"Fall of A Hero"

(Original air date 02/05/68)


Jarrod must convince a hostile witness to testify for Heath
in the death of an Indian scout's killer


Writer: David Moessinger

Director: Virgil W. Vogel

In town, Jarrod meets with a former college classmate, Nathan Springer (Richard Anderson), a lawyer who's in town to negotiate a land deal for a client. Springer invites him and Heath to dinner but feeling a tad superfluous, Heath respectfully declines and crosses the street to the lively saloon.

Inside, he finds his friend, Indian scout Charlie Whitehorse (Rafael Campos), blindfolded about to walk the rail of the upstairs balcony while saloon patrons place bets on his chances of making it safely across.

Heath rushes to him seconds too late. The drunken boy falls on table below. No one will lift a finger to help given the boy's lineage. With a hint of sarcasm, Parker Atlas (Warren Vanders) )explains to his war buddy, Augustas "Gus" Vandiver (L.Q. Jones), how Heath's been licking the boy's boots even since he saved his life.

Incensed, Heath smacks Parker in the face and swears in front of dozens of witnesses that if he ever hurts Charlie again, he'll kill him.


After leaving the doctor's office, Heath takes Charlie to a small café for a serious conversation. Heath would like Charlie to clean up his act and stop drinking, but the young man is too oppressed by the weight of his heroism that he turns to liquor to drown his torment. Heath offers him a job at the ranch and asks that he shows up early tomorrow morning.

The next morning over breakfast, Heath worries about Charlie's lateness. Nick suspects Charlie is in some alley somewhere sipping booze. Heath snaps at his brother, saying that Charlie might straighten out if people would just give him a chance.


At the saloon, Charlie is tying one on with the patrons, including a traveling dentist, Dr. Arnold Tulley (Dub Taylor). They encourage him to repeat his exploit on the balcony. This time, Charlie's lucky star fails him. He falls and kills himself. Parker and Gus slip out quietly as Heath enters. They seek refuge inside a barn, unaware of the stable boy, T.J. Dyce (Walter Burke), hiding in the hayloft above.

Heath goes after the two men and does notice the lurking shadow but his attention is swiftly drawn on Gus and Parker.


Sheriff Madden (Douglas Kennedy), shows up at the saloon just as a gun shot resounds in the back alley.

He finds Heath unconscious and Parker shot dead in the back. Gus calmly explains that Doc Tulley had to hit Heath over the head with an axe handle to prevent him from shooting him as well. Jarrod and Springer show up just as Heath regains his senses. The doctor confirms Gus's account of the incident and Madden has no choice but to haul Heath off to jail.


Following Charlie's burial, Jarrod visits with Doc Tulley to gather information on the crime. Tulley describes Heath as a mad man. Based on the fact that Tulley is a heavy drinker, Jarrod suspects the dentist may not have seen what he's alleging.

Afterwards, Jarrod chats with the bartender, Pete McGinn (Lee Krieger). Before he can squeeze anything interesting out of him, Gus shows up. Jarrod is doggedly intent on proving Heath's innocence and exposing Gus and Tulley for setting his brother up.


Sitting in his law office, Jarrod ponders the situation at hand when Victoria and Nick enter with a basket of food. He declines their lunch date, upset that he keeps coming up empty as to how to help Heath when the evidence are all against him.

Springer shows up, bringing news that famous San Francisco prosecutor Daniel Mannis has been assigned to the case. He's a political opportunist who will stop at nothing to win a case in court to thus provide him with the needed publicity to win the Governor seat. Jarrod is grasping at straws. Two eyewitnesses are sure to testify against Heath and reluctantly agrees to turn over the case to Springer whose desire is to go head to head with Mannis.


The trial begins. The first witness to be interrogated by Attorney Mannis (Dennis Patrick) is Mrs. Florence Bacon (Claudia Bryar). He asks her to describe Heath's disposition. Then. Mr Eldger (John Cliff), a former ranch hand who once worked for the Barkleys takes the stand. Jarrod argues that he's a hostile witness, having been fired. Springer warns Jarrod to simmer down, that his flaring temper is liable to cost them the case.


During recess, Victoria meets with Judge Landsbury (Harlan Warde) in his chambers. He requests her to suggest Jarrod to step down as Heath's defending lawyer for he feels he's too emotionally involved. Victoria conveys the message to Jarrod. He swallows his pride and agrees to turn the case over to Springer, knowing that he's as much an opportunist as Mannis.

One by one, Springer badgers the star witnesses, exposing their flaws to discredit their testimony.


Jarrod goes to his office and finds Springer in his chair. Jarrod sarcastically congratulates him on wiping out the two main witnesses before they could sit in the witness chair. Jarrod doesn't appreciate the greedy man's tactics and suspects he's behind the sudden departure of Doc. Tulley. Jarrod never suborns the witnesses. He wants justice. Springer states that he has no choice but to resort to browbeating in order to keep Heath from hanging.

Jarrod visits Heath in jail. The blond is not pleased with the way the trial is proceeding. Harassing witnesses is definitely not Jarrod's style and he knows it but the lawyer's hands are tied. Heath admits he would rather hang with the truth than to live with a lie. Jarrod knows Heath didn't kill Parker and asks him to go over the events prior to the shooting. Heath can't recall much, but somehow remembers hearing a noise up in the loft as he entered. T.J. Dyce was there. He must have seen the whole thing.


In court,Gus delivers a vivid account of the shooting while Nick keeps looking for T.J.. Springer crushes Gus by accusing him to be a war deserter and a thief, therefore rendering his testimony null and void.

Nick enters Jarrod's office with T.J. who is frightened to testify. Jarrod has ways to force him to the witness stand and will use them if he has to save his brother's neck. Springer upbraids Jarrod for his action, stating that Dyce's testimony could jeopardize the case. Jarrod wants what Heath wants...the truth.


T.J. takes the witness chair and relates the events that occurred in the barn. It was Gus that accidentally shot Parker in the back once Heath fell on him after having been knocked on the head by Doc Tulley. Then Gus fired Heath's gun to blame the murder on him.

In view of the new evidence, the case is dismissed and Heath is set free.


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