Air Date: 28 January 1969
Director: Otto Lang
Written by: Don Brinkley
Teresa Wright as Ellen Haney
Lin McCarthy as Judd Haney
Its dark out, ML in his study, seated at his desk, writing using pen dipped in ink. Its after 3:00 according to the big clock. ML puts the paper into an envelope and slips it into a pocket inside his jacket. Takes his gun belt and saddle bags off of a nearby standing coat rack.
He goes outside, where his horse is already saddled and waiting. As he is fastening the saddlebags onto the horse, Jelly comes up behind him ”Hold it”.
Murdoch is not startled. “Its only me, Jelly.”
Jelly is a bit disappointed, he thought that he’d caught himself a “sneaking prowler.”
ML says he was going to wake Jelly anyway–he hands him the envelope and wants to know whether or not he can trust him with it.
Jelly assures him that he can.
“If I’m not back by Friday noon, show that to my sons, but not to anybody til then. Clear?”
Jelly responds that “Scott and Johnny are gonna ask questions, what do I tell them?”
“Tell them that I have some business to take care of–something I should have taken care of 25 years ago.” He rides off, and Jelly, hitching up his pants, goes back to bed.
Next shot: Its daylight, ML arrives at a house. Trunk on the porch is labeled “Judd Haney”. He knocks on the door, no on is home. He remounts and rides off.
Back at the ranch:
Scott is speaking: “Twenty five years and all of a sudden it can’t wait til morning?”
He is standing, holding a silver coffee pot, in one hand, cup and saucer in the other. His shirt is untucked and he has more buttons undone than usual. We see Teresa seated on a chair to his left in this opening shot. “It doesn’t add up.”
Now we can see that Jelly is seated on the right, also holding a cup and saucer and JL is behind Scott. They are not in the kitchen or dining room, but in a living room type area in front of a mantle.
JL: “Jelly, you sure he didn’t say where he was going?” SL crosses over to perch on the edge of a table between Jelly and JL.
Teresa: “Something’s been gnawing at him, he’s been taking long walks, sitting at his desk, staring at the walls.”
JL (with straight face): “I— I just think he’s got a woman.”
T: (glares at him): “Its nothing to joke about Johnny, your father might be in serious trouble.”
JL (laughs now): “Yeah, that woman could have a husband.” No response from T, but she looks displeased.
SL (serious): “The other day I saw him in the pasture, shooting at tin cans like a kid training for a gun fight.” Jelly starts to rise.
SL: “More coffee, Jelly?”
Jelly: “If you’ll excuse me, I got lots of chores to do.” SL reaches for the coffee pot that he’s placed on the table beside him. Teresa gets up and goes after Jelly, stands facing him: “Its not like him to disappear like that. Didn’t he leave us any word, a message?’
Camera goes back to the boys: Scott walks back to the table with the coffee pot in hand, sort of glances a t Johnny, but ignores the fact that his brother is holding out his cup for a refill.
Back to Jelly and Teresa: “As a matter of fact, he did. He said if he wasn’t back by Friday noon, I was to give Scott and Johnny the note.”
Camera returns to S & J: Scott turns to look at Johnny at this news about the note, while Johnny gets up out of his chair to ask “What note?’
The two brothers approach, standing together as SL asks “Where is it?”
“Safe and sound”, replies Jelly.
SL: “Let’s have it.”
Jelly: “Friday noon.”
SL: (ominous tone) “Jelly . . .”
Jelly: “Now listen, your father gave me the note cause he trusted me. And I trust him. Anybody that can take 25 years to make up his mind must know what he’s doing.”
SL (more insistent): “Jelly . . .”
JL (to Scott): “Forget it. I mean, he’s not going to give you that note.” Johnny turns back towards where he was seated earlier; Scott gives Jelly “a look” and turns to follow Johnny.
SL, places hands on mantle, then turns: “I don’t like it, Johnny—Murdoch wouldn’t slip away in the middle of the night unless—-”
“——-unless he wanted to do what he’s doin’ alone.” Johnny is seated in his chair again, one leg crossed over, gestures with his hand as he finishes Scott’s sentence.
Teresa (comes to stand against table where Scott was perched earlier, beside Johnny) “But he may need help”.
JL to her: “Look, all he had to do was ask.”
