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"Days of Grace"

(Original air date 04/17/67)


A nun saves her former love, Heath, sentenced to die on trumped-up charges


Writer: William Fay

Director: Virgil W. Vogel

While in Robertsville on business, Heath looks up his former love, Sarah Jacob, (Ellen 'Burstyn' McRae) now a nun doing missionary work. As they start catching up on the last four-year absence, Homer Roberts (Bert Freed) rides up with Sheriff Fogarty (Walter Coy). He smacks Heath in the face, accusing him of having assaulted his daughter Carla (Karen Black) during his short stay at his house.


Heath is hauled off to jail where his request to speak with Carla Roberts is flatly denied. Instead, he asks to wire his family in Stockton.

Meanwhile at the mission, Sarah relates her past relationship with Heath to Sister Benedict (Portia Nelson). She describes him as brave and gentle, perhaps a tad wild, high-spirited and unruly at times, but she's never known him to be disrespectful of a woman in the manner Carla Roberts described, and she doesn't believe he could have changed this much in the last four years. She asks permission to visit him at the jail while he waits for his family to arrive.

At the jail, Heath gives Sarah an account of the incident that occurred back at the Roberts place as he feasts on the lunch she brought him. He explains that Carla lured him into the tack room under false pretences where she started coming on to him, but he wouldn't touch her. He can't fathom why she would accuse him of such offensive behavior. He hopes Jarrod can settle the matter.


Sarah drops by the Roberts house. Homer refuses to let his daughter speak with anyone but Judge Jonah Bailey, who will be presiding at Heath's trial tomorrow morning with or without his family present.

Sheriff Fogarty believes Homer is moving too fast, but the only thing that matters to him is to clear his daughter's name. Fogarty tries to reason with Homer, make him see his daughter for what she really is: headstrong and vivacious. He feels she might have embellished the truth just as she did with a similar incident a few years back.

Once the sheriff out the door, Carla sheds crocodile tears in her father's arms, acting as the little Miss Princess who's been hurt by the big bad wolf, pleading with her doting father to believe her.


When all talk fails, Sarah decides to take matters into her own hands. She resorts to extreme measures to free Heath, pending his family's arrival. As the sheriff unlocks the cell door, she nervously produces a gun and beckons Heath to step forward and the sheriff to step back.

Carla spots Heath and Sarah speeding out of town in a buggy and hurries home to tell her father.


Sheriff Fogarty, his first deputy Otto McAdoo (George Wallace) and a few men form a posse to track Heath down. When they lose the trail, Fogarty orders his men onwards while he rides back to town.

At his office, he butts heads with Homer who orders him to deputize his ranch hands in order for them to search for the man he wants to stand trial tomorrow morning, or his dead body will be stretched out on the street for everyone to see.

At nightfall, Heath proposes to camp out to allow the horse to rest. Over a sparkling fire, he questions Sarah on her motive for taking such a great risk. She admits to wanting to spare him the injustice of having to face trial with a jury of Roberts' peers without his attorney present.


In the morning, the twosome rides up to a remote cabin owned by a missionary named Paco, (Morgan Farley) who agrees to harbour Heath for a few days.

Back at the mission, Roberts threatens Sister Benedict to reveal Sarah's whereabouts, but to no avail. His threats do not carry much weight with the nun.

At night, Heath and Sarah reminisce over old times. When Heath confesses to still being in love with her, she recoils. She begs him to bury that love deep inside for she has chosen to dedicate herself to God and will not return on her pledge to serve him.


In the morning, the posse picks up the trail. Heath hurries to the paddock, swings on a horse's bare back and rides off with the three men on his tail.


At the sheriff's office, Victoria and Jarrod are shocked to learn of the rape charges against Heath. Even more disturbing is the court date on which the trial should have taken place with a bootleg judge and a handpicked jury. Before Jarrod can ride out to his brother's rescue, the sheriff drags him out back to keep him from under foot.

Heath conceals himself behind a boulder to flee from his pursuers. When McAdoo rides underneath, he jumps him, steals his gun and rides off on his horse. Two men take him in pursuit and succeed in shooting him off his horse. Wounded in the arm, Heath manages to find shelter behind pile rocks where the men corner him.


Meanwhile, Victoria visits with Carla to get to the bottom of the matter. Carla is suspicious at first, but finally breaks down and asks for Victoria's help.

Victoria races to catch up with the posse. Roberts has enticed the men with an offer of a hundred dollar for each bullet pumped into Heath Barkley. The shooting heats up just as Victoria shows up. She convinces the sheriff to cease fire for Carla lied about her son. She needs psychological help, which Homer refuses to admit.

The sheriff calls out to the men to lay down their weapons as Victoria runs over to Heath.


At the mission, Jarrod and Heath learn from Sister Benedict that Roberts has offered to build a new school to make amends for his actions, and wonders which of the two brothers to thank for this sudden change of heart.

Outside, as Heath says goodbye to Sarah, Victoria notices the glow in her eyes, which leads her to believe the woman must have loved her son very much at one time. Sarah admits that she never stopped.


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