"Ladykiller"

(Original air date 10/16/67)

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At a trail stop, Nick and Heath meet with a girl whose family
has unsavoury plans for Nick

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Writer: Jay Simms

Director: Norman S. Powell



While riding on the trail, two men, Red ( (James Boles) and Charlie (Clyde Howdy) discover two corpses floating in the river. Charlie rides out to tell the sheriff while Red discovers a third one.

Meanwhile at the Fresno Palace Hotel, Nick is on a winning streak at the gambling table. Heath instructs their foreman Dace Edwards (Roy Janson) to move the cattle ahead and that they will catch up with him once their luck runs out.

     

Dace stops at the Bleeck House, at trail stop, to bed down for the night. There he meets with a family of three fortune hunters, father Jesse (Royal Dano), son Bart (Anthony James) and alluring daughter Belle (Marlyn Mason) who are very pleased to cater to someone they pegged as a rich man. While Belle seduces the smitten drover, Jesse hides in the shadow with a hammer. He bashes the manís head to clean him of all his money. However they are surprised to find that the twenty-dollar bill that Heath had given him in Fresno is all that he has on him.

           

After sharing a friendly argument on the art of gambling, Nick and Heath stop at the Bleeck house and enquire about their foreman. They are surprised to learn from Bart that Dace was never here. The young manís eyes widen with glee when he sees Nickís wad of twenty dollar bills.

While Nick and Heath unsaddle their horses, Bart excitedly reports to his father that they may have finally stumbled upon the mother load.

           

The moment they enter the cabin both brothers are instantly drawn by Belleís charm, but smooth operator Nick winds up capturing her heart, leaving his miffed kid brother out in the lurch.

In the wee hours of the night, Nick reluctantly decides to call it a night. Seconds after he and Heath head out to the barn, Bart berates his father for not crashing the manís skull. Jesse argues that he had to play it safe, especially with his brother dozing nearby. Seeing how Belle appears to have worked her magic on Nick Barkley, he decides on an alternate plan of action, on that involves a marriage and a promise of unlimited wealth.

           

The next morning, the brothers resume their trek back to the ranch. Halfway down the road, Nick pretends to have forgotten his rifle at the Bleeck House and sends Heath on ahead.

At the ranch, Jarrod informs Victoria and Audra that three more corpses have been recovered from the river. They tell Heath that Dace never made it back with the cattle and worry that he might have fallen prey to the mysterious slaughterers.

Nick returns to the Bleeck house where Belleís father encourages him to ask her daughter out to the barn dance tomorrow. Belle feels genuine attraction for dark-haired Barkley and for that reason sheís ill at ease about her fatherís unsavoury plans.

           

Sheriff Madden (Douglas Kennedy) drops by the Barkley ranch with the news of their foremanís death. Concerned for Nickís safety, Jarrod and Heath agree to join his posse.

Meanwhile in a peaceful setting by the riverbank, Nick courts Belle. The once brash girl turns shy at all the attention sheís getting from her knight in shining armour, one she believes will rescue her from her wretched existence.

She returns home with a glowing expression. Bart is worried that their chance at some easy money might be slipping through their fingers but his father is quick to point out that in the likely event Nick Barkley marries his sister, their wealth will be insured for life.

           

While riding through town, Belle and Nick come across Mr. Connally (Jason Johnson), the organizer of the barn dance. He tells them the social event has been cancelled on account that most of the town men have joined the posse to find the men responsible for the murders. Belle panics at the news and asks Nick to drive her home

On the trail, once Fred gives the men their instructions, Heath suggests to Jarrod to ride to the Bleeck House and ask Nick to join in on the search.

Meanwhile at the cabin, Belle begs her father to forget their plans for Nick Barley and to hightail out of town before itís too late.

           

As Jesse prepares to do away with Nick, Belle temporizes by serving her beau a drink. Bending down at the table, Nick discovers a custom-made cigar that he remembers giving to Dace at the Palace Hotel. He then begins to suspects the Bleecks for lying to him.

Realizing itís a trap, Nick tries to escape by fighting off the two men. Seeing how Nick is getting the upper hand, Belle hits him with a rod but pleads with Bart not to kill him

           

Seconds after Nick is rendered unconscious, Heath and Jarrod ride up. Bart and Jesse hide Nickís body in a bedroom while Belle answers the door to the two enquiring brothers. However they are not convinced by her explanation. Suspicious, they decide to hide behind a wagon and wait for them to make them move.

Minutes later they see their insentient brother being dragged bodily across they yard.

           

Heath and Jarrod move in on the Bleecks and trap them in the barn. Gunfire erupts, ending with father and son biting the dust. Heath and Jarrod hurry to Nick to check him out. He growls awake and heads for the barn where Belle trains a gun on him. She professes her genuine love for him and begs him to run away with her.

           


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