Teresa: “You know what he’s like, he’s just too proud to ask for help.”
JL doesn’t respond except to shift in his chair. He leans his head against one hand, but his eyes glance up at Scott as he speaks: “Come on Johnny, let’s go after him.”
Camera shifts to Scott: “If he headed through the south pasture, the ground’s still soft enough to show tracks, we could pick them up easily.”
Shift to Jelly, “I wouldn’t count on that. Can’t tell what sort of false trail you’d pick up goin’ south. Or north, or west for that matter.” He leaves, quickly.
Scott smiles: “I guess that answers my question.”
JL (still in chair) “Look, Scott, Murdoch’s a big boy–I mean he doesn’t need us around all the time.”
SL: “Well, I think he does.” Scott leaves, apparently off to trail ML.
Teresa stares at Johnny, doesn’t say anything. Johnny gets up and goes over to the table for the coffee pot, picks it up, turns to look at T, who is still looking at him. He tries to pour, clanks it against his cup, evidently there isn’t any coffee left anyway. Puts his cup and saucer down, not gently, “All right, I’ll go with him.” He leaves.
ML riding down a street, enters hotel carrying his saddlebags. Sign says “Mesa Roja Hotel”. There’s a lady at the desk, he asks for a room. It will cost him $3 per day, includes breakfast. He pays. She gives him key, indicates room location.
Asks “Do you have any more luggage Mr.____”. He respond in the negative as she looks down to read the register that he has just signed. Long reaction shot on her, looking distressed. “Lancer, Murdoch Lancer.”
The hotel lady goes to talk with a man–she still looks distressed.
“He could have come here looking for you.“ she tells him.
“After 25 years, that’s a long time to carry a grudge.”
“Maybe I’m wrong. I thought you ought to know.”
He moves his arm & we can see he’s wearing a sheriff’s star. “All right, thanks.”
She starts to leave–”Judd . . .I don’t want you to get hurt.”
He tells her not to worry, she says she can’t help worrying, he asks “Why?”
“You’re my husband, isn’t that enough?”
“I’m not sure. Is it?’ She turns away again, he speaks to her by name,
“Ellie. Sorry, I shouldn’t have said it.”
“My own fault, expecting you to forgive and forget.”
He talks about “all that time I was away”, refers to 18 filthy, miserable years.
She replies that 18 years is a long time to carry a grudge. She says she’s tried to make it up to him, asks what else she can do . . .
The deputy comes in, says “Hi, Mrs. Haney’, has coffee for the sheriff, says to Judd, “hope you’re not still sore at me.”
Sheriff Haney heads out, says he’s gonna welcome Murdoch Lancer . . .his wife wants him to wait, let ML make the first move. He asks why he should do that, thinks he’ll just get a bullet in the back. She still tries to talk him out of it, offers to go talk to ML herself, find out what he wants, why he’s here.
“I know why he’s here . .” says Haney. Haney leaves.
The deputy has heard this last part. He asks “Who is Murdoch Lancer?”
“Years ago he swore that, some day, somehow, he’d find Judd Haney and shoot him on sight.”
Deputy says: “No, ma’am, leastwise not as long as I’m around.”
Knock on ML’s hotel room door. “Who is it?’ “Judd Haney.” “Come in.”
JH: “Its been a long time, Murdoch.”
ML: “24 years, 8 months, 11 days.”
JH corrects him, says its been 12 days.
ML says that he read in the paper they’d made JH a sheriff, “figured it was high time we got this settled once and for all.”
JH: “Any time you’re ready.”
ML: “How’d you know I was here?”
JH explains that his wife works the desk. ML says that 25 years ago he wouldn’t have figured Judd for the marrying kind.
JH: “People change.”
ML: “Have you?’
JH says that he spent the last 18 years in prison–”bound to have some effect.”
ML: “When’d you get out?”
JH: “A few months ago. People in this town know me, everything about me. They gave me this job because I can handle a gun.’
ML: “18 years. I never thought they’d find you Judd.”
JH: “They didn’t. My wife turned me in.”
ML: “Your wife? Why?’
JH: “Ask her sometime.”
ML:”It doesn’t really matter any more, does it? I mean, you‘re a free man now, with a wife, a good job, comfortable house —
JH: “–get on with it, Murdoch. Why‘d you come here?”
