"Time After Midnight"

(Original air date 10/02/67)

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Taking over the prosecution of a crooked business from a dead friend
costs Jarrod his sight

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Writer: Steven W. Carabatsos

Director: Charles S. Dubin



Jarrod attends a formal dinner at his friend Jim Scanlonís (Noah Keen) house to discuss the upcoming trial of crooked businessman Joshua T. Cunningham. As prosecuting attorney in the case, Jim shows Jarrod the impressive file heís been building against Cunningham for dynamiting Collierís dam in order to buy up flooded farms for cheap. Jarrod admires his friendís drive for not backing down despite the browbeating.

However the jubilation is short-lived when a mysterious stranger at the door guns Jim down.

           

After getting word of Jim Scanlonís death, the chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, Howard Gaines, (Rusty Lane) drops by the Barkley ranch to convince Jarrod to take over as prosecuting attorney on the Cunningham case. Jarrod is pleased but nevertheless declines the offer, stating that he canít maintain objectivity in a case against a man he believes is indirectly responsible for his friendís murder.

Next morning, Jarrod finds Cunningham (Lloyd Bochner) and his two henchmen, Corell (Ed Bakey) and Mason (Dennis Cross) in his office. The businessman came to dragoon the attorney into refusing the position as prosecutor, a bold move that annoys Jarrod to the point of getting him to alter his decision. Now itís personal. He intends to grind Cunningham down and see him hang for the Jimís murder.

           

At night, young attorney Mark Bromley (Jed Allan) drops by Jarrodís office to hand him the last of the documents Jim was working on before his death. As he leaves, Heath enters to join Nick in guarding their brother. Exasperated by his overly solicitous brothers, Jarrod sends them away to the saloon to get some work done in peace.

Seconds after Nick and Heath leave the office, dynamite is thrown through the window. The blast sends the brothers charging up the stairs to find their brother alive but blind.

           

Following his examination of Jarrod, Dr Russell (Jon Lormer) gives the family his grim diagnosis. Whether or not the blindness is permanent it is imperative to maintain a normal routine around Jarrod and not pity him or treat him like a crippled puppy.

All rush back into the examining room at the sound of a loud crash. There they find Jarrod on the floor explaining how he merely wanted to reach for a glass of water when he tripped.

           

Sicken by his brotherís plight, Nick marches down to the Cattlemenís to give Cunningham a piece of his mind. With a gun trained on his back, Heath is powerless in stopping the manís goons from beating on his brother until Sheriff Madden (Douglas Kennedy) shows up.

           

Days later at the ranch, under the watchful eye of his mother and sister, Jarrod learns how to move around the house by counting steps.

Later that evening, Jimís wife Sharon (Carol Booth) offers to bring Jarrod his tray up to his room, but he refuses to eat in front of an audience owing to his newly acquired embarrassing eating habits. She leaves him with his frustration.

           

Nick comes in to inform his brother that Mark Bromley has been secretly meeting with Cunninghamís lawyer. They begin to suspect the young attorney may have been bought to lose the case. In light of this disturbing information, Victoria and Nick urge Jarrod to reclaim his position as prosecuting attorney.

Jarrod is escorted inside the courtroom as Bromley begins his opening statement. Cunningham urges his attorney Sanders (Shep Menken) to have the blind man removed from the case by bringing Judge Farnummís (Harlan Warde) attention to the fact that Jarrod Barkeyís blindness will likely exert an undue influence on the jury, thus creating an unfair and partial hearing. His motion for a dismissal is however declined and Jarrod is allowed to proceed with his opening statement.

           

After stumbling twice into furniture, an embarrassed Jarrod asks his brothers to take him out of the courtroom.

The family adjourns to the judgeís chambers to give Jarrod time to recover his composure. Victoria will not allow her son to wallow in self-pity and urges him to proceed with the case. Eager to help, Nick and Heath propose to teach their brother how to move around the courtroom so that by tomorrow heíll feel right at home.

           

And so they do for a greater part of the night and have Jarrod retracing his steps until he has every inch of the room memorized.

Jarrod appears much at ease as he begins the interrogation of his first witness Simon , (Ollie O'Toole) proprietor of a general store where Cunningham recently purchased an unusually large amount of dynamite.

He continues with Aimee Carter, (Eve Brent) owner of the Big Nugget saloon a few miles down Collierís dam. She positively identifies Cunningham, Corell and Mason as the three men who dropped by on the night of the explosion.

           

Later, Cunningham demands of his lawyer that he make a liar out of that Aimee Carter. Sanders is reluctant, knowing that Jarrod has his client by the throat and that his chances at a non guilty verdict are now very slim. Cunningham proposes an accident but Sanders refuses to be party to murder.

At night, a messenger reports that Nick has taken Heath to Dr. Merarís following a bad fall off his horse. Audra, Victoria and Silas head for town, leaving Jarrod behind.

     

Not long after his familyís departure, Jarrod climbs upstairs to investigate a clapping noise. As he closes the banging shutters, he senses a presence in the room. From the cheap cologne and Mexican spurs, Jarrod deduces that his visitors are Cunningham and his two henchmen. Cunningham exposes his intention of killing him in an unfortunate accident so that Mark Bromley can take over the case and move for a mistral. So Heathís fall was a ruse to get Jarrod alone in the house.

Down in the foyer, Jarrod knocks Corell out and locks the two other men outside. He then gropes his way to the living room to break all the lamps.

           

In total darkness, Jarrod flattens his body against the back of a chair as Mason and Cunningham break in through a window. Mason checks the living room, unaware that Jarrod has reached for the coffee pot. Listening carefully to the approaching footsteps, Jarrod waits for the right moment to throw the hot coffee in Masonís face.

           

Scrambling to his feet, he staggers to the parlor to get a revolver from the gun cabinet. Touching the pool sticks, he decides to line them up on the floor. When Cunningham enters, he loses his footing and Jarrod grabs him by the neck.

He orders Corell and Mason to drop their weapons and hightail it away. Once his henchmen gone, Cunningham succeeds in wrenching himself free from the grasp but before he has a chance to gun Jarrod down, the lawyer shoots at random, hitting his target.

           

Days later, Jarrod recovers his eyesight. In return for his brothersí benevolence he offers to help out on the ranch. At first Nick is reluctant to have his lily-white-handed brother working the field but realizes that Jarrod canít look any sillier digging a fence post than he must have been in that courtroom.

     


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