"Judgement in Heaven"

(Original air date 12/22/65)


Jarrod tries to reform an outlaw’s girlfriend by having her spend
Christmas with the Barkleys


Writer: Mel Goldberg

Director: Murray Golden

Days before Christmas Jarrod visits with Judge Parker (Ned Wever) to discuss the case of one Maybelle Williams (Lynn Loring), a brash young woman arrested on suspicion of theft. Being the girlfriend of wanted outlaw Billy Joe Gaines (Nicolas Surovy) still at large makes her a threat to society and for that reason the judge won’t release her on bail.

Jarrod proposes taking her into his custody to allow her to spend Christmas at the ranch. Judge Parker cautions Jarrod on his good deed that might lead trouble to his doorstep, but Jarrod is willing to take the responsibility. He’s convinced his family can exert a positive influence on the girl.

On the ride home, Maybelle attempts an escape that fails. Jarrod threatens her to behave or will take pleasure in dragging her sorry butt back to jail.


He brings Maybelle to meet the family as they are setting up the Christmas tree. Aware of the girl’s reputation all are slightly disturbed by her presence in their home. Nick is first to voice his objection, provoking and raising her dander to eventually send her storming out of the living room with Audra on her heels.

Upstairs in her room she can hear the two brothers arguing over her. She sets Audra straight on the fact that she’s not about to change her attitude towards them.


Downstairs the argument escalates. Nick fills Heath in on the story of Billy Joe Gaines and his gang that killed a bank teller for ten thousand dollars; a present to Stockton that Christmas.

The family is unanimous. Jarrod is to take Maybelle back to jail. However a tearjerker on good will towards men at Christmas has everyone feeling guilty. The decision is overturned and they agree to allow Maybelle to stay but under close surveillance.


Meanwhile a hundred miles away at the border of Calaveras County, Billy Joe and his cohorts Hayes (R.J. Porter) and Corey (Patrick Culliton) measure the distance to Stockton in order to bring Maybelle her Christmas present: her dearest Billy in person.

In the hush of night, Maybelle creeps out of her room and makes a dash for the front door only to be surprised by Jarrod burning the midnight oil in the living room. He invites her to share a midnight snack in the kitchen where he broaches the subject of her arrest. After much digging he finds the evidence that proves her innocence. The five thousand dollar bills and gold dust were discovered in a room that was in Billy Joe’s name, not hers, making her an innocent bystander. However she refuses to believe that her love set her up.


The next morning at breakfast, Maybelle is all packed to return to jail. She figures her little stunt has cost her freedom, but Jarrod sees it differently. She is granted a second chance.

Later that morning Maybelle and Audra ride out to the pasture to watch Heath taming a wild stallion. The girl can’t help taunting the cowboy into mounting the ornery animal instead of just leaving it in the corral to get used to a saddle. Heath ignores her heckling and leaves the girls with a warning to behave.


Despite Audra’s admonishment the reckless girl jumps over the fence and swings in the saddle. The horse bucks and throws her. Audra quickly comes to her aid but stumbles and is trampled by the horse’s hooves. Maybelle drags Audra to safety and rides away. She can taste freedom but her conscience dictates her to go back and help her friend instead.


Back at the ranch, the prognosis is encouraging. Audra suffered a few bruises and contusions but nothing life-threatening. Nick is enraged. He tells Jarrod about the incident, which brings about a decision.

All packed Maybelle follows Jarrod to the barnyard where they further discuss the incident. He needles her into admitting that she was more concerned about Audra’s safety, hence the reason why she didn’t take off when she had the chance. Once again, he grants her a third chance to redeem herself after he dunks her into the horse trough to douse her fire.


Out on the trail, Billy Joe and his cohorts camp out for the night. The two cohorts can’t help teasing their friend about the possibility that Maybelle may have taken off with another man. Billy isn’t laughing. He swears vengeance on the unfortunate chap who might have wooed his girl.

Back at the ranch, preparations are under way for Christmas. Maybelle helps trim the tree with Jarrod supervising the work. One false move and she falls into her savior’s arms.


Two visitors, Helen Travis (Kay Stewart) and daughter Meg (Kay Reynolds) bringing gifts interrupt the tender moment. They appear harmless enough until Jarrod kisses Meg under the mistletoe, thus dashing Maybelle’s hopes of kindling a romance with the handsome lawyer.


Come Christmas morning, the family opens their gifts. Audra receives a glittering red dress from Jarrod but Maybelle’s longing to own such garment prompts Jarrod to offer her the dress instead.

In town Hayes informs Billy that Maybelle was taken out to the Barkley Ranch to celebrate Christmas. All three head out to the property just as Maybelle joins the family on a tour of the neighbouring ranches to spread good tidings.


Billy shows up at the ranch as Maybelle’s brother. Once in the house, he thrusts a gun at both Silas and Jarrod threatening them to reveal his girlfriend’s whereabouts. While waiting for her to return, Jarrod raises the topic of Maybelle’s arrest and tries to shame Billy Joe into admitting he set her up.

Meanwhile Hayes and Corey ambush Victoria’s wagon and force Maybelle to come with them. They stall until Corey returns with Billy. Once they reunite, they let Victoria go. She gives one last glance at Maybelle then flick the horse onwards.


On the way she meets with Jarrod who rides after them. He waits until they reach his hiding place to order them to drop their gunbelts and leave Maybelle behind.

The girl stands between the two men to allow Billy to flee with her in tow, leaving Jarrod defeated.


The next morning Jarrod goes to Judge Parker and sheepishly apologizes for his shortsightedness regarding Maybelle Williams. He resigns to the fact that he was a wrong judge a character. Parker shows clemency on the remorseful lawyer and lets the case rest.

Out the window Jarrod spots Maybelle riding by. He is pleased to hear that his influence has swayed her decision to turn a new leaf.


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