ML goes to his belt, JH reacts, ML: “Steady”. ML removes his gun belt.
ML: “Guess I’ve changed too. I was a hot headed, self-righteous youth who made all those threats 25 years ago. I’m asking you to forget ‘em. So we can both live the rest of our lives without looking over our shoulders. This is like the past–dead weight. “ He holds up the gun belt. “I’m getting too old to lug it around.”
JH: “You came here to tell me that?”
ML: “I didn’t know how you’d take it, but that’s why I came.”
JH: “Well, we’ll see. But I won’t turn my back on you. Not yet.” He leaves.
Haney goes downstairs where the Mrs. is waiting anxiously for him.
“What did he say?’ she asks.
JH: “Forget the past, he said, it’s a lot of dead weight.”
EH agrees, the past is weighing them all down, but JH doesn’t believe that ML came all this ways “just to take off his gun belt“.
JH says he doesn’t believe ML because “I gave him too many reasons to hate me.” EH: “But that was years ago.”
JH: “No body changes that much, not even Murdoch Lancer. Just wait–he’ll be coming after me and I’ll get that dead weight right between the eyes.”
He leaves and his wife still looks distressed.
ML watches from his window as JH walks down the street. He puts on his hat, decides not to wear the gun belt. No one at the desk, he rings the bell. Still no one–so he tosses the key on the desk. He goes outside, walks down the street, gets shot, falls to the ground. Several people rush over, including Haney, who is seen putting his gun in the holster as he kneels beside ML.
SCENE 5. THE BOYS ARRIVE!!!!
Here they are, riding down the street. On their usual mounts. Scott is wearing the jacket that we love, Johnny is attired in his pink shirt and black jacket over it, the usual pants. Scott in black pants. Both wearing their regular hats. Scott has the gloves on.
Johnny dismounts, comments on this “flea-bitten town.”
SL: “This must be it, there’s no other town near here.”
They enter the hotel, Johnny first, touches his hat to a female guest, but doesn’t remove it. Scott removes his hat as he enters the building.
JL to EH: “Nice quiet town.”
EH: “Double or singles?’
SL: “Well, all we want is some information.”
EH: “Of course, anything I can do.”
SL: “We’re looking for a man named Lancer, Murdoch Lancer. Has he checked in here?”
Meanwhile, Johnny is leaning on the desk, fingering the register book, letting Scott handle the conversation. Scott is standing holding his hat in his gloved hands.
EH: “Well, I don’t think so.” She picks up the register to check, asks if they are friends of his (ML’s).
SL: “More or less, he’s our father.”
EH: “No, no Murdoch Lancer registered here.” She closes the books and clasps it to her chest.
SL: doesn’t say anything, but reacts with pursed lips and movement of hat in his hands
JL: “Let’s go look around town.” They turn and head out together, then turn back to her when she says “Wouldn’t waste time looking’ for him—haven’t had a stranger here in days.”
JL: “Thanks anyway.” They start to leave again.
EH asks if they are planning to stay in town.
SL: “We aren’t sure yet, but thank you again.”
They leave. SL puts his hat back on as he exits. Ellen Haney wears the same distressed look she’s had for the entire episode thus far. She follows them out the door. The brothers walk down the street without talking to each other, and enter the saloon.
The boys go into the saloon. Scott leaves his hat on in here, but pushes it back on the crown of his head the way some of us like to see it. (sorry for the editorial comments sneaking into the plot summary) Johnny goes in first, just as when they entered the hotel.
Barkeep: “Howdy, what’ll it be?”
Scott looks around as he removes his gloves, one finger at a time. Then places them on his gun, as usual. Johnny orders tequila; when asked, Scott requests “the same”.
Shot of Ellen Haney still standing outside the hotel, then she heads down the street.
Barguy asks if they are new in town.
SL: “Just passing through. You don’t happen to know a man by the name of Murdoch Lancer, do you?”, to which the barkeep replies: “Nope, never heard of him”.
“I have”–Judd Haney at the door.
“Fact is,” he says walking in, “I knew Murdoch Lancer before you two were born.”
Johnny is standing with his back to the bar. Scott is leaning on it sideways, facing Johnny. Haney approaches and whenever Haney speaks, we can see Scott watching him.
JL: “You seen him lately?’
