Matt Saint is a famous Texas fast gun on the run, not from the law but from his own son Mark, also a fast draw. Matt travels with his boastful father Luke Saint, who is responsible for the unwelcome fame Matt has reluctantly acquired. His son wants to kill him for deserting his mother and himself when he was a child. Unknown to Mark, his father left to keep him from the influence of his grandfather and so he wouldn't have the life Matt had.
About 50 miles out of Laramie, Matt Saint is shot in ambush. Matt bitterly notes that his father has made him fair game for anyone. When they ride into town, the old man is belligerent when Dan asks a question. Dan sends Johnny to ask about the shooting while Dan goes to breakfast.
At Dru Lemp's cafe, we drop in on what passes for flirting between Dan and Dru, two nice people with absolutely no chemistry. Johnny reports back that the injured man is Matt Saint and he wants to talk to the Marshal. The doctor says he won't ever be handling a gun again. Dan remembers Matt from when he "ran with Johnny Ringo." As far as he knows, Matt isn't wanted, but he has a reputation in Texas as a fast gun. Luke meets Dan with a rifle when he knocks on their hotel door. Matt sends Luke to get breakfast while he talks to Dan alone. He wants Dan to stop his son Mark from killing him. Matt's not afraid to die but he doesn't want his son living with the guilt of having killed his father.
While Matt's talking to Dan, Luke's trying to stir up trouble at the cafe. Hank jostles Luke's elbow, Luke won't take an apology. He just claims Matt will get him. When Johnny reminds him Matt isn't in condition to take care of anything, Luke decides he needs to intimidate Johnny, but doesn't succeed.
Luke goes from the cafe to the Blue Bonnet Saloon where he brags and picks quarrels so he can create a list of scores for Matt to settle with his gun. Dan arrests him for disturbing the peace but can't keep him in jail long enough. When he releases Luke, Dan reminds him that if he gets Matt in a gunfight, Matt won't be shooting back. Luke dismisses that as doctor talk. He's soon back in Matt's room, giving Matt his list of grievances. Luke's upset when Matt tells him he's on his own. Luke storms out. Dan calls down to Johnny to follow Luke when he comes out of the hotel. About a half hour later Johnny comes up to Matt's room chagrined at having lost Luke. He never came out the hotel front door. A witness saw him ride out of town a half hour earlier.
Luke comes back with Mark Saint. He's got a list of people for Mark to shoot for him. Mark has only one target, his father. And only one obstacle. Dan Troop. Luke finally may realize he's started something that will end badly for his family.
Dan blocks Mark's way to his father's room. As Mark draws, a shot is heard before Dan can even draw. Leaning out the hotel window, Matt has shot his son in the hand. Now father and son can talk without shooting. And they do. Matt persuades Mark he left him to protect him. They decide to try to be a family. Johnny tries to convince Luke he should listen to his family.
Luke has to get in a few more boasts and jibes before riding off with his newly reconciled son and grandson. Dan and Johnny are glad to see them go.
NiteOwl Review: A pretty decent episode. We found it a little disconcerting trying to figure whether the Luke character was supposed to be a humorous, cantankerous old man or an evil figure. He had driven his family apart, caused a lot of men to see the wrong end of a bullet fired by his son Matt, been strong enough to drive his son to kill. Yet there's a unmistakable comedy aspect, especially at the end when he gets in a few more brags and threats before joining Matt and Mark as they set out to make a new start in California. At one point the story recognizes this. Matt says to Dan, "You think Luke Saint is kind of a funny old codger, don't you?" Dan responds, "In a kinda irritating way." Matt says, "I used to shoot people for saying that aloud."
Cast Notes: Will Wright generally played cantankerous old men, usually with a comic touch. He was an old geezer for twenty years until his death in 1962 at the age of only 71, younger than most of the parts he played. He was in six of the best episodes of Maverick and many other westerns including a second Lawman. Chuck Courtney had a fairly small, bland role here as young Mark. He had decent parts in many movies and in series TV. He was the Lone Ranger's young nephew Dan Reid in about a dozen episodes of that series. He was Billy in Billy the Kid vs. Dracula. As far as most of us were concerned, his main claim on our affections is that he was the long-time best friend of one of our big favorites, Robert Fuller. They costarred in the seldom seen teen drag race flick Teen-age Thunder and both had small parts in Friendly Persuasion and the same episode of Rin Tin Tin. He had roles in two episodes each of Fuller's western series Laramie and Wagon Train. He apparently had more success in his less visible role as a stuntman.
Our Favorite Scene: We wouldn't have noticed it as kids. When Johnny reports, after a half hour delay, "the old man didn't go out the front door," Dan starts to say, "Well, why didn't you . . . .?" But he cuts himself short and finishes, "What did you do?" Johnny tells him he went into the lobby where the clerk told him the old man had gone out the back way. He says he knows he should have come right up and told Dan, but he thought he could find him in one of the bars where he would go to do more bragging. But after checking all the saloons, Henry Tate told him Luke had ridden out of town directly from the hotel. Dan responds, "Stop beating yourself. You thought he'd head some place where he could talk. Anybody'd make that mistake." We liked the gentleness of Dan's demeanor. Dan was harsh at times, but not over an honest mistake.
Johnny has the story,
Dan recognizes the name
Luke is belligerent, Johnny intervenes
"Stay out of trouble, Old Man"
"You'd better keep an eye on him"
Luke thinks Mark will settle some scores
"Maybe you should listen"
"...Anybody'd make that mistake"
Original air date Nov 30, 1958
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
Written by Finlay McDermid
John Russell as Dan Troop
Peter Brown as Johnny McKay
Bek Nelson as Dru Lemp
Will Wright as Luke Saint
Paul Langston as Matt Saint
Chuck Courtney as Mark Saint
Jon Lormer as Harry Tate
Emory Parnell as Hank
James Hope as Sloane
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