"The Odyssey of Jubal Tanner"

(Original air date 10/13/65)

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The government wants an old manís land as the site for a beneficial dam

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Writer: Paul Savage

Director: Arnold Laven



An old man and his grandson are camping near the big valley when suddenly a hoodlum (Dick Farnsworth) surprises them, threatening the man to fork over his money. The elderly man fights back, garnering all of his strength despite an arm injury inflicted by the manís knife, to overpower the crook and send him with his tail between his legs.

Meanwhile Jarrod and Nick are appearing before a special committee to convince the chairman (Tom Browne Henry) of the importance of building a dam in the valley. A project that has been sough after for years and that is finally achievable. Senator Finletter (Harlan Warde) objects to the cost of such a venture, stating that in getting elected he promised his constituents to watch closely state expenditures. Jarrod asks for a delay in the committeeís decision on the project until he can find a suitable parcel of land that will both meet the peopleís approval and Finletterís budget.

           

The old man Jubal Tanner (Arthur O'Connell) and his grandson Chad (Sheldon Golomb) drive up to the Barkley ranch as Audra and Heath engage in a bantering game. He is dreadfully sorry to hear of Tomís death and asks to see Victoria.

     

Inside the two young siblings nurse Jubalís wounded arm until Victoria enters the room, taking over for Audra and Heath as they take the young lad out for a snack. The two long-time friends reminisce over old times before Jubal presents Victoria with the $7000.00 for Oak Meadows, a swathe of land that Tom had generously given to Jubal years ago. Nevertheless the old man insists on purchasing the property.

           

In town a cheerful Nick shouts the good news to the townsfolk. Jarrod has worked the impossible to make the project of a dam a reality. The place will be Oak Meadows and work will begin as soon as the committee gives it its final seal of approval.

However Nickís ebullience is rapidly doused when Victoria informs him that Oak Meadows is no longer a Barkley property. Nick rages. He wonít settle for another land. He considers putting pressure on Jubal to sell; a tactic that Victoria condemns despite Nick warning about incurring the citizensí wrath.

Nick seethes over Jarrodís decision not to fight Victoria on the matter. Jarrod believes that once Jubal is made aware of all the projectís details and how his denying selling the land will affect dozens of lives, the old man will concede.

           

Again the brothers try to rally Victoria into their camp. They gang up on her, save for Heath who understands too well Jubalís desire to set down roots. The discussion ends with Victoria telling her children that Jubalís wife Margaret is buried at Oak Meadows.

     

Jubal and Chad get a visit from a Jarrodís assistant Len Colter (Jason Evers) whose order is to start construction on the new dam that has just been approved. The old manís presence displeases him and seeks an explanation from Jarrod as he rides up with Victoria. He urges the Barkleys to buy the land back but they refuse to budge. Jarrod is now caught between a rock and a hard place.

Jarrod retreats in a quiet area with Jubal to discuss the critical situation. Jubal explains that the land is everything to him and that he wonít break his promise to his wife to establish residence in Oak Meadows. Jarrod doesnít insist and returns to his mother and Colter who seethes over the lack of interest on Jarrodís part. Again Jarrod seeks his mother help in swaying Jubalís decision but she refuses.

           

At home Audra seeks Heathís advice on how to handle the situation that has her so confused. In comes Nick who asks his brother to join him in town where he intends to stop Jarrod from signing over the land deal to Tanner to prevent a lawsuit.

Jarrod makes a final attempt at convincing Jubal to sell but the old man is unrelenting. Nick uses pressure tactics that still donít yield any results. The land deed is signed.

           

Nick and Heath take Chad over to the saloon for some refreshments while Jarrod and Jubal work out the last details. There two angry neighbours, Dutton (K.I. Smith) and Crowell (Ken Mayer) warn Nick of the consequences shall the old man persist in his obstinacy. The acrid discussion soon degenerates into a barroom brawl that the sheriff (Mort Mills) is quick to break.

           

Late at night a troubled Jarrod gets a pep talk from his mother on the personal gains that going against the majority can bring. She goes on relating the story of how Jubal saved her life while his own wife perished in a fire and on account of that tragedy, she feels she owes him. Jarrod is frightened by whatís ahead but nevertheless promises to do everything in his power to respect his motherís wishes.

In the meantime a bunch of livid ranchers ride up to Oak Meadows to tear down the foundation of Jubalís new house as a warning. The next day the old man marches into the gunsmith to purchase a rifle to fight for his land.

Jarrod seeks out the sheriffís help in protecting Jubalís life but the lawman is reticent, seeing how half the town is doggedly intent on driving him off his land.

           

Therefore itís up to the Barkley brothers to insure the old manís protection. After convincing Nick to switch camp they gear up for the imminent bloody showdown. Once the shootout over, young Chad who hid in the wagon witnesses his grandfatherís death.

Days later, Jarrod announces that the construction of the dam will proceed as scheduled. After giving Chad the money his grandfather paid for the land, he asks his permission to name it the Jubal-Tanner dam in honor of his grandfather.

           


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