JH: “No, I haven’t. Last I heard, he had a ranch up around Morro Coyo.”
JL: “Yeah, he’s still got it.”
JH: “What would you boys want with old Murdoch?’
SL: “Oh . . . Personal matter.” Johnny downs his drink.
JH: “No trouble I hope.”
JL: “Why is he here?”
JH: “No, son, he isn’t. So there really isn’t any reason for you to stay around, is there?” Scott looks at Johnny at this–camera goes to Johnny who says “Yeah, there’s one, I’d like another drink.”
Barguy: “Sorry boys, I seem to be plum out.”
JL: “How’d you know what I was gonna order?”–he grabs the bartenders arm.
SL: “Johnny–let’s go”—he reaches across Johnny’s arm.
JL: “Not yet.”
JH: “If Mr. Lancer comes by, I’ll tell him you were looking for him.”
Johnny has already headed for the door.
SL: “You do that.”
They go out through the saloon doors—JL pushes then out hard and wide, goes through–Scott is close behind him and catches the doors to avoid getting slammed. Outside they stand together for a moment, then JL sits. SL moves down a step or two, but remains standing.
JL: “Well, you saw they were trying to get rid of us, didn’t ya?”
SL: “I saw. We’ll never find anything out doing it your way.”
JL: “You know, I’m beginning to dislike this town just enough to stay awhile. You wanna get a room?”
SL: (has been looking around, it seems as if something has occurred to him. ) “You check us into the hotel. I’m gonna have a look around.”
Scott walks down the street, Haney’s deputy watches him go by–watches him intently. Johnny finally gets up and with dust noticeable on the seat of his pants, he heads towards the hotel.
Scott goes to the livery–just looking around. The guy outside encourages him to go on in. Here comes the deputy. The livery guy follows Scott inside and talks about all the ‘great horseflesh”–broke them himself, then Scott notices a particular one–well, that’s the “only stranger in the bunch“. Its Murdoch’s horse, we see the Lancer brand.
SL: “Who brought him, how long have you had him?”
Livery guy: “Couple three days.”
Deputy: “I brought him in.”
He claims that the horse had no saddle. Scott wants to take a look at the tack room, but the deputy immediately says that “Mr. Ferguson” was going to close early. Ferguson agrees and Scott leaves.
Meanwhile, Johnny is at the hotel, and Mrs. Haney tells him that the last room was just rented. He laughs, she claims that a large party just arrived.
JL: “I don’t see any horses out there. What’d they do, get here on foot?”
He goes over to the desk, she says “Mr. Lancer–”
JL: “Don’t mention that name around here, cause if anyone hears it they don’t sell you a drink or rent you a room in this town.”
Johnny is looking at the register, she tries to stop him, they argue, he insists, still calls her “ma’am.” JL notices that a page had been torn out, asks if she did it, she denies it. “Where’s Murdoch? Look, I’m gonna go up there and kick in every door unless you tell me where he is.”
He heads up the stairs, she follows saying “He’s gone. He’s gone.”
Johnny actually kicks in the door.
EH: “Oh, he’s not here, I swear it.”
JL: “Ma’am, you’ve lied before and you’re lying again.”
She says that she had to lie to protect her husband–”What are you talking about, who’s your husband?“
EH: “Sheriff Haney. Murdoch Lancer once threatened to kill him. I thought that you and your brother were part of a plan, that’s why I tore out the page.”
JL takes her by the shoulders, turns her around to face him: “Look, you’re not makin’ any sense. Where’s my father now?’
EH:”I don’t know.”
JL: “Now you’re lyin’ again.”
She says that he was there, left around 11:00, and in response to Johnny’s question of “where did he go?” she repeats that she doesn’t know.
Sound of bell ringing.
Camera shifts downstairs to Scott at the desk, who looks at the register, sees the missing page, hits the bell again more insistently.
EH comes downstairs, apologizes, SL at the bottom of the stairs, asks where Johnny is.
“Right behind you.” Johnny slides down the banister!!!
SL: “I found Murdoch’s horse at the livery stable.” (he doesn’t react to Johnny’s mode of arriving)
JL: “You sure its his?”
SL: “I’m sure, I saw the brand. He must be here, he’d never leave town without that horse.”
JL goes over to the desk, leans over it and looks at Ellen Haney: “And you swore he was gone.”
