The Virginian

Season 2 Episode 23

The Intruders

Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM Mar 04, 1964 on NBC

Episode Recap

The train arrives in Medicine Bow bearing Betsy's friend, young Chicago newspaper reporter Eddie Tighe (David Macklin), and a stranger, Mark Trachsel (Darren McGavin). At the station, Trachsel is met by The Utah Kid (David Carradine) who reveals they have an interest in Judge Garth. Betsy is not there to meet Eddie so he hitches a ride to Shiloh with the Wingates (Roy Engel & Frances Morris). At Shiloh, the Virginian, Judge Garth and Randy (Randy Boone) watch Belden (L. Q. Jones) break in a horse and it is revealed that this is earlier in the year for this practice than is normally the case; the Judge is expecting unnamed visitors.

Eddie arrives much to everyone's surprise for a planned three week stay. The Judge tells the Virginian Eddie can not stay because of the visitors he is expecting. It is revealed that Eddie sent a telegram but Judge Garth misplaced it. Nonetheless, the Judge tells Betsy he can not stay long, the reason being he is hosting a secret meeting between a US Army General and two of his old friends: the Chief of the Sioux (Black Feather) and an Indian Agent. The Agent, Clay Billings (Hugh Marlowe) arrives and reveals the meeting is because they suspect a third party is trying to stir up trouble up north between the Indians and the Army. Meanwhile, Betsy and Eddie's relationship hits some snags, largely because of the interference of Randy and Belden and also because Eddie proves himself inept at everything from riding to checkers to shooting to horseshoes, even accidentally breaking Randy's toe with a misplaced horseshoe. As such, Randy can not go on the planned early roundup – Judge Garth's ploy to get the hands away from the ranch.

The Judge plans to send Eddie on the roundup too but since things are going bad, Eddie sends himself a telegram to return to Chicago. The Virginian and ranch hands leave and after they ride off, four men arrive: Trachsel, the Utah Kid, Bear Bristow (Mickey Simpson) and Indio (Larry Peron). They invade the house, and take all hostage except the cook, Alex (E. J. André), whom they kill. The Judge knows Trachsel as he was a witness at a trial about a man who killed his wife and Trachsel reveals he is trading guns to the Indians for ponies and wants to continue that practice; hence, his need to sabotage the meeting. Eddie has a chance to kill Trachsel but can not pull the trigger and feels himself a coward. The Virginian returns to the ranch because his horse has come up lame and he is shot by Indio. Wounded in the shoulder and unconscious he is placed in bed.

Trachsel and Bear Bristow reveal that the trial the Judge presided over was of Bear's brother Joe. Joe had been found guilty and hung but Bear reveals his brother was innocent as he was with him at the time of the murder. All are called to the Virginian's room as he is in intense pain. The Judge tries to give him some Laudanum of opium but the Virginian whispers him another suggestion and says he is okay but would like some coffee. Betsy and Eddie spike the coffee with the opiate which causes the Utah Kid to pass out but their plan is foiled by Billings who reveals himself in league with the felons.

An Indian brave (Rodd Redwing) arrives and Henry Garth is forced to tell him to inform Black Feather all is okay for him to come to Shiloh. The Judge and Bear Bristow begin discussing his brother's case and the Judge convinces Bear that the man who really killed his brother's wife had to have known his brother and known that he was away from his wife at the time of the killing. He convinces Bear that the killer is Trachsel. Trachsel and Bear get in a fight and end up killing each other. Eddie and Randy grab the dead men's guns and Eddie shoots and kills The Utah Kid and wounds Billings while Randy kills Indio. Black Feather (Iron Eyes Cody) arrives but is told everything is all right. Eddie heads back to Chicago but not before he manages to get a goodbye kiss from Betsy.