1958 - 1959
#27 - "The Souvenir"
This is one of three episodes in which Johnny resigns as deputy. To us, this was the least plausibly motivated (see our review below). Johnny is left to stand guard over Virgil Carey while Dan transports another prisoner. Virgil is to hang the next day. They expect the brothers to try to break Virgil out so Johnny is being cautious. The front door is locked. When he takes the supper dishes out of Virgil's cell, he shackles his wrists outside the bars first.
When Johnny answers a knock at the door, he sees only a beautiful woman. No threat there. She claims to want to see Marshal Troop and makes a comment about how she hopes they still plan to hang Virgil Carey. But when Virgil distracts him for a moment, the woman pulls a pistol out of her bag. In a minute, Johnny is locked in his own cell with a knot on his head. Virgil wanted to shoot him, but Nan reminds him the shot would be heard.
When Dan gets back, Johnny has to face an angry town council. It took courage for people to testify against Virgil Carey. Now a cold-blooded killer was free to kill more people. They think Dan would do better with a more mature deputy. Virgil was able to get away because Johnny is "just a boy." Dan explains they were expecting Virgil's brothers, not a woman. Anyone could have made that mistake.
The council demands that Dan fire Johnny. Dan responds, "And if I refuse?" They tell him the vote of the council was three to two. "That's our decision." Dan looks on them with his steely gaze. "Vote again." A pause. "And if the vote is the same, look for another Marshal." The council backs down but when they're alone, Johnny offers to resign. Dan explains, "Listen Boy, face a cold-blooded killer and shoot it out, you're a hero. Let one thing go wrong, they howl for your scalp. You gotta take both in your stride." Dan sends Johnny to saddle the horses with provisions for a couple of days while he explains things to Julie Tate the newspaper editor.
Dan and Johnny go out to the Carey cabin to search for Virgil. Mean Ma Carey is jubilant when she finds out Virgil has escaped. Her youngest son Davey comes out and insists he's going to kill Dan. Both Dan and Johnny draw when Davey does but Ma Carey grabs Dan's arm. Davey is badly hurt.
Davey dies at the doctor's office. Ma Carey warns Dan that Virgil and Boone will kill him.
The doctor shows Dan the bullet he pulled out of Davey. "Looks like Johnny got him. He probably saved your life." Dan examines the bullet. "That came from my gun, Doc." Doc protests that Dan carries a .45 but the bullet is a .41 like Johnny's gun. Dan insists that if the doctor is asked, he'll say that Dan killed Davey. The doctor is clearly reluctant but agrees he'll do so if that's what Dan wants. Dan also gets Julie Tate to print a big headline proclaiming that Dan killed Davey Carey.
Later that day, Hank the barkeep asks Johnny to take a drunk Doc back to his office "before people lose confidence." While in the saloon, some of the locals mock Johnny over the escape of Virgil Carey. Johnny escorts Doc from the saloon where under the influence of alcohol and his conscience, Doc tells Johnny it was his bullet that killed Davey.
Johnny rushes to the newspaper office where Julie is talking to Dan. Johnny: "Why'd you do it Mr. Troop." Dan: "Do what?" Johnny: "It was my bullet killed Davey Carey." Dan: "You been talking to Doc?"  Johnny: "You're not denying it, are you?" Dan: "No, Boy, I'm not denying it." Johnny straightens up and yanks his badge off his coat. Tossing it on the desk, he slams out of the office. Julie scolds Dan for robbing Johnny of something to make him proud again. Dan responds that being a lawman doesn't hold much future for him. She says she's going to print the truth despite Dan's request that she wait a few days.
Back at the Marshal's office, Johnny is packing. "Boy, can't we talk about this?" "Nothing to say Marshal." "If you'd only stop and use your head for a minute." "I did that when I turned in my badge." In the meantime, the Carey brothers are on their way into Laramie having gotten a copy of the newspaper from Virgil's girlfriend.
A gun shot rings out. Johnny sees two men ride by shooting. "Mr. Troop it's . . ." "Virgil and Boone Carey" Dan finishes for him. Suddenly, Johnny sees the light. Dan's lie was just an attempt to smoke out the Carey brothers. As the brothers call Dan out, Johnny tries to go out. Dan tells him he's now a private citizen. When he tries to put the badge back on, Dan stops him. "Boy, you're no longer my deputy. Stay here." But we know from the first episode that Johnny doesn't obey those kinds of orders. Dan goes out the side door and approaches the brothers using the building as cover.
The brothers start to separate so Dan can't get them both. Johnny bursts out the office door and tells the Careys he killed Davey. Dan admits Johnny's telling the truth but the brothers don't have much time to weigh the information. As they draw, each lawman takes out one brother.
NiteOwl Review: We had real mixed feelings about this episode. We always like the episodes that were heavy on interaction between the two heroes. The women in our group just like any episode with lots of Peter Brown. But this one was marred by a plot device which could easily have been remedied. We didn't like having Johnny immediately believe that Dan was stealing credit for something Johnny did. By this time, Johnny had to know that Dan was no glory-seeker. And Dan had just put his job on the line by defying the town council when they voted to fire Johnny. Quitting in a huff was no way to show gratitude. Nor did it show the kind of mutual confidence these two men had for each other. In short, we think his reaction was out of character. It would have been better if Johnny had understood what Dan was doing but been upset over Dan's lack of confidence in him. He would have been right to think they should face the brothers together. He could have quit rather than be treated as though he was not a capable deputy.
Cast Note: This was the first of two appearances by Robert Fuller in Lawman. He was also in the last show of this first season in a bigger and more heroic part as a childhood friend of Johnny in "The Friend." But he didn't fare any better. He died in that episode also. It's a wonder he ever returned to Laramie. But when he did, he had the protection of being the costar of his own series, Laramie. Robert Fuller and Peter Brown took very similar career paths and have many of the same fans.
Johnny stands guard
and takes no chances
A lady comes knocking
with a gun
Johnny is over-powered
Johnny's "on trial"
Johnny keeps his silence
Dan is adamant
Even the judge seems
to be against him

Johnny tells Dan
he'll resign

Dan tells him to
it in stride
Inquisitive newspaper
editor Julie Tate

Davy insists on a gunfight
Bad idea on Davey's part
Ma Carey cradles her youngest when he goes down
Robert Fuller makes a handsome corpse
The doctor recognizes
bullet as Johnny's
Dan insists it's his
Julie Tate seems unhappy at
Dan's request for a headline

The doctor is almost "out"
Johnny helps him to his office
Doc clears his conscience,
leaving Johnny in turmoil
"Why'd you do it?"
"I'm not denying it"
Johnny removes his badge
Johnny acts in anger
"Can't we talk about this?"
"Nothing to say Marshall"
"Mr. Troop it's . . ."
"Virgil & Boone Carey"
Johnny sees the light
"Stay here!"
"We're going to kill the man
killed our brother"
"I killed Davey"
Dan confirms Johnny's story
Johnny may be a little chagrined at doubting Dan
He should be
Original air date Apr 5, 1959
Directed by Stuart Heisler
Teleplay by Edmund Morris

Regular Cast
John Russell as Dan Troop
Peter Brown as Johnny McKay

Guest Cast
eanette Nolan by Ma Carey
arbara Lang as Julie Tate
on Kelly as Virgil Carey
an Harrison as Nan Brooks
rett King as Boone Carey
obert Fuller as Davey Carey
om Palmer as Doc Stewart
arry Cheshire as Judge Trager
mory Parnell as Hank
ane Chandler as Tom Pike
en Christy as Carl Shoemaker
Official Peter Brown Fan Site