“That’s right, boys, he’s gone” Sheriff Judd Haney enters with the deputy. He tells “Billy Joe” to take their guns. The boys remove their gun belts. The sheriff tells BJ to show them the way out of town. Says that they better not show up again or they’ll end up in jail or dead.
JL: “Like Murdoch Lancer?’
JH: “Your father had plans to kill me. I figure maybe you’re in on it.”
SL: “Now why would our father want to kill you?”
JH: “Ask him the next time you see him.”
Billy Joe escorts the boys out. Mrs. Haney is worried. “Judd, its not gonna work, they find out what happened to their father and they’ll be back.”
JH: “By then it won’t matter.’
EH: “It will to them. They’ll be back here gunnin’ for you.”.
Scott (on the left), Johnny (on the right) riding towards us with Billy Joe, the deputy trailing behind, also on horseback. As the camera ‘zooms’ in , we see that the boys have their hands tied.
JL: “Hey, Deputy, how come that sheriff of yours is so afraid of our old man?”
BJ: Murdoch Lancer came here to kill him–that might have scared some men, but not Sheriff Haney.
SL: “What did he do, shoot Murdoch?’
JL: “Or did you do it for ‘em?”
BJ: “I’d a done that much for him and more . . Know how I got this job?’
JL: “Oh, just lucky I guess.”
Billy Joe explains that he was a “smart aleck kid” robbin’ and stealin’ and that Sheriff Haney could have had him locked up for years, and didn’t.
SL: ”But he recognized your sterling character and gave you a badge instead.”
(Reaction shot of JL appreciating his brother’s jibe at BJ)
BJ: “That’s right. He gave me a job instead of a prison record.”
SL: “Amen, brother.”
BJ: “That’s the kind of man your father wanted to kill.”
SL: “A tribute to our father’s good taste and judgment.”
BJ: “Hold up. Get down off them horses.”
The boys dismount. BJ tells Johnny to “back off”, drops Scott’s gun belt on the ground and cuts the ropes on his wrists. Tells Scott to pick up the gun belt and put it on.
BJ: “Now, just to show you that I don’t need no special advantage, you draw your gun when you get ready.”
JL: (gestures with bound hands) “Check your gun, Scott.”
BJ: “You keep still, Mister!”
SL glances at JL, JL says again, “C’mon, check it.”
SL extends his right arm and reaches across his body with the left, eyes on the Deputy, removes the gun with his left hand checks it and finds no bullets!!!
Shot of BJ’s reaction–he’s been caught. SL looks at Johnny, says “Empty”, starts to throw the gun at the Deputy, who draws on him, saying “You take it easy, this one ain’t empty.”
SL: “Stay put Johnny–a man who’s capable of as stunt like that is capable of shooting a man with his hands tied, shooting a man in the back or anything else that comes to mind.”
BJ: “Well, you remember that the next time you pay us a visit.” He tosses JL’s gun belt on the ground and rides off.
Johnny: “Get me out of these ropes.” Scott starts to untie him.
JL: “You ever hear the old man even mention Judd Haney?’
SL: “Never. Can’t believe that he tried to kill him, either.” (eye-ther)
JL: “You know that woman back at the hotel–she told a lot of lies, but I don’t think she enjoyed doin’ it. I think we go back there we can get the truth out of her.’
SL: “Care to go back there with a couple of empty guns?’
JL: “Look, something’s happened to Murdoch. We don’t know what, but they do. We’ve got to go back, Scott.” He picks up his gun belt.
SL: “Johnny—there’s a better way. The note, the one that Murdoch left with Jelly.”
JL: puts on his belt, jiggles it around but doesn’t say anything.
Shot of Lancer ranch at dusk, Jelly in the barn with one of the hands, horse rides up and its Johnny. He asks for a fresh horse. JL says he’s been to Mesa Roja. “Scott too?”, asks Jelly. “He’s waitin’ for me Jelly.” JL explains that he rode back for the note–Jelly immediately replies with “Friday noon, I promised.”
JL: Placing his hands firmly on Jelly’s shoulders: “Listen to me. Now something’s happened to Murdoch–we don’t know if he’s dead or he’s dying, but that note may tell us what we need to know.”
Jelly: “All right, let’s go git it.”
