Have Gun - Will Travel

Season 1 Episode 16

Helen of Abajinian

Aired Saturday 9:30 PM Dec 28, 1957 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
17 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Helen of Abajinian
An Armenian winemaker hires Paladin to find his runaway daughter and make certain that she marries the young cowhand he believes has seduced her.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Richard Boone's comedic talents shine in this delightful episode.

    It's hard to say if Paladin was more tempted by the $1,000 reward or the thought of the delicious food he would be served. Learning of a runaway Armenian-American dance girl, he promptly sends his card to the outraged father.

    Samuel Abajinian is a big man, with a loud voice and big threats. His wife is obviously long used to his style, and basically ignores it. She is also more pragmatic, calmly pointing out that they have other daughters. When Paladin turns up, Samuel thinks that he is yet another stranger there to seduce away their young women. His roaring monologue cuts off abruptly as the name "Paladin" finally percolates through. Paladin obviously has dealt with Samuel's type before; he's not intimidated or surprised in the least.

    He is startled, however, to learn that Samuel wants not only his daughter, but the young man brought back. It has already been four days--and NIGHTS! since they left, and his innocent daughter's reputation will be in tatters. Samuel's wife makes it clear to Paladin that the seduction was not necessarily on the young man's side, but of course Samuel does not believe this. We learn that Paladin has actually visited Armenia. Being Paladin, he naturally learned a great deal, which serves him in good stead when Samuel tries to back down from their financial agreement. Paladin promptly doubles his price, then skillfully haggles it back to the original amount, leaving both sides feeling that they got the best of it. They drink to the agreement with some very potent liquor. Paladin makes a point of drinking twice as much as Samuel. The powerful drink does bend him over, but, rather than wheezing in reaction as Samuel did, Paladin channels it into a bellow of appreciation, which endears him to Samuel and his cronies. It did have its effect, however--Paladin marched off without his hat. I loved how one of the men pronounced Paladin's name like "Aladdin", as he hastily fetched the hat.

    The scene shifts to the young couple, and we learn that Samuel's wife was quite right--Helen has been chasing the boy, not the other way around. Jimmy O'Riley is not accustomed to such aggressively amorous women. He finds her intimidating, which may explain why he did not take advantage of the situation over the course of six days (and NIGHTS!) Paladin, with two days hard riding, catches up with the couple. The older, sophisticated Paladin is frankly amused by Jimmy's naive reaction to Helen. This aggravates Jimmy, but it's no contest--Paladin flattens him with what amounts to a flick of his finger.

    Jimmy agrees to marry Helen--solely in order to protect her reputation. Samuel isn't too impressed at what he's getting for a son-in-law, but Jimmy brings him up short by pointing out that he's failing to make the best use of his resources. Running cattle on the unuseable portions of the land and feeding them the grape pulp from the wine-making process would be quite profitable. He also impresses Samuel's cronies--and, grudgingly, Samuel--by enduring a painful arm-wrestling contest and actually bringing it to a tie.

    The preparations for the wedding are done--amusing everyone but Jimmy O'Riley--and the wedding itself is concluded. On to the celebrations! Paladin is delighted with the wide array of food. Jimmy is ready to go on his way, his side of the bargain completed. Paladin is agreeable, which arouses Jimmy's suspicions. He concedes that it would not be gentlemanly to rush off without saying goodby to the bride, but gets frightened all over again when Paladin points out that she will be dancing for him. He decides to bury himself in a plate of food.

    Helen's entrance is an eye-opener for Jimmy (and probably for the audience as well). Exotic, graceful, and seductive, it holds Jimmy enthralled. Samuel, who seems unconcerned with his daughter's erotic performance, seems less pleased with Jimmy's reaction. Paladin takes the opportunity to bring up the little matter of the dowry. Samuel has no intention of providing much for such a poor excuse for a son-in-law, but Paladin draws on all his eloquence (which is formidable as well as extremely funny) and shames Samuel into providing generously. All of this takes place literally behind the back of the oblivious Jimmy. Samuel finally orders his cronies to escort Jimmy to his bride, but Jimmy doesn't need the help.

    There was one missing element in this episode that surprised me. There had been several references to the fact that Samuel Abajinian has daughters, not sons. Paladin has proven himself to be strong, knowledgeable, efficient, and wise. I was amazed that Samuel didn't start looking at him as a prospective son-in-law, and start dropping broad hints. It would have fit in very well.moreless
  • Paladin reads that a winery in the California hills has a need for his services to recover a missing daughter, he sets out with shiskabob on his mind. The dialogue is delightful and the story light hearted. Cheers the viewer up.moreless

    One of the pleasures of watching Richard Boone act is his versitility. This encounter of Paladin with a family of Armenians gives our hero an opportunity to explore, and take pleasure in, the differences in cultures.

    The father hires Paladin to retrieve his runaway daughter, as well as the Texas Cowboy who is the object of her affection, and insure that they marry. The girl and the cowboy, meanwhile, are having a clash of cultures of their own. Thanks to a good natured father, a Paladin full to the back teeth with the milk of human kindness, and lots of mutual affection, the couple resolve their issues and marry amid much eating of shiskabobs, and other yummy food I cannot spell.

    This episode could cheer up any but the most dedicated grouch.moreless
Harold J. Stone

Harold J. Stone

Samuel Abajinian

Guest Star

Lisa Gaye

Lisa Gaye

Helen Abajinian

Guest Star

Vladimir Sokoloff

Vladimir Sokoloff


Guest Star

Kam Tong

Kam Tong

Hey Boy

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • (nitpick) During the scene where Paladin is negotiating his fee, his left hand is propping his chin. When the camera angle changes, his hand is suddenly on the table.

    • Paladin is playing fast and loose with his quotations. The one by Alphonse de Lamartine should be "There's a woman at the beginning of all great things," not "the start". I could not find reference to "Heaven's best gift" by Shelley, although I found "Heaven's last, best gift"--by Milton. The quote "We are indebted to women first for life itself, and then for making it worth living" is accurate--but it's by Mary McLeod Bethune, born in 1875, who served as an adviser to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The quote "All men who avoid female society have gross tastes" I could not find at all, under William Makepeace Thackeray or anyone else.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • (O'Riley has stripped and been thrust into a tub of water)
      Abajinian: Even a barbarian bathes for his own marriage!
      O'Riley: I, I told you, I was just marrying her to protect her reputation! That don't mean I touched her before--or that I'm going to touch her after. Just remember, you can take a horse to wat--(Paladin dumps a bucket of water over O'Riley's head). It's the first time I ever took a bath in the middle'a week!

  • NOTES (0)