The Big Valley

Season 1 Episode 19

Teacher of Outlaws

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 02, 1966 on ABC

Episode Recap

While substituting at the local school, Victoria Barkley is mistaken for the real teacher, Miss Keller, and kidnapped by a band of outlaws. A little boy happens to witness the incident and identifies the outlaws to the sheriff and to the Barkley brothers, who immediately pursue them.

A furious Victoria withstands the leers of the men and waits to find out why she has been kidnapped. The leader of the band of outlaws, Sam Beldon, explains that Victoria (whom he still believes to be Miss Keller) is there to teach him to read and write.

Meanwhile, Nick, Heath and Jarrod pursue Victoria with the help of a posse, but the outlaws have taken care to cover their tracks. Beldon’s mountain hideaway remains secure. Victoria teaches him from a primer, and Sam is a quick learner. She comes to realize that his reason for wanting to learn to read and write is so that he can write an inscription on the tombstone of his deceased wife, whom he loved very dearly. An odd friendship springs up between Victoria and Sam, and they begin to respect the other.

When the outlaws go into town, their robbery is botched and one man is mortally wounded by a bullet. Sam tends to him and sends for a doctor, against the wild protesting of one of his men. The doctor recognizes Victoria but says nothing about her identity, and Sam lets the doctor go with his life. The doctor ends up stumbling upon the posse and blows Sam’s cover. A shootout ensues, and Sam gets hit in the fire. Victoria bids Sam a bittersweet goodbye, leaving the primer by his grave.