the boy's father Grant Buchanan visiting Medicine Bow. Grant won't
believe Dave's recount of the events surrounding his son's death and visits
Shiloh wanting "satisfaction." Trampas sides with Dave and orders Buchanan
to get off and stay off Shiloh. But Grant vows he'll get even--sooner or
later Dave will have to go to town, and he'll be waiting. Trampas insists
Dave not leave the ranch. Dave will follow his friend's orders because he
likes working there, but he also lets it be known he
intends to "walk around on his own two feet
with his head held up where and when he wanted to," and no job was worth
losing his self-respect. Jory and his family come by Shiloh to say good
bye on their way back to the mines in Pennsylvania. Dave can't believe
Jory would give up his freedom and reminds him of the dingy life
in the coal mines. But Jory has a wife and son to think about
and has to leave because there is not much
of his ranch left anyway. Trampas had been in town where he had again
encountered Grant, and when he returns to Shiloh Jory tells him that it was
Grant who had signed the meager bank draft for his property. Jean arrives
with a dead calf and the news that other cattle had also died. Jory is sure
Buchanan had poisoned the cattle since the same thing had happened to
his herd. Fast gun Lorne Buchanan joins his father in Medicine Bow, ready
to get even with Dave, and stirs up trouble in the saloon when a man
sticks up for the cowhand. Ellen visits Dave at Shiloh to warn him
about Lorne and try to encourage him that one day the Buchanans would
have to leave. Dave is afraid that he might have pushed Case too far
and wants to turn himself in to the sheriff for an inquest. Frightened
at the prospect of not making it there safely, Dave reminds himself
of something his mother had told him when he was afraid, "Close your eyes,
David, and the wicked witch of Wales will disappear." Trampas is still
insistent that Dave not leave the ranch, but Dave doesn't want anyone
hurt on his account and asks Trampas, "Would you?" Trampas
can't argue with that and figures
since the dead cattle had been found next to the water hole,
perhaps Case hadn't been filling his canteen but may have instead put
something in the water. When Ellen next comes to visit Dave she
offers to help since Grant had given her some of Case's things,
including the canteen, as keepsakes.
Jory and his family stop in Medicine Bow for supplies, and
Jory heads for the saloon where he confronts Grant about "stealing"
his ranch. Lorne follows Jory out into the street and belittles him in front
of his wife and son. When Jean informs Dave that he wouldn't
want to be in Jory's shoes, Dave has had enough. He'd
grown up with Jory and now feels responsible for what had happened
to him. Finding there was poison in the canteen, Trampas warns him
it won't do anyone good for Dave to
get himself killed since even then the Buchanans wouldn't leave
without trying to take possession of the ranch.
With Trampas back out on the range, Elizabeth wants Dave
to "at least wait for Trampas--he'd go with you," but Dave has made
up his mind what he must do. Lorne sees Dave coming and tells his father
that Ellen had liked the cowhand before going with
Case and had been seen with one of the Shiloh hands earlier.
Grant, who has been socializing with the girl, visits her in her room.
She admits she had given Jean the canteen because Dave was "good and
decent" and she didn't want him hurt. Case had been mean like Grant was.
In anger, Grant tells Ellen she will have to watch Dave die and pushes
her over to the window. Liz rides out to the range to tell Trampas
Dave had gone into town by himself. Arriving in Medicine Bow,
Dave states he's going to the sheriff
and that when it was made know Case had poisoned the cattle
the Buchanans would have to leave. Now Lorne is even more set for
revenge. At that moment Trampas rides up and tells the gunman that if
he wants Dave he'll have to go through him. Trampas outdraws Lorne, and
Grant bemoans that the boys were his life and everything he had done was
for them. As Dave again visits Ellen in the saloon, he wishes her well
as she plans to make a new life in another town.
She wanted all things to be free, but that wasn't the
only reason she was leaving--when she was afraid she didn't close her
eyes, she ran. As she looked at Dave she told him her fear was of
"wanting what she couldn't have."

This episode develops the character of the mild-mannered David Sutton:
He wanted to be a responsible person and not get married until he could financially
provide for a family. He was becoming a valuable Shiloh hand, learning
more about working with horses and going back out on the range as
ordered even though
he was tired. We also get important glimpses into his past:
When Liz tried to tell him she knew how he felt,
David blurted, "Don't stand there and tell me you know how I'm feeling, you
don't," and proceeded to tell her the story that when he was a youngster in
Pennsylvania he used to wrestle with a good friend. The other boy was much
stronger than he was, so Dave became the brunt of ribbing at school. But then
one day his friend slipped, and Dave jumped on his arm and broke it. He
cried because he felt the boy would never be able to use the arm again, and
until that time that was the most violent thing he had ever done. But there
was a pride and determination to Sutton, too--Dave's father had worked
himself to death in the mines so his son wouldn't have to "crawl around
breathing coal dust." Because of this Dave was angered that his
well-meaning friends at Shiloh made him feel he must "walk around with his
head on the ground looking over his shoulder any time he heard a noise."
Although Dave didn't want to die, he didn't want anyone else hurt on his
account either. Dave felt guilty that he might not have really shot Case in
self-defense and decided he had to turn himself in for an inquest. He
wanted to do what was right, not what was safe.
On "Shiloh family" relationships: Liz, true to her mothering instincts,
didn't want Dave to feel guilty about
what had happened, and although she couldn't calm his feelings she
wanted to watch out for him and try to make sure no ill came to
him. Trampas, who seemed much gruffer than usual in this episode
(probably due to the pressure of being temporary foreman
and having his hands full
with problems at the ranch) was impatient with Dave and
very insistent in his orders that his friend stay close to home.
But he believed Dave's recount of the happenings at the
water hole and to some degree identified with Dave's
conviction that no one else should be hurt on his account.
Trampas left his work to stand by Dave
against the Buchanans when in so doing
there was a possibility he would also be killed. (bj)

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