Riverboat

Season 2 Episode 12

Zigzag

1
Aired Sunday 7:00 PM Dec 26, 1960 on NBC

Episode Recap

Three prisoners approach a cabin in the swamps near Killian Station. Their leader, Crowley, busts into the cabin once he's sure that no one is inside. They then bring in their fourth member, a dying blind prisoner, Lear. Crowley finds a revolver and pockets it, much to Egan's irritation, while the third prisoner, Clyde, makes Lear comfortable. When Egan worries about the owner coming back, Crowley tells him that they'll deal with the man when he returns. Egan then sits down with Lear and asks him where he buried the $100,000 in stolen money. Lear tells him that he'll tell them... if they bring his son there.

At Killian Station, Carney is complaining about a toothache and Grey has had enough with his moaning and groaning for the last three weeks. When the captain threatens to remove it with a string and a slammed door, Carney hastily insists that it's fine. Bill and Grey both agree that Carney should go into town and visit the dentist while they make an overnight cargo run. However, Grey has Bill go with Carney and make sure that the job gets done.

As Bill accompanies Carney into town, the stoker convinces the master pilot to stop for a drink. With some prodding from Carney, Bill is soon drunk and Carney in the same condition. They stagger off to the office of Dr. Stephen Lear, but nobody is inside. Carney dozes off on the operating table. Bill drunkenly decides to pull the tooth out himself, but Egan and Clyde come in. They assume that Bill is Dr. Lear and tell him that his father is dying. Bill tries to explain that he's not Dr. Lear but the prisoners knock him out and drag him away, leaving Carney unconscious on the table.

The next morning, Egan and Clyde haul a now-sober Bill through the swamp. They still don't believe he is who he claims, and easily stop him when he tries to make a run for it.

At the cabin, owner Pinty Winters and his daughter Lisa have returned. Lisa makes dinner and Crowley tries to kiss her. When she pushes him away, Crowley tells her that she should be friendly if she wants him to remain friendly. Pinty insists that they just want to be left alone where he lives a life selling furs and firewood to the locals. Lear calls for his son and Lisa comforts him, assuring the old man that he'll soon be there.

Egan and Clyde bring Bill in and the master pilot tells Crowley who he is. Crowley has Pinty confirm that Bill isn't Dr. Lear, and slugs Egan for screwing up. Egan draws a knife on him and Crowley draws his stolen gun, forcing his fellow prisoner to back down. Meanwhile, Pinty tells Bill that the four men are escaped prisoners. Crowley asks Bill to pretend to be Dr. Lear and reassure the old man in his dying moments. Bill points out that he looks nothing like Dr. Lear, but Crowley explains that Lear is blind and hasn't met his son in 15 years. All Bill has to do is sympathize and listen.

Left without a choice, Bill agrees and goes to Lear's bedside. Lear orders everyone else out and feels Bill's face. Outside, Egan wonders how they'll get Bill to tell them what Lear tells him about the hidden loot, and Crowley makes it clear he'll do whatever is necessary.

Lear "reminds" Bill of how he left him with Sheriff Clay in Killian Station when he was sent off to prison. The old man then admits that he lied to Crowley about the money so that they'd take him with them. He tells Bill to bring the prisoners back so he can tell them truth. However, as Bill goes to the door, Lear dies suddenly.

When Bill tells the others what Lear said, they don't believe him. Egan and Clyde string Bill up from the rafters while Crowley prepares to put hot coals to the master pilot's feet. Bill kicks the shovel into Crowley's face, distracting the others so that Pinty can grab his rifle and order them back. He runs into the swamp with Bill and Lisa, while Crowley fires at them but fails to hit them. The prisoners try to follow but Pinty knows the swamp like the back of his hand and soon loses them.

When the Enterprise returns to Killian Station, Carney staggers aboard. He tells Grey that he doesn't remember what happened and the captain figures they were out drinking and looking for women. Disgusted, he drags Carney along with him to search for Bill.

