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"Price of Victory"

(Original air date 02/13/67)


Nick helps a former boxer goaded back into boxing after
retiring from the ring with an injury


Writer: William Norton

Director: Bernard McEveety

When a killer toothache has Nick moaning in pain, Heath suggests a trip to the dentist to have his bad tooth yanked out. Instead, Nick opts for a less radical method of soothing the smart and crosses the street to the saloon to fetch his favorite medicine.

Nick lets the whiskey simmer on his tooth to numb the shooting pangs while Heath discusses boxing with Thadeus O'Rafferty (Lee Krieger), manager and trainer of champion boxer Jack Kilbain (Larry Pennell). He is anxious to promote the Fight of the Century to the town folk between his client and Sam Driscoll (Hal Baylor). He offers five dollar to anyone who will accept to be Jack's sparring partner, adding a gold piece to the man who can remain standing three rounds with the champion.


When the saloon patrons overwhelmingly reject the offer, Heath decides to tease Nick and trick him into signing up by pretending to accept O'Rafferty's offer. Nick takes the bait and signs up.

Less than thirty minutes later, Nick and Heath show up at the boxing ring to witness Kilbain licking the floor with his sparring partner. Heath admits his joke to Nick and begs him not to go through with this when he sees the loser wobble out of the room.


Nick reluctantly steps into the ring where O'Rafferty offers the two fighters tips on how to extend the fight to make it more interesting.

After receiving a few punches, Nick's temper flares up. He ignores Heath's plea to forfeit and instead drives a final jab in Kilbain's blind side which aggravates an old brain injury.


Nick and the manager assist Kilbain to Dr Merar's (Edwin Max) office, where the doctor diagnoses a possible blood clot causing pressure on the brain. He stresses the fact that another punch in that area could lead to dire consequences.

In view of the recent events, O'Rafferty decides to cancel the fight, saying that he won't be party to his client's demise. Kilbain argues that he's fine and insists on facing Driscoll in the ring.


Later, Nick drops by Kilbains' hotel room where he meets with his wife Mary (Sandra Smith) and his son Johnny (Teddy Eccles). Mary is shocked to learn of her husband's injury, one he omitted to mention to her.

When the tension mounts between the couple, Nick steps in and offers the boxer a temporary job and a place to stay at the ranch to allow him to weigh the pros and cons of throwing in the towel for good.

The next day, Kilbain reports for his first day at work. In spite of Nick's and Heath's teachings, it's plain to see that the man lacks the necessary skills to make it as a true rancher.


Days later at the breakfast table, Johnny is curious as to the reason why his father quit boxing to go into ranching. The rumor in town has it that he won't compete against Driscoll. Kilbain is quick to deny those rumors and assures his son that the fight is still on.

In town, Driscoll and his men can't resist the urge to taunt Kilbain. Fortunately Nick intervenes before the dispute degenerates into a street brawl. However the altercation was enough to convince Kilbain to move back in town and resume his training.

At the ranch, Kilbain and his family are getting ready to move out when Nick proposes to take his place in the ring in order to win the prize money for him,. When Kilbain turns down his offer, Nick insists on becoming his manager and trainer. A foolish idea that Kilbain nevertheless accepts for his family's sake.


The next day, the training begins.

At night over a game of pool, Heath and Jarrod worry that Nick may be taking on more than he can chew, knowing that if Kilbain is hurt, Nick will shoulder the guilt. But they assure their brother that they intend to back him up no matter what.

Mary makes one last attempt at convincing her husband to forfeit the fight, threatening him to leave with Johnny if he refuses.


Hours before the fight, Nick comes up to Kilbain and asks if Driscoll would take advantage of any weak spot on his person if given the chance. He then decides to provide the opponent with a target below the ribcage where Kilbain admits he can take a pounding.

Mary drops by the ranch to thank Victoria for her gracious hospitality. She informs her that she's leaving her husband for good.


At the boxing ring, once the referee (John Indrisano) lays out the rules, the fight begins. As Nick predicted it, Driscoll aims his punches at the fake injury below Kilbain's ribcage. However when he jabs Kilbain in his blind side, his vision becomes blurred.


As the fight continues, Heath's keen eyes pick up on Driscoll's footwork. He observes that when the boxer throws a right at Kilbain's left side, he steps out and backs with his right foot. He explains it to Nick who calls for time out.


Outside, Mary and Johnny are listening intently to the drone of cheers wafting from the boxing ring down the street when Victoria shows up. She tries to reason with Mary that her place is beside her husband.


Back at the ring, Nick and Heath keep their eyes on Driscoll's feet, yelling 'now' when it's time for Kilbain to counteract his opponent's jabs.

The method proves successful and Kilbain is declared the victor under cheers from the audience and hugs and kisses from his wife and son.


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