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"Point and Counterpoint"

(Original air date 05/19/69)


Unaware that Victoria is the next target, Jarrod defends a twin accused
of murdering the town banker


Writer: Arthur Browne Jr.

Director: James F. Litchman

Ritch Stokely (Clifford David) visits his dying father Ned (Walter Burke) in San Quentin State Prison. Before heaving his last breath, the old man asks that Ritch and his brother Billy seek revenge against the two witnesses who sent him to jail for a murder he didn't commit: Stockton banker Ottis Clark and Victoria Barkley.

Jarrod returns to the ranch with a telegram from Audra in San Francisco and today's newspaper, in which Victoria is proud to read of her son's nomination for Attorney General. Jarrod is pleased but still dithers over whether he should accept the candidacy.


Meanwhile in town, not a creature is stirring as Sheriff Madden (Douglas Kennedy) makes his round. He goes to the bank where Clark (Russell Thorson) asks for ten more minutes to close shop.


Ritch springs out of the shadows as Clark exits the bank. With a gun trained on his back, Clark obeys to the young man's order to walk back inside where he's threatened to open the safe. Ritch reveals his identity before gunning the banker down.


Hearing the gunshot, Madden dashes out of his office and orders the culprit to freeze. His answer is a bullet that whizzes by him, grazing him in the face. It's enough diversion to allow Ritch to hightail it out of town with a posse on his heels.

Madden hurries over to the bank where Clark whispers the name of his assailant before giving up the ghost.


The next day, Jarrod visits with Clark's widow, Sarah, (Virginia Gregg) who wishes him to accept the candidacy for Attorney General that her husband was proud to obtain him. She hopes that with it, Jarrod can prosecute the man who murdered her husband.

Ritch shows up at the Barkley ranch and holds Heath hostage while waiting for Jarrod and Nick to show up. After handing over his gun, he feeds the brothers the story of his working on a neighbour's ranch while the murder was been committed. He therefore seeks Jarrod's services as a lawyer to prove his innocence. Jarrod is quick to point out that Clark identified his attacker by name, but Ritch argues that it could have been any enemy assuming his identity to seek revenge against him.


Ritch agrees to follow Jarrod to town where the sheriff throws him in jail on the conviction that he's the man he saw running out of the bank last night.

Over a billiard game, Nick warns his big brother of the consequences to his political career should he agree to defend Stokely, but Jarrod is more concerned about a man's life than public opinion.

In court, Madden relates his account of the murder to prosecuting attorney Jonathan Williams (Michael Fox), and identifies Ritch Stokely as the man he saw scampering out of the bank the night of the murder.

Jarrod cross-examines the witness to undermine his testimony, using solid arguments on the possibility of mistaking Ritch for someone who looks like him.

Following Mr. Bickers's (Harlan Warde) testimony, the man who hired Ritch to work at his ranch, the jury renders a verdict of 'not guilty'.


Meanwhile in a Modesto saloon, Stokely's look alike buys a bottle of whiskey with the marked money that was stolen from the safe on the night of the murder. Charlie, the bartender, (David Fresno) identifies the bill and asks one of his patrons Harry Banner (Walker Edmiston) to go warn Sheriff Jim Dolan. (Bing Russell)


In Stockton, Madden offers his apologies to Ritch who freely rides out of town. He crosses path with Banner who hurries to the sheriff's office to warn him about the Stokely twins.

At the ranch, Heath, Nick and Victoria toast to Jarrod's success and urge him to accept that nomination.

Soon, Madden shows up with Banner's story of possible twin brothers playing them for fools. Word is Sheriff Dolan is escorting Stokely to Stockton on the next Modesto stagecoach.


Victoria goes up to her bedroom to retrieve an old file on a twenty-year-old murder case to which she was a witness. Ned Stokely was part of a gang that attempted to rob the miner's bank. During the attack, a man was murdered. When Ned's sentence was pronounced, he swore vengeance on her and Ottis Clark once he would be released. It dawns on her that his twin sons might be exacting revenge on their father's behalf.


Meanwhile, Ritch ambushes the stagecoach carrying his twin brother and Sheriff Dolan. He shoots both the sheriff and the driver, after which he scolds his twin for not keeping out of sight and using the marked money.

They ride back into Stockton to honor their father's dying wish of killing Victoria Barkley.


Moments later, Dolan regains consciousness and staggers over to the stagecoach to ride it into Stockton and warn Madden of the prisoner's escape before passing out.


The Stokely brothers tread carefully on Barkley premises and spot Victoria sitting alone in the living room. They sneak in and surprise her, but she remains calm and composed.

In the study, Jarrod overhears the acrid exchange between the twins and his mother. Instead of going out half-cocked, he decides on an alternate plan of action.


He puts a coat and hat on the plastic manikin that he wheels across the foyer to create a diversion long enough for him to gun down his mother's aggressors.

Days later, Jarrod returns home to inform Vicoria of his decision to turn down the nomination for Attorney General on the grounds that he's a lawyer and not a politician.


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