"The Invaders"

(Original air date 12/29/65)


A group of rawhiders injure Heath in order to rob him, then act as good
samaritans, returning him to the ranch to claim a reward


Writer: Jay Simms

Director: Arnold Laven

On the field, counting head of cattle, Heath notices a pack of vultures circling above. He heads in that direction and finds a dead cow. Hiding behind a tree is a man holding a rifle. He shoots Heath, grazing him in the temple but enough to render him unconscious. The man, Copper (Claude Hall), is congratulated by his father (John Dehner) for a job well done. They plan on finishing the wounded man off but realizing how wealthy Heath must be, Daddy Cade suggests to keep him alive and instead, claim a reward for his "safe" return home.


John Wesley 'Daddy' Cade and his sons, Copper and Pinto (Michael Greene) and daughter Allie Kay (Yvonne Craig) ride to the Barkley Ranch with Heath. They feed a concerned Victoria the story of how they saved her son from being killed by rustlers and she shows them her gratitude by giving them a few gold pieces.

Uneasy in their presence, she shows them the way out but they are unwilling to leave before they repair the broken wheel on their wagon. Victoria proposes they use the spare in the barn, and has no choice but to offer them temporary shelter in the bunkhouse.


Audra returns home with a telegram from Nick saying that he and the men will be back at the ranch later than originally planned. Victoria sends her to fetch the doctor in town.

Meanwhile, the rawhiders have a look around the premises and discover that the ranch hands are all gone on a roundup.


Allie Kay, a nurse, keeps a vigil at Heath's bedside and tends to him while waiting for Dr. Merar (Noah Keene) to take over. He tells Victoria that Heath is in good hands with Allie Kay, but to clean her up for sanitary purposes.


Audra proposes a warm bath and offers the young woman one of her beautiful dresses to wear.

During the soothing soak, Allie Kay reveals how she was adopted by Daddy Cade when her parents were killed by Indians at age five. She confesses that she doesn't like her father much for he's rude and lies a lot, which prompts Audra to wonder if Doctor Merar was right to assume that the rawhiders might have shot Heath themselves.

Meanwhile Daddy Cade stumbles upon the telegram and smiles at the thought that the men won't be back as expected.


Victoria begins to seriously suspect the gunslingers of stealing when things mysteriously disappear, including Dr. Merar's gold watch and Nick's telegram. With the men folk away and Heath incapacitated, Daddy Cade plans to rob the Barkleys for everything they have. Victoria grows worried and tries to find a way to drive them off the property.


Allie Kay's new dress arouses jealousy in Bessie (June C.Ellis), a traveling companion. Daddy Cade goes to the main house with the morning eggs to pressure Victoria for some clothes to even the score between the two ladies. Victoria has no choice but to accept.


Doctor Merar returns to check on Heath and asks Victoria if she's seen his gold watch that he apparently lost on his last visit, On cue Daddy Cade shows up with the item in question and fibs about having found it on the floor. Merar is not convinced that he could have been so careless and suspects Cade of having stolen it.

When ranchhand Johnson (Pat Hawley) discovers a stolen rifle in the barn and that he plans to return it to Victoria, Pinto stabs him to death. Daddy Cade suggests charging in now before the other men return to the ranch.


Meanwhile, Heath regains consciousness and thanks Allie Kay for presumably saving his life. She makes sheep eyes at him and a smitten Heath plans to properly show his appreciation once he's back on his feet.

During the night, Allie Kay awakes Heath to warn him that Daddy Cade is planning to rob the ranch. She admits that it was her brother who shot him and adds that even though she grew up with them, she's nothing like her adopted family. She proves it by agreeing to Heath's request to find out what they are planning.


After getting her information, she sneaks back into Heath's room and gives him a gun to prepare to defend himself.


Daddy Cade takes over the house and proposes marriage to Victoria. In order to divert his attention, she accepts but tells him she will don a proper dress. She and Audra hurry upstairs where Heath tells them and Allie Kay to meet him in the barn and that he will cover them from the window.


Pinto spots the women slipping out through the kitchen door and tells Daddy Cade. Pinto goes upstairs to Heath's room and finds the cowboy at the window, his back turned. As he's about to pull a slug into him, Heath swings round and shoots him dead.


Weak and dizzy Heath takes a few minutes to catch his breath before climbing down from a window, and then wobbles down to the barn where he collapses to the ground in front of Cade.


Cade aligns his rifle at the back of Heath's head, but Victoria is quicker on the trigger and shoots Cade in the back.


Days later, Heath and Allie Kay kiss goodbye and he assures her that he will come and visit her at her new job. As they watch the wagon drive away, Nick and Eugene (Charles Briles) begin teasing Heath about the jobs that he failed to do while they were away.


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