The Big Valley

Season 3 Episode 22

Rimfire

0
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 19, 1968 on ABC

Episode Recap

Hecklers in a town called Rimfire bother a Chinese man and his wife, bringing a sheriff out in defense of the two immigrants. The Chinese are miners, and the townsfolk aren't happy about the fact that the mine they're working is a much-needed ventilation system between two other mines.

Jarrod takes the stage to town, and has a conversation and a champagne toast with his old friend, Glover, with whom he is merging mines and business. They're interrupted by the sheriff, who informs them about the harassment of the Chinese. It turns out that the mine in question neighbors the Barkley's mine and the Glover's. The Chinese man's name is Wong-Ho, and Jarrod suggests that they offer to buy him out. When he approaches Wong-Ho, he refuses.

Jarrod approaches the sheriff of the town, Barrett, who has a good relationship with the Chinese. Barrett is very much a man with a sense of justice, and refuses Jarrod's idea. However, after his son Daniel talks of the trouble that will happen if the Chinese don't bend and allow their mine to be a choke tunnel, Barrett agrees to accompany Jarrod to speak with Wong-Ho.

Wong-Ho is nearly killed when his mining cart cuts loose, and Jarrod and Barrett save his life. He hears out the men, but refuses to sell the mine, saying that he has had it for three years, and will someone take away his next business? Jarrod and Barrett return to town, and when Glover hears the news, goes to the land records clerk and finds a loophole: Wong-Ho has only staked a claim on the land six months ago, and under new law imposed prior, he has no legal right to the land.

Daniel stops by to deliver a message to Glover - that he won't be delivering his firewood out of principal, because of what Glover has done to Wong-Ho. Jarrod realizes that Daniel is upset with him, and tries to explain how the law isn't perfect. Meanwhile, Barrett discovers after delivering the bad news to Wong-Ho that his wife is actually a citizen, and since the land was registered in her name, they legally can keep it. The sheriff verifies this with the San Francisco family that knew her. Glover is livid, and is indifferent to the law now that it is not in his favor. Jarrod calls off the merger.

Barrett rides into town, seeking deputies to uphold Wong-Ho's claim. No one is willing to defend the Chinese, with the exception of Jarrod. Daniel runs into the saloon, looking for his father, and tells him that a bunch of hooligans have Wong-Ho.

Wong-Ho is seated, tied, on a horse with a lynch mob about to hang him. One of the men is dead, and Wong-Ho has done it. However, he and his wife claim that one of the hoodlums was beating on his wife. Barrett disperses the crowd and takes Wong-Ho into custody, with Jarrod backing him up.

Barrett asks Jarrod to be guardian over his son and to watch out for him should something happen. Barrett tells Daniel that he's sending him to boarding school immediately. Daniel refuses in tears, but his father insists. Jarrod walks in and announces that a lynch mob is coming after Wong-Ho. Barrett tries to intercede and is shot in the cross-fire. His son Daniel comes out and tearfully pleads with the men that they don't remember all the good that his father has done on their behalf. Ashamed, they listen to him. Barrett revives, gets to his feet, and asks Glover to "disperse the rabble."

Wong-Ho is released and he and his wife agree to sell the mine to Jarrod because of his kindness. They decide that they will set down roots elsewhere. Daniel is told he doesn't have to leave for boarding school, and everyone leaves the situation satisfied.

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