The Virginian

Season 4 Episode 23

Ride a Cock-Horse to Laramie Cross

Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM Feb 23, 1966 on NBC

Episode Recap

Trampas arrives at the isolated Cameron Pass Way Station and overhears a Mexican man (Alex Montoya) paying exorbitant amounts for a horse and a pail of milk. As the man goes to leave, a large group of gunmen arrive led by Lomax (Myron Healey), Valera (Stephen Gravers) and Johnson (Ken Lynch). The shoot the Mexican who, before he dies, confesses that "they" are in the ranch house of a friend about 15 miles southwest. The men tell Trampas not to interfere and say the dead man had stolen two children from their grandfather in Mexico who wants them back. That evening, Trampas stops at a ranch house looking to buy some food. He finds the door open and is almost shot by a young boy, Manuel (Clint Howard). He also finds a baby girl, Maria, and Manuel tells him they are waiting for his Uncle Dom who is to take them to their mother in Laramie where she had been sent by their paternal grandfather after their father died. He realizes the children are waiting for the man who had been shot at the way station and that the dying man had lied about the children's location.

The pursuers have discovered Dom lied and split up into two groups, one led by Lomax and Valera and one by Lynch. Lomax and his group arrive at the cabin where Trampas is but the children are hiding and Trampas pretends the cabin is his. Lomas says the children's grandfather is "El Supremo", a powerful landowner who controls a large part of Mexico. Trampas tells Lomax his "wife" saw the children he is looking for at a ranch 20 miles to the Northwest so they leave. Trampas then sets out on his horse carrying the two children to get them to Laramie. The trio stop at a cabin and are come upon by a lone rider who turns out to be a woman card dealer named Melinda (Nita Talbot) who says she is looking for food so Trampas gives her some of his rabbitt stew.

Trampas tells Melinda she should leave for her own safety revealing his own mission and the fact he is being pursued by gunmen. She decides to accompany him for half of what he is getting for delivering the children even though he says he is getting nothing. On the trail they hear shots and Trampas investigates. He finds a wagon and a dying man who reveals he was shot by part of a Sioux war party who had earlier killed his wife. Trampas manages to kill two Sioux when they attack and is saved by Melinda who has followed him and shoots a third member of the group. They take the dead man's wagon to transport the children and Melinda puts on one of his dead wife's dresses so the four can pose as a family. Eventually they are met by the group of pursuers led by Lynch but persuade him that they are simply a couple of homesteaders so they let them go.

Valera comes looking for Lynch's groups, learns of their encounter with Trampas and suspects the children are the ones they are looking for so they set off in pursuit. Trampas discovers they are on his trail but he also discovers the rest of the Sioux war party approaching. He fires some shots which attracts both the Sioux and gunmen who get into a gun battle with each other allowing Trampas, Melinda and the children to escape. Valera manages to escape the Sioux but is killed in a gunfight with Trampas near the town of Timberline.

Trampas gets canned milk for the baby and some candies at the general store in Timberline. Later, Lomax and his party arrive and learn about Trampas' visit from the storekeeper. They catch up with the fleeing Trampas but he manages to kill them by blowing up a barrel of gunpowder that was in the wagon. Trampas and his companions get to a fork in the road which leads in one direction to Laramie, the other to Medicine Bow. Melinda tells Trampas how for the first time in her life she felt like a lady and wherever she goes she will remember him. He tells her to take the children to their mother in Laramie, set herself up there, and he will pick her up Saturday night for the dance. Trampas then rides off on the road to Medicine Bow.