Scene shifts to Sheriff Haney’s office, BJ is there with a rifle. The sheriff enters and asks what he’s doing. BJ thinks the gun may be useful when the Lancer boys get back–he can pick’em off. The sheriff tells him to go home, Haney says that he has duty tonight. And leave that rifle here. BJ does as he’s told, even lockes up the rifle. BJ leaves. Judd Haney sits down at his desk and picks up a piece of paper to look at . . .
Scene shifts once more, now its Johnny’s hands holding Murdoch’s note. He’s seated at the table with Teresa beside him and Jelly standing behind her.
JL reading: “Judd Haney was the first lawman in this area, a back-shooting, murderer who’d kill a man in cold blood and call it justice”—”that sounds like Haney”, he says to Teresa and Jelly.
Teresa: “You’ve met him?”
JL: “He’s the sheriff in Mesa Roja.”
JL continues reading: “Haney sold his protection to the property owners and when I refused to pay, he organized raids on the Lancer ranch.”
Teresa: “My father was the foreman here in those days–he told me about Haney’s raids. Murdoch’s first wife was pregnant then and my father took her East for her own safety.”
JL, is staring at the note, then looks up at her to ask : “Scott’s mother?”
Teresa: “Yeah. Scott was born on the way to Boston; she didn’t survive the trip.”
JL, looking at the note: “Rack up another one for Haney.”
JL reading: “The raids increased more viciously as Haney realized I was the only one standing between him and complete control of the area. For these reasons and more personal ones I swore I would “—JL turns the next page–“kill Haney if he didn’t kill me first. That was twenty five years ago–since then I’ve come to realize that violence resolves nothing. I’ve gone to Mesa Roja to settle the feud with Haney peacefully, and if I don’t return, you’ll know that he didn’t understand.”
Jelly: “Judd Haney–he musta killed him.”
JL: “Jelly, get me some ammunition.”
Abrupt scene shift to Scott’s hand holding a lighted match on Judd Haney’s porch.
Scene shifts to Scott, uses a match to read Haney’s name on the trunk on his porch. Scott’s hat is square on his head and then he pushes it back where we like it to be. He’s sneaking around outside the house in the dark…
Sound of a gun cocking, then we see a rifle barrel–it’s the Mrs.
EH: “Been expecting you to stop by.”
SL turns, looks at her: “Well, its nice to know that I haven’t disappointed you.”
She tells him to go into the house and he has an exasperated “oh,man.” expression.
Immediate shift to Teresa coming out of the Lancer ranch house–she wants Johnny to take some men, he says it’ll slow him down. Jelly says it’ll only take a few minutes for him to saddle up, Johnny says there isn’t time. He rides off and Jelly and Teresa just stand there.
Quick shift back to Mrs Haney taking Scott’s gun out of the holster, telling him to go “over there.”
He sits down. She looks at his gun:
SL: “Don’t worry, its empty.” He sits down, elbows on knees, looking none too happy.
EH: “Empty gun, all alone. You must love your father very much.”
SL: “Would that make any difference?’
EH: “It may help you to understand how I feel. My husband served 18 years in prison. He came out a few months ago a different man, a good man. He’s proved that in this town.”
SL: “I don’t see what that’s got to do—
EH: “Hear me out. I was the one who sent Judd to prison.”
SL: “Your own husband?”
EH explains that they’d been on the run, living in caves, “like animals”. “Too weak to run, too sick to care.” The marshal had told her Judd would only serve a few years and she believed him. “Judd served his sentence–18 years. Now I’m serving mine.”
SL: “For what?’
EH: “For taking 18 years of my husband’s life.”
SL: “You’re a little hard on yourself. You can’t be blamed for that.”
EH talks a bit about how Judd tried not to blame her, but whenever he looks at her, he remembers prison . . .
SL: ”Look, I’m . . I’m sorry. But I came here to find my father. Now where is he?”
EH: “I think you can guess what happened, he’s been shot.”
SL reacts to this news: “Who shot him?”
EH: “I did.”
SL: “I don’t believe you.”
EH: “You‘ve got to believe me. I thought that your father was gonna kill my husband.”
SL: “No, you’re lying to protect him.”
EH insists that Scott has to believe her. She says that Judd won’t accept her love any more, so she tried to “give him something more precious–his life.”
