"The Brawlers"

(Original air date 12/15/65)

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Nick takes on the leader of Irish immigrants who settled illegally on Barkley land

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Writer: William Norton

Director: Joseph Pevney



Riding on the range, Audra comes across a group of Irish immigrants who appear to be settling on Barkley land. When she warns them to leave the premises she gets a spanking from the leader of the clan John Callahan (Claude Akins).

Humiliated by the harsh treatment, Audra returns to the ranch and marches inside to get a rifle. To avoid a tragedy Nick and Heath propose to ride out there with her to settle the matter in a civilized manner.

           

Unfortunately Callahanís and Nickís personalities clash and soon all hell breaks loose. Nick wonít believe Callahanís legal claim to the swathe of land and orders him and his family off the property. Heath tries to soothe big brotherís temper by suggesting looking at the documents but Nick wonít hear of it. His mindís made up as to the kind of people the Callahans are: squatters.

Nick asks Heath to put up the broken fence but Callahanís daughter Sharon (Noreen Corcoran) and the grandfather (J. Pat O'Malley) try to stop him. Heath insists he wants no trouble and only aims to get to the bottom of what he believes is a gross misunderstanding.

When the altercation reaches a boiling point, Callahan dares Nick to step down his horse and settle the dispute with fists. Mother Callahan (Eleanor Addley) intervenes before the two men make matters worse, and presents Nick with the papers attesting that the land is legally theirs. Heath assumes Jarrod and Victoria may have sold some parcels of land while in San Francisco and have yet to notify them. Nick argues that the land deed is a fake for it doesnít bear any Barkley signature, and reiterates his order to vacate the premises.

           

Nick rides back to the ranch leaving Heath to finish putting up the fence. He manages to soothe the familyís anger by assuring them heís on the lawís side and wonít pass any judgment until the truth is known. Sharon however doesnít buy his act.

At the ranch Nick is in an uproar over the situation. Heathís suggestion to get better acquainted with the Callahans instead of fuelling a fire between the two families doesnít succeed in dousing the blaze raging within Nick. Heath firmly believes they are honest people who might just be in the right. Jarrod did take the map of that section of land with him to San Francisco. Coincidence? He suggests checking with Jarrod before going any further.

     

In town, Heath and Nick meet with Callahan and his daughter who came to purchase a few supplies. However the store clerk (Ken Lynch) wonít extend credit to the family but agrees to change his policy when Heath offers to cover all the expenses; a generosity to which Sharon is vehemently opposed. She orders Heath to take back his goods and leaves with her father who can only apologize for his daughterís temper.

In San Francisco Jarrod reads Heathís telegram to Victoria who suggests returning to Stockton, knowing Nick must be setting the house on fire.

           

Heath wonít relent as far as Sharon is concerned. He wishes to win her heart any which way he can, starting by dropping by her familyís camp to offer a few pointers on cooking wild herbs. Callahan can see right through the blondís game and even teases his daughter about Heathís courting.

Nick shows up waving Jarrodís telegram proving that Callahan has settled illegally on Barkley land. Callahan wonít back down and needles Nick into a fight.

     

Heath and the Callahans sit back and let the two men blow up their steam until they are unable to stand on their feet. Heath then swings Nick in the saddle and takes him home. Sharon shows her father Jarrodís telegram proving they do not own the land but stubborn Callahan wonít believe it.

           

Nick is on the warpath. He wonít accept defeat. Heath would hate for women and children to be innocent victims in a bloody shooting.

Faced with his brotherís refusal to listen to reason, Heath rides out to warn the Callahans of Nickís intention to drive them off the land. The Callahans were obviously swindled by a crooked land developer but now wasnít the time to calmly discuss the matter. He manages to convince the family to forfeit and agree to leave.

           

While Jarrod and Victoria get a warm welcome home, the Callahans get ready to ride off the property. But Callahan has a change of heart.

Soon he marches inside the main house and threatens to kill Nick. Victoria intervenes and calmly suggests that instead of going at each otherís throats, the two should combine their efforts in tracking down the man who sold the illegal land deed and asks Nick to accompany Callahan on his trip.

           

Unfortunately they are unsuccessful at finding the crooked businessman who apparently fled the country. Their determination lands them in jail where they learn that the man was caught in Sacramento and that regrettably Callahanís money was gambled away.

They return to Stockton where Nick generously offers Callahan and his family to settle on another parcel of Barkley land. Seeing how Heath is smitten with the pretty Sharon he suggests his little brother to accompany them to their new home.

           


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