"Bounty on A Barkley"

(Original air date 02/26/68)


Victoria learns the reason why Nick’s new girlfriend is shy
to accept his advances


Writers: John O'Dea & Jay Simms

Director: Arnold Laven

In a small town, a lone figure ambles into the saloon, grabs a bottle from the bar and then moseys on down to Nick’s poker table. One look at the man’s stone face and the players quickly vacate the premises, leaving Nick alone with the stranger. They engage in a friendly game during which the man keeps an eye on the window where three robbers are seen getting ready to hit the bank.

To create a diversion, the stranger accuses Nick of cheating. He then lures Nick outside on the pretence of wanting to settle the score.


The second they cross the batwing doors the man quickly grabs Nick by the neck to use him as shield as he guns down the three robbers.

Enraged of having been used as pawn Nick smacks the gunman in the face. The sheriff (Mike Wagner) shows up to collect the bodies and agrees to give the reward money to the bounty hunter, Wheeler Johnson (Peter Haskell), who apologizes to Nick for his tactics.


Later, Nick rides back into Stockton where he meets with Jarrod to remit an important land deed with all the signatures in place. Suddenly a vision of loveliness catches his eye. He walks up to her to strike up a conversation but aside from a smile she won’t give him the time of day. Nick fishes for information from Franklin (Earl Nickel) the store clerk. He learns that the young woman goes by the name of Layle Johnson (Leslie Parrish) and is fixing up the old Miller’s place.


Nick goes to the ranch to pick up a bundle of shingles to take to the young lady’s house. There he offers a hand in fixing the roof. One move leads to another, ending with a serious conversation about a past that Nick refuses to hear anything about.

Inside the house where she invited him for coffee, Nick issues an invitation for dinner and won’t take no for an answer. Again Layle tries to reveal a secret but Nick turns a deaf ear. As he leaves she she slip off her gloves, revealing a wedding band that she removes from her finger.


The next day, Nick, Heath and some ranch hands hit the trail in search of a bear that’s been killing their cattle. The two brothers light torches and enter a cave they believe might be the beast’s hideout but discover a back door through which the animal likely escaped.


At night while Heath and the hands are playing poker at the campsite, Nick sneaks away to keep her date with Layle. He takes her to a romantic spot he had specifically set for this occasion with the help of Silas, where he does some serious courting but again Layle is reticent. She asks to be taken home but can’t help succumb to Nick’s tender kiss.


Nick creeps back to the campsite with no one being the wiser, or so he thinks. The next morning, Heath splashes cold water onto his face to rouse him and begins teasing him about his hot date.

The brothers ride back to the ranch where Silas is anxious to hear how the dinner went. Victoria is appalled that Nick would court a lady in the middle of a bear hunt.

He later catches up to Layle to give her a nice puppy. Instead of having dinner at the Barkleys to meet his family, she suggests he come to her place instead.


There she finds her husband, famous bounty hunter Wheeler Johnson. He tries to buy her affection back with expensive gifts and swears he’s back for good, but she won’t believe him.

Disappointed by Layle’s refusal to her dinner invitation, Victoria rides to her place where she discovers the truth about the woman’s marital status. Layle argues that she vainly tried to tell Nick about her situation but he wouldn’t listen. She never meant to lead him on but he kept insisting. She explains that her husband was once a gentle soul but that the war altered his personality. He then became obsessed with killing, hence the reason he turned bounty hunter.

Both women realize that the two men are headed in the same direction. Thankfully they don’t know anything about each other and they hope it will remain this way.


But destiny has other plans for the two men. While in the saloon, Nick tells his brothers about giving a pup to his special lady. Wheeler who’s seen the pup begins putting two and two together. Angry at Nick for courting his wife, he quickly weighs his options to get rid of the nuisance and chooses to join the bear hunt.

During the search, the men part ways. Wheeler follows Nick and waits till they are out of prying eyes to corner his prey. As he dodges the bullets Nick learns of Wheeler’s wife and swears she tried to tell him the truth but he wouldn’t listen.


Nick finally gets the upper hand by winging Wheeler in the leg. At gunpoint he orders him to ride back to his place where he intends to ask Layle to choose between them.

Though she’s still very much in love with Nick, her husband is her choice and Nick respects it, riding away without looking back.


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