They’ve been standing and talking, now SL leans on the back of a chair that is between them, with some intensity: “But what about Murdoch’s life?’
EH: “He’s alive, thank the Lord. The doctor’s been with him all afternoon.”
SL: “Where is he now?”
EH: “Upstairs. “
SL: “How do I know I can trust you?”
EH: “Will this help?” She hands him the rifle, commenting that she’s a terrible shot anyway, “ask your father.”
Scott inquires where Haney is, she says that she thinks he’s in his office, he’s on duty. He wants to know about the deputy’s whereabouts also, but she says that she doesn’t know. Ellen Haney tells Scott she’ll take him to his father, she leads the way up the stairs.
Sentimental music plays, the door opens, we see that Scott has removed his hat, has a very concerned expression. There’s ML in the bed, eyes closed. Scott says his name, twice and finally ML turns, sees Scott.
ML: “What are you doing here?”, he asks without smiling.
SL: “looking for you. Thought you were dead.”
ML: “I almost was. These folks kept me alive.”
SL: “That’s right, after they put a bullet in your back.”
ML: “I have myself to blame for that, making those stupid threats, threatening to kill a man–Mrs. Haney had no way of knowing I’d changed my mind.” Camera turns to EH.
ML( whispers): “Where’s Johnny?”
SL: “He went back to the ranch to get that note, the one that you left with Jelly.”
ML reacts–SL says “Take it easy, take it easy.”
ML: “If he reads that note, he’ll think Haney killed me–Scott, you’ve got to find him, let him know that I’m alive.”
SL: “Take it easy, he’ll know when he gets here.”
ML: “But you’ve got to find him, tell him the truth before he goes after Haney and guns him down.”
SL: “Take it easy. I’ll find Johnny. You rest, I’ll find him.”
Sheriff Haney lying on a bunk in a cell, sleeping–pounding on door—he gets up and draws his gun. Scott enters, Haney says “I warned you to stay out of this town.”
Scott holds out his hand to stop him–he’s got his gloves on!!
“Now you don’t need that gun–I just left your wife.” He removes his hat.
SL: “At your house–she’s taking care of my father.”
JH holsters gun: “What’d she tell you?”
SL: “That she’s the one who shot Murdoch.”
JH: “She told you that?”
SL: “That’s right. She’s quite a lady, your wife. She gave you two of the most precious gifts she could give you–her love and your life.”
JH: “Well, she lied to ya. I shot your father.”
SL, smiles: “No she didn’t lie. And you don’t have to protect her anymore. She and Murdoch explained the whole thing to me.”
JH: “I shot Murdoch.”
SL: “Look, don’t complicate it. I came here to intercept Johnny. Now he’s on his way here right now and if I don’t tell him the truth about Murdoch, one of you may end up dead.”
JH looks over at the wall where the gun rack is –”Your brother might be dead right now–that itchy fingered deputy of mine must have come in for that rifle while I was out to supper. He may be out there now waitin’ to pick Johnny off.”
SL: “I’ve got to find Johnny before he does.” Scot heads for the door.
JH, grabs his jacket, “All right, let’s go.”
SL turns: “No–I’ll handle it. Besides, you’ve got a town and a wife to take care of.”
Next scene: Billy Joe with a rifle. He’s climbing up to higher ground. We hear the sound of a horse approaching–Its Johnny. BJ fires, horse and Johnny dramatically go down. The horse is not Barranca.
Cut to shot of SL riding along–hear gunfire.
Back to Johnny, who shoots the deputy–Billy Joe rolls down the slope. JL gets back on his horse and rides off.
SL arrives on the scene–sees BJ lying on the ground, gets off of his horse and goes to him.
Murdoch and Ellen Haney, at the Haney’s house. ML is wearing a black sling on his right arm. She’s telling him that he shouldn’t go out, he’s in no condition, there’s no reason for him to do so. ML says that those shots that they heard are reason enough. EH comments that it could just be hunters.
ML: “Or a man firing at another man.”
EH: “Johnny? Scott’s gone there to stop him, to tell him the truth.”
ML: “Mrs. Haney, don’t you realize what a thin line that is? If Scott should ever come to believe, as I once did, that your husband was responsible for his mother’s death—
EH: “Judd wasn’t responsible. Sending her away didn’t cause her death, that could have happened anyway.”
