The Virginian

Season 4 Episode 16

Nobody Said Hello

Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM Jan 05, 1966 on NBC

Episode Recap

One-armed civil war veteran and photographer Ansel Miller (Peter Whitney) takes photos of the Shiloh hands at work as Judge Garth arrives. It is revealed Miller lost his arm at Andersonville prison which was run by Captain Piper Pritikin (James Whitmore) and that Pritikin has been released from Leavenworth penitentiary and is coming to Medicine Bow. His wife, Laura (Virginia Grey), and their son Davis (Steve Carlson), have been living in town under her maiden name of Beaumont. It is also noted that Judge Garth was appointed as Pritikin's attorney at his trial and that it was largely due to the Judge's efforts that Pritikin was not hanged for war crimes. As Pritikin is about to arrive by train a crowd gathers and Judge Garth tries to get them to disperse but Ansel Miller, fueled by three days of drink and pent-up hatred, berates him for protecting the Captain. Pritikin arrives and his son says Judge Garth does not want to see him but Pritikin says he is owed something by the Judge. On the way through town, Pritikin is confronted by Miller who goes after him using a ten pound tether on a leather strap but is shot and killed by Pritikin. Pritikin is jailed but since it was self defence the Judge gets him released but tells him to leave town. Pritikin and his family once again leave for home, this time accompanied by Jennifer who is a good friend of the son. Once again he is assaulted, this time by Mat McClain (Wesley Lau) and two of his men and it is later learned two of McClain's brothers died at Andersonville. Although Pritikin is beaten up, Ryker and Trampas manage to stop the attackers. The Judge assumes Pritikin has left town the next day but learns he has not. Arriving at the Pritikin home he finds that Laura is very ill and delusional and the family is about to be evicted for non-payment of rent. None of the women who owe seamstress Laura have paid up after finding out about her husband. Jennifer wants to give her money to help the Pritikin family but the Judge suggests they pay Davis to work as a labourer for the contractor he has building a new windmill, Mr. Shiffman (Frank Gerstle). One day while Davis is working, Pritikin arrives driving a hearse which he has "borrowed" in order to visit the Judge. Still pumped up by his self-importance when he ran the prison and somewhat delusional, Pritikin says the Judge owes him – it was the Judge's defence of Pritikin which started him on a successful law career. However, the Judge sends him away. Meanwhile, Davis has had run-ins with Shiffman and other workers so he is fired and the Judge is forced to hire him on to count cattle during the round-up. While Davis is away his father takes the little cash they have from Laura and goes to town and buys a bottle at the saloon. In a drunken state he later steals his wife's gold crucifix and returns to the bar to get more liquor. He cuts a bar girl with his knife and does damage in the saloon such that the bartender has to run him out at shotgun point. He stumbles home but is followed and beaten up by unidentified men who dump garbage on him. After they leave, while trying to get up, Pritikin falls on his own knife and dies and is found the next day. The episode ends with Trampas, Randy, the Judge and Jennifer seeing off Laura and Davis at the train station. They are going back to Alabama to visit Laura's family.