Original air date Jan 4, 1959
Directed by Stuart Heisler
Written by William F. Leicester
John Russell as Dan Troop
Peter Brown as Johnny McKay
Miranda Jones as Rene LeBeau
Barry Kelley as Josh Teller
James Drury as Stan Bates
Mike Road as Herbie Teller
Rosa Rey as Mrs. Lebeau
Jon Lormer as Harry Tate
Earle Hodgins as Mr. Pane
Michael MacReady as Talby
This episode is one of the "tolerance tales" that were not unusual in
westerns of this period. Of course, standing up for the rights of a beautiful "half-breed" was always more palatable than protecting those afflicted with both minority status and an unattractive appearance.
After Harry Tate's editorial, Teller tries to stir up hatred against the Sioux, reminding people of the loved ones they lost in the Sioux raids. Dan reminds everyone that the white man did their share of things to the Indians that are best forgotten. Harry and Johnny would like to see the Tellers arrested. Dan knows he needs evidence. Johnny makes the mistake of saying, "There's an awful lot of folks in this town aren't going to like the idea of you running from Teller."
Dan's steely gaze would have been an adequate response, but he adds, "You ever see me run from anybody, boy?" He lets Johnny know what he had to know already, he wasn't going to start running now. When Tate voices a concern that Tate is stirring up enough hate that there would be nothing to stop the mob from burning the LeBeau place, Dan makes it clear he'll stop it. Johnny chimes in "And me." But as usual, Dan won't leave Laramie with no law, so Johnny is left behind when Dan heads out to the LeBeau ranch.
Dan gets there just in time to stop a drunken Herbie Teller from forcing himself on Rene. But we suppose they didn't arrest people for assaulting women in those days. Dan tells Herbie that his family has a funny way of showing how much they hate Indian blood.
Dan tells Rene she's not cut out for ranching. There's only two kinds of women fit for ranching, the big rawboned kind who work until they drop and the kind who have a lot of kids to make up for the labor shortage.
When Dan can't be scared off or bought off, Bates sees that the game is up. He tells Teller he's quitting. Teller shoots him out of the saddle. Teller decides to put out the word that Bate's horse came back with an empty, bloodstained saddle after Bates quarreled with Dan. However, Bates isn't dead. He makes his way to the LeBeau ranch house before collapsing.
Teller gets the town stirred up against Dan (at least that part of the town that hangs out at the Blue Bonnet). Johnny follows the mob to the LeBeau ranch to head off trouble. When Teller accuses Dan of murdering Bates, the tables are turned when Bates, supported by Mrs. LeBeau, drags himself out of the ranchhouse.
Johnny finally gets to put the Tellers in jail. Dan wraps up Rene's labor shortage by implying that Bates might make a great husband.
NiteOwl Review: We welcome any halfway decent, nonpreachy tolerance tale in 1950s television. The half hour format didn't leave much time for preaching. Not that Warners put out anything controversial, but this was a pleasant little drop in the tolerance bucket.
Cast Notes: James Drury, of course, went on to spend most of his career in The Virginian as the title character. He stayed with the venerable western through many cast changes that left Drury and Doug McClure as the only original cast members to make it through the full nine years. Drury appeared in a subsequent first season Lawman as Dan Troop's younger brother in episode 26 "The Gang." Miranda Jones appeared in two subsequent episodes: "The Marked Man" from the third season and "Explosion" from the fourth season. She has a relatively brief credits list which extends only a few years.
Dan protects a beautiful outsider
In this story, Rene LeBeau's white father is dead, leaving the beauteous Rene and her Sioux mother to try to keep their ranch in the black. However, a local cattleman who hates Indians wants their land to add to his own and is doing everything in his power to run them off. He's also trying to keep his lecherous son from hanging around her. (Was the Ponderosa the first benevolent cattle empire?) He's bought up their mortgage and run off every ranchhand they've hired. They're being denied credit at the local store. Of course, we can count on Dan, Johnny and Harry Tate, the newspaper editor to be on their side. When Rene comes in to place an advertisement for yet another hired hand, Tate instead runs a front page editorial about their plight.
Rene wants man underlined in ad
Bates works for Teller but
doesn't buy into the hate
Dan lets Johnny and Tate know he's not backing down
Herbie Teller tries to force himself on Rene
Dan stays around as guard
and ends up doing heavy labor
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