ML while putting on his jacket with EH‘s assistance: “I realize that now, but it took a lotta years . . You know, its really ironic, that 25 years ago, I went after your husband for something he wasn’t wholly responsible for . . Now, after all these years, that he’s come here for the same purpose, picking up where his old man left off. I only hope he has sense enough to listen when I wouldn’t.”
ML puts on his hat, they exit, go outside and get into a buggy, EH driving.
Haney is in his office, Johnny rides up, jumps very quickly off of his horse. Very dramatic music. Back inside, Haney checks his gun and sits in his chair at his desk.
Johnny outside, scans the street, then opens the door and walks in.
Haney swivels in his chair, facing Johnny. They look at each other in silence.
JH: “What’s on your mind, Johnny?”
JL: “You are sheriff.”
JH: “You’re making a big mistake.”
JL: “No, no, I’m not making a mistake. My father did, 25 year sago he should have killed you. So now I’m gonna do it for ‘em.”
Silence, they look at each other.
JH gets up. “Johnny, will you listen to me for a minute.?”
JL: “You want a minute, huh? All right, I’ll give you a minute.”
Johnny turns sideways to JH, removes his hat with his right hand, tosses it, sits down facing Haney.
JH: “Murdoch’s not dead–he was shot, wounded, but he’s still alive.”
JL points at Haney: “You just wasted the first ten seconds.”
JH: “Now Scott was here, he coulda told ya–”
JL: “Where’s Scott now?”
JH: “Went out to find Billy Joe.”
JL: “Well, that’s funny. I didn’t have any trouble finding Billy Joe.”
JH: “What ever Billy Joe mighta tried—
JL: “an ambush.”
JH: “I had nothing to do with it.”
JL: “You pinned the badge on him, he takes his orders from you sheriff.”
JH: “Not that one, you gotta believe me Johnny.”
Johnny actually thinks about this. “Well, you said Murdoch was shot, who did it?”
JH: “That’s got nothing to do with it.”
JL: “You got a funny way of looking at things–you want me to believe you, you tell me who did it.”
Waits–silence. Haney shakes his head.
JL: “Okay, I guess that’s the end of the string then, uh?”
JH: “Johnny, your father alive, he’s at my house. C’mon, I’ll take you to him.”
Haney and Johnny exit the sheriff’s office–Haney puts on his hat, but Johnny leaves his behind.
JL: “Haney, hold it. What you doing, stalling for time, you gonna set up another ambush.”
JH: “I’m trying to be honest with you, Johnny.”
JL: The only thing honest about you , Haney, is hanging from your hip. Now you can use it any time.”
Here come ML and Mrs Haney–ML is shouting Johnny’s name, but he can’t hear him, too far away. ML fires a rifle several times. Johnny reacts to the gun fire and turns, sees the buggy with ML in it.
JL, small smile: “You sure do make a lot of noise, Murdoch.”
ML: “the only way I could get your attention.”
JL: “you all right?”
ML: “Would I be here if I wasn’t?”
Sounds of horses approaching–its Scott with Billy Joe.
Scott: “Hey sheriff–what do we do with him?”
Haney: “Take of his badge and put him in jail.”–which he does.
Mrs. Haney: “Mount up and follow us home, I’ll fix you some breakfast. You too Judd.”
Haney: “I’ll be there, I’m starved-” Mrs Haney beams–first real smile from her!
At the Haney’s home: after breakfast, the Lancers are leaving.
EH: “You sure you’re well enough to travel, Mr. Lancer?”
ML: “’Course I am, Mrs. Haney, and thank you for the use of your buggy.”
Scott has left the scene, without a good bye to the hosts. Johnny says good bye to them and they speak to him.
JH: “Murdoch, I’m grateful to you.”
JH: “For staying alive, among other things.’
Ml shakes hand with Haney, ML using his left hand, since the right is still in a sling.
Outside, ML gets in the buggy, Johnny is driving him. Scott is on horseback leading the other men’s horses.
ML: “Let’s go home boys.”
Ending: the Haneys on their porch, JH with his arm around the mrs.
EH: “You had no right trying to shoot it out with Johnny Madrid.”
JH: “I had my reasons—
EH: “I know your reasons.”
Haney looks at her: “That Scott Lancer talks too much.”
Air Date: 28 January 1969