"The Lost Treasure"

(Original air date 09/12/66)


A con man pursued by cohorts claims to be Heath's father
in order to blackmail him


Writer: Jack Curtis

Director: Arthur H. Nadel

A con artist (Buddy Hackett) rides across the valley in an attempt to flee two men, Clouts (Bruce Dern) and Atteridge (John Milford) pursuing him. They succeed in ambushing him and threaten him to cough up the cash he owes them. He begged them to allow him a small delay, that he will get the money from Heath Barkley, his biological son.

The man shows up at the Barkley ranch looking for Heath. He introduces himself as Charlie Sawyer and tells the young Barkley he is his real father. He relates the story of how he met and married his mother Leah before it was reported that he had drown in an unfortunate accident when Heath was yet to be born. He had faked his death in order to let wealthy Tom Barkley take care of Leah, hence the rumor of Heath being Tom's illegitimate offspring. For so many years he'd sought the son he never knew.

Heath is utterly shocked and refuses to accept his fate until he can verify the authenticity of Charlie's tearjerker.


Heath packs up to leave for Strawberry with Charlie to validate his story. He pretends to his family he's going to check out a mine he was told was left in his name.

They arrive in the one-horse town of Strawberry and go to a saloon where the bartender (Dub Taylor) vaguely recalls Charlie.

Then it's off to Heath's family friend Hannah James's (Beah Richards) house who shrinks back in fear upon seeing Charlie alive, thus confirming the man's story. Heath is dumbfounded. He has trouble coming to terms with the grim fact that Charlie is his true father.


Charlie is desperate for money. His cohorts having found his trail all the way to Strawberry, Charlie begs Heath to lend him some money but the young man flatly refuses, stating that since he's not a Barkley he has no claim on their wealth.

Before leaving town, Heath stops at his mother's grave to pay his respects while the two men get Charlie ready for hanging. Heath shoots the rope and wrestles with the men before overpowering them and leaving with Charlie in tow.

On the road, they part ways.


Heath arrives at the ranch and tells his family about his true roots, that's he's a Sawyer and not a Barkley and as far as he's concerned, he can't live under the same roof.

Packing up in his room, Heath is being upbraided by Nick and Jarrod who attempt to reason with him. Jarrod even offers to legalize his name, but Heath, although grateful, refuses.

Before leaving, Heath turns to Victoria and thanks her for everything she's done for him but that if he stays, he will only be charity and he can't accept that. Victoria is outraged. She tells him that this family stands together. If not tied by blood, than by sacrifice, work and love and that no matter what happens, he'll always be a Barkley.


Heath rides away heading for nowhere in particular. He hears a shooting in the distance. He turns Charger around and heads toward the sound where he finds Charlie sprawled on the ground with a gunshot wound.

Heath takes him back to ranch for medical attention. There, Charlie confesses that he pretended to be his father in order to blackmail him into giving him money to pay off a debt. He apologizes wholeheartedly and confides to wishing Heath were his true son.


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