"Explosion!" Part 2

(Original air date 11/27/67)


The Barkley brothers race against time to stop a devastating fire
threatening to ravage the town


Writers: John O'Dea & Arthur Rowe

Director: Virgil W. Vogel

Shaken by the news of the broken bridge, Jarrod wanders down to the saloon where he is surprised to find that Gail is back in her old job of saloon girl. He observes her as she tries her best to contain her temper at drunkard Toby’s request of a night of fun. When she reaches a boiling point, she grabs the bartender’s (Harry Swoger) gun and heads up the stairs to her room, unaware that Jarrod is following close behind.

She’s desperate to end it all. Without Charlie and his money she can’t provide for herself. Jarrod points out the fact that Charlie chose her above all the ladies in this town to become his wife, which proves that she is worthy and not a piece of trash. She’s blessed with intelligence and fortitude to turn a new leaf without anyone’s help. He then convinces her to hand over the gun.

Jarrod’s words slowly sink in. She picks herself up and heads out the saloon a determined woman.


Heath drops by the undertaker’s to check on the remodelling. The blacksmith assigned to the work (Paul Sorensen) assures him that the hearse will be ready in time for their perilous journey tomorrow.

On his way to the saloon he runs into missionary Bridget Wells (Judy Carne) who apologizes for her rude behavior the other day when he saved her from the two miscreants Gabe and Chuck. She invites him back to the mission where she relates the story of her family’s slaughtering in Yaqui territory. She shoulders the burden of having been spared, hence the reason why she became a missionary; to make up for what she believes is an injustice. She steals a kiss from Heath hoping to draw a bit of his strength.


Back at the ranch, Audra and Victoria learn from orphan Laurie (Eve Plumb) that her friend Mary (Eileen Baral) has snuck out of the house to return to the orphanage. As Audra and the Padre look for the missing child, Victoria finds her hiding in the barn. The frightening girl explains that she must go back to find her sister - a cherished doll she never parts with – before it’s too late.

Silas tries his best to dissuade Victoria to ride into town to see her sons. His insistence pricks her curiosity as to the real reason behind his anxiety. He finally confesses to the boys’ agreement to carry the nitro up to the fire. Although her mind urges her to go, her hearts tells her to remain at the house for her presence will only add to her sons’ torment.


The next day, the Barkley brothers load the crates of nitro into the back of the hearse and head out of town at a light amble. Nick and Heath are up front while Jarrod’s in the back holding the crates steady.

On their way up the hill they come upon a gully. They decide to play it safe and not attempt to drive across it with the nitro. As they begin unloading the crates, Nick notices that one of the vials is leaking and that the nitro has seeped through the breaks. Once they gently get rid of the cracked bottle, Heath starts carrying the crates across the road while Nick and Jarrod carefully clean up the mess underneath the wagon. They remove the break shoe to avoid disaster.

After driving the hearse across and loading the crates into the back, they resume their journey.


They come to a steep hill that has them debating over whether or not they should chance it with a hearse with no breaks or opt to carry the crates down on foot. They unanimously agree to go with Heath’s suggestion to rough lock the rear wheels.

With Jarrod in the back to steady the crates, Heath brings the hearse down very slowly. Nick stands in front of the team to exert a breaking force. Halfway down, he stumbles and falls but luckily Heath is able to rein back the horses and bring the carriage to the bottom without a scratch, though on the verge of a heart attack.


Reaching the site of the blazing inferno, the brothers begin scattering the vials of nitro on the ground.

Bridget rides onto the scene saying that she needs to get across to reach some farmers trapped on the other side. When Heath angrily forbids her to go she insists on staying to help with their task. They put her in charge of watching the horses while they continue their delicate work. Once all the vials are in place and fused with gunpowder, each fires a shot in the air as the signal to light up.


A tree falls on Heath as he sets the powder on fire. Despite her best efforts, Bridget is unable to free him. She then ties a rope around the trunk to help Nick and Jarrod pull Heath from underneath.


They assist their injured brother onto Bridget’s horse and scurry away before the imminent blasts.

Back at home, Victoria is grateful to be celebrating her birthday with her entire family.


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