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"Winner Lose All"

(Original air date 10/27/65)


A Spanish nobleman threatens to foreclose on ranchers when
Heath falls for his daughter


Writer: Harry Kronman

Director: Richard C. Sarafian

While out on the range branding cows, Nick and Heath hear gunfire in the distance.


They ride to where Luis (Robert Cabal), the driver of the Monteros' private stagecoach was forced to draw to a halt by angry ranchers Bert Hadley (Karl Swenson), Mel Coombs (Greg Palmer) and Dave Willems (Max Cleven), who adamantly refuse to grant them passage on their land, one that Don Alfredo Montero (Henry Wilcoxon) has threatened to seize in a court of law.

When Heath and Nick sets their sights on Don Alfredo's beautiful daughter Maria (Katharine Ross), they suggest an alternate route through Barkley land.


Later back at the ranch, her sons' twinkling eyes tell Victoria that Don Alfredo's daughter is indeed back in town. Jarrod informs the family that new evidence might support Montero's claim to the land that Tom Barkley supposedly owned and sold to Bert and his neighbors.

To smooth things over, Victoria suggests a visit to the Montero ranch, one that Heath is quick to agree upon. He tries vainly to dissuade Nick from accompanying him, but big brother won't relent. He won't have smitten Heath have first dibs on Maria.


The next day, Heath and Nick ride over to the Montero ranch where they pass Maria sitting against a tree, reading. Heath makes Charger rear up as an excuse to stay behind. While Nick goes up to the house to discuss Hadley's land grant with Don Alfredo, Heath walks back to Maria and engages in a friendly conversation.


When the conversation shifts to the topic of birth names, Heath becomes ill-at-ease and quickly veers it round to the subject of the 4th of July celebration on Saturday, to which he invites Maria.

She goes asks her father and by the same occasion introduces Heath, who gets the cold shoulder from the nobleman.

Outside, Hadley and his neighbors invade the front yard with a bull from Don Alfredo's stock, accusing him of leaving it unattended for it to jump the fence and mate with Mel's best heifers. Montero won't stand for mixed breeds and proves it by shooting the bull down in front of everyone. Heath is flabbergasted by the man's heartless actions, which tells him that he won't ever approve of a bastard marrying his daughter.


Don Alfredo stubbornly refuses to attend the 4th of July celebration for he doesn't approve of Monteros mingling with the lower classes. Maria points out to him that he sent her back East to learn about American culture and therefore they should make an effort to mix with their neighbors.

On that Saturday, Nick and Heath fiercely compete for Maria's affection. When their carriage arrives, stopping in a pool of mud, Nick is swift to sweep Maria away, leaving a miffed Heath to carry Angelina (Naomi Stevens) instead.


Later, Heath and Nick compete in a friendly boxing match, during which Maria excitedly calls out to Heath, breaking his concentration to the point of losing the match to big brother. Heath's not the least bit sore for he knows he's won Maria's attention.


At suppertime, again Nick and Heath shower Maria with attention. To eliminate the annoying competition, Heath hides Maria's fork inside his shirt pocket in order for Nick to leave the table and fetch another. During these few precious minutes alone, Heath asks Maria to go riding with him tomorrow.

Don Alfredo shows up to inform Maria that they are leaving at once. Victoria tries to persuade him to stay, but he prefers to retire early on account that he might be called to travel to San Francisco in the morning in order to settle the land dispute, after his lawyers secured the original land grant that supports his claim.


They next morning, Maria meets with Heath on the north range. They sit under an oak tree where Heath starts recalling his past odd jobs. When she marvels at his resemblance with Victoria he tells her the truth about his parentage, which doesn't alter her feelings for him.

Up on the hill, Don Alfredo fumes at the sight of Maria and Heath enlaced in a tender embrace.


Don Alfredo rides over to the Barkley ranch to discuss a business proposition with Victoria, one that will benefit all concerned in the land dispute. He proposes to join the lands in one great holding with a marriage between Maria and Nick. He threatens to foreclose on the ranchers should Heath continue to see his daughter. He proposes to send him away on business to give Nick free reins to court Maria. Victoria is appalled by the man's suggestion and quickly sends her guest on his way.

At night, Hadley comes barging into the Barkley mansion with a notice to vacate the premises. Don Alfredo had promised to work out an arrangement once the land was proclaimed his, and can't understand why he would go back on his word. Heath says that Montero is turning against them for he does not approve of his relationship with Maria.

The next morning, Nick receives a telegram from Jarrod in San Francisco informing him that the land grant is deemed too old to determine which of Tom Barkley or Don Alfredo Montero owns it.

Hadley starts badmouthing Heath, holding him responsible for this mess. Nick won't stand for this kind of talk and pounces on Hadley like a hawk. The fight ends with Hadley agreeing to turn over the land to Montero but just as it came to them: bare, dry and nothing on it.


Meanwhile, Heath rides up to the Montero ranch to discuss the notice. Don Alfredo will not budge until Heath agrees to leave his daughter alone, but Maria chooses to follow Heath instead.

Nick rides up to the turtledoves to inform them that Hadley has gone mad and intends to burn his ranch to ground.

They arrive just in time to try to hammer some sense into Hadley's head who's determined to destroy his home, so that Montero won't get his hands on ten years of hard work.

As he's about to set fire to the house, Don Alfredo shows up, saying they'll work out an arrangement. He also gives Maria his blessing to do whatever she pleases. Seeing the desperation in her father's eyes, Maria decides to follow him back home.


Days later, Heath sits on his horse, watching the Montero carriage taking Maria to the train station to return back East. Her father urges her to go bid a last farewell to Heath.

With tears blurring her eyes, she pleads with Heath to forget about her for she loves him so very much.


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