The Virginian

Season 1 Episode 28

The Mountain of the Sun

Aired Wednesday 7:30 PM Apr 17, 1963 on NBC

Episode Recap

On a train delivering a prize bull to a rancher at the end of the line in San Pablo, New Mexico, the Virginian meets a young woman, Kathy (Dolores Hart), and two older companions, Helen Dryer (Jeannette Nolan) and Ruth Arlen (Amzie Strickland). He warns them San Pablo is a very rough border town and learns they are missionaries from Providence, Rhode Island. Arriving in town, the Virginian asks at the livery stable about a man named Dixon while the women attempt to get a guide to take them to the Mountain of the Sun in Sonora, Mexico. However, the women are unsuccessful because as one candidate phrases it, he does not "wish to die." The Virginian comes across Dixon (George Wallace) who is a former Shiloh hand who robbed the other hands of cash and stole Trampas' gold watch. The Virginian manages to retrieve some of the money and the watch and delivers the bull to the ranch. He accepts the rancher's hospitality to stay there for a week until the next train leaves.

The Virginian returns to San Pablo and learns Dixon has left guiding the women to Sonora. Fearing the worst, he sets off in pursuit and finds Dixon who has abandoned and robbed the women. The Virginian recovers the money and jewellery and learns where the women are located but is forced to kill Dixon. He finds the women but they refuse to give up their quest even when he tells them there is nothing on the mountain but "murderous Yaqui Indians" who "hate white men" and last year brutally tortured and left to die three male missionaries. The women reveal the dead men were their husbands and they are trying to complete the mission. The Virginian agrees to take the women to a Mexican army fort. On the way they encounter some Mexican peasants who have escaped from a murderous Yaqui raid and are waylaid by bandits who steal their money and provisions but not their drugs and medicines. The Virginian also finds himself attracted to Kathy and they each profess their love for one another. However, later Kathy resists as she has a covenant with God to do her mission.

The eventually reach the Mexican fort but the General in charge (Joe de Santis) will not give them a military escort as he fears his men will simply be murdered and that "Christian charity" will not work with the Yaqui. The Virginian will not let them go on alone and accompanies them to the Mountain where they are grabbed by the Yaqui and taken to their leader (Rodolfo Acosta) who thinks they are spies. They tell him they are missionaries, the wives of the men the Yaqui killed the year before, and that they only wish to help the Yaqui with their medicines and charity. The Yaqui leader separates the Virginian from the women. Impressed by their bravery he brings a sick child to the women for help along with their supplies and they care for the child. Meanwhile, the Virginian escapes and manages to break into the building where the women are being held but finds them with the Yaqui leader ministering to the child and realizes that they are safe. The next day he says goodbye to Kathy who gives him her bible and they each profess they will always be with each other in spirit. The Virginian then rides off.

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