Pinty leads Bill through the swamp until the pilot tires, and then leaves him with Lisa while he supposedly scouts ahead. However, the old man hides nearby and listens as Lisa flirts with Bill. She wants to hear about the outside world and how women dress in fancy towns, and Bill yells for Pinty. The old man comes back and tells Bill that it'll take a while to get them back to the Enterprise. Until then, he suggests that they hole up in an abandoned mine where he has some food cached. When he confirms that Bill isn't married, Pinty tells him that he'll like Lisa's cooking.

Bill goes on ahead and Lisa tells her father that she likes Bill. Pinty figures that Bill knows where the loot is and plans to marry the master pilot off to Lisa so she has the best husband possible. Lisa insists that she doesn't want the money, but Pinty tells her that he'll keep Bill in the swamps until Lisa convinces him to marry her. When Bill comes back to see what the holdup is, they go with him.

Grey and Carney check the drunk tank at the local jail but there's no sign of Bill. Sheriff Clay tells them that he found Bill's cap and peacoat at Dr. Lear's office. He tells Grey that Dr. Lear is out of town at a medical conference and there was no other sign of Bill, and Grey and Carney continue their search.

Pinty takes Bill and Lisa to the abandoned mine and Lisa cooks for Bill. The old man then leaves his daughter with Bill and goes outside to stand watch. Bill soon realizes that Pinty is stalling for time and Lisa, angry at her father's insistence that she marry for money, storms off. Pinty comes back in and suggests that Bill go after Lisa and share the $100,000 with her. Bill goes after Lisa and apologizes, and she says that she doesn't want her father scheming to get the money. Bill tells her that he doesn't know where the $100,000 is, convincing Lisa, and she starts to kiss him. Pinty comes up and congratulates his daughter on landing an educated man, and asks Bill where the money is hidden. Realizing denial won't work, Bill plays along and tells Pinty that it's buried behind a water wheel and he'll need to travel upriver on the Enterprise to get it. Pinty eagerly agrees to get Bill to his riverboat so they can get the money.

The next morning, Pinty takes Bill to the river and they build a raft to get to the Enterprise. Once they're done, Bill finds Lisa, who has put up her hair for him. She suggests that they marry but Bill points out that he's much older than her and that he doesn't love her. Upset, Lisa walks into the woods just as Pinty comes by. She tells her father that Bill was telling the truth about the money in the first place and walks away. Once she leaves, Bill tells Pinty the same and the old man insists that he only did it for Lisa. The pilot doesn't believe him but concedes that Pinty made a good choice. Bill then pushes Pinty after his daughter and tells him to apologize to her.

Crowley, Egan, and Clyde catch up to the trio and capture Lisa, and then Bill and Pinty. Bill continues to insist that there's no money but finally lies and says there is when Crowley threatens to kill Lisa. He offers to take them to the abandoned mine where he claims the money is hidden, but refuses to give them directions for fear they'll kill him. Crowley agrees and as they take off, Bill tells Pinty that they need to play for time.

When they reach the mine, Crowley and Egan escort Bill in and have Clyde watch over Pinty and Lisa. Once inside, Bill blinds Crowley with some dirt and knocks out Egan. However, Crowley comes after the pilot and knocks him down, and prepares to kill him with a pick handle. However, Pinty comes in behind them and shoots Crowley dead. He tells Bill that Lisa distracted Clyde by throwing dirt in his eyes and then Pinty knocked him out.

Later, Bill gets back to the Enterprise and waves to Lisa and Pinty on the dock. Grey chuckles at the idea of the prisoners thinking Bill was worth kidnapping, and Bill tells him that he was glad to give Pinty the reward money for capturing the prisoners. The old man plans to use the money to put Lisa through school. Bill waves to Lisa, who Pinty takes off to buy some dresses. Grey and Bill hear Carney moaning about his tooth and, having enough, Grey punches him in the mouth. The sore tooth comes out and when Carney complains that they should have done that in the first place, both partners get ready to punch him.

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