"Legend of A General" Part 1

(Original air date 09/19/66)

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Heath helps a friend, a Mexican general, who's run amok of the current regime

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Writer: Ken Pettus

Director: Virgil W. Vogel



While in Rio Blanco, Mexico, to supervise the installation of new pumps in the Barkley mines, Heath visits with a family friend, General Ruiz Vincente (Nehemiah Persoff), a Mexican revolutionary who, fed up with the current regime led by a dictatorial president, tells Heath of his intention to resign from his post.

Soon three men erupt in his house, warning him of President Diazís order to have him arrested. Vincenteís friends Miguel (David Renard), Carlos (Pepe Hern) and Leon (Carlos Romero) urge him to flee Mexico at once with his son Pepe (Michael Davis) before the cavalry arrives and Heath suggests riding across the border to hide out at the ranch.

Barely has the dust settled after Vincenteís swift departure that Captain Chavez (Rudi Solari) rides up with his troop the execute the presidentís order to take the general into custody. When questioned about Vincenteís whereabouts, Heath plays dumb and goes on his way.

           

Despite being a guest at the Barkleys, Ruiz insists on helping out around the ranch by taking up his fatherís old profession of blacksmith, which is a welcomed change from all the hate and killing heís known for the past years.

Out on the range a man drops by Nickís camp asking to see his friend Vincente. After giving him the once-over with a wary eye, Nick directs this Jacobo Lopez (Rico Alaniz) to the ranch.

     

On his way, Lopez meets up with the generalís friends who threaten him to hightail it back to Mexico. A chase ensues during which Jacobo is injured but not caught. Once the gang out of sight, the wounded man continues on foot.

           

In Rio Blanco, Heath visits with Don Alfredo (John Hoyt) and his pretty daughter Teresa (Angela Dorian). Chavez drops by unexpectedly to prod Heath as to the generalís whereabouts. When the tension mounts, raising Heathís hackles, Teresa interrupts the heated conversation by bringing her suitor out into the garden where the lovebirds exchange a tender kiss.

           

Late at night, Vincenteís compadres sneak into the barnyard to warn him of Lopezís order to kill him. Ruiz finds it hard to believe that his trusted friend could have betrayed him. They insists upon his return to Mexico in order to bring down Diazís regime for the good of his people.

The next morning, Vincente makes up his mind to follow his friends back to Mexico to fight for freedom. As he says his goodbyes to Victoria, Nick rides up with the news of Jacoboís dying confession that he came to warn Vincente against his so-called friends who came to lure him back to Rio Blanco where he will be tried for embezzlement. Vincente is torn between Miguelís plea and the voice of reason prompting him to believe Jacoboís words. At gunpoint Nick sends the traitors packing.

           

When Teresa returns home following a date with her handsome prince, she learns from her father that the government received word that Heath has helped Vincente flee the country. Given the circumstances he forbids her to continue seeing Heath for fear of incurring Diazís wrath.

     

Late at night, Miguel and his cohorts threaten the Barkleys at gunpoint to impel Ruiz to surrender and return to Mexico with them. Victoria deliberately breaks a vase to divert their attention long enough for her sons to disarm the intruders. Unfortunately they escape and flee under a shower of bullets, one of which enters the generalís thigh.

           

After getting Teresaís urgent note, Heath meets with her in private in a small church. He learns that in view of the critical situation between her father and Chavez sheís face with no other choice but to end the relationship.

Outside Heath is arrested and taken to Chavez to face charges of obstruction to justice.

           

He is then hauled off to jail where he meets with his cellmate Mateo (Than Wyenn) who is facing similar charges. Outside their window, a firing squad executes a revolutionary; a fate that both will be meeting soon. However Heath has confidence that his family will come through for him before the bell is toll.

           

At the ranch Nick and Victoria receive a visit from Luis Cortines (Donald F. Randolf) a delegate from the Mexican consulate who reiterates the governmentís wish to bring Vincente into custody. Victoria refuses to turn her back on a friend that once saved her life when she and Tom when caught in the war down in Mexico. Cortines hopes that the news of Heathís imprisonment will make them reconsider their decision.

In Washington Jarrod and Victoria speak with Senator Harlow Perkins (Don Dillaway) on behalf of Heath but the statesman is powerless in interfering in this case. Although he doesnít believe of trading one life for another, Jarrod does resign to the fact that General Ruiz remains Heathís only hope.

     

Back in the Mexico prison Heath vainly tries to trick a guard into opening the cell door by having Mateo feigning illness. When his attempt fails he hurls his breakfast in Chavezís face.

     

Once the door opened Heath pounces on the guards but being outnumbered, he gets beaten to a pulp and then tied against a wall to get whipped.

           


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