"Flight from San Miguel"

(Original air date 04/28/69)


Heath helps an old friend by trying to free her husband,
a revolutionary imprisoned in Mexico


Writer: Edward J. Lakso

Director: Lawrence Dobkin

While Nick gears up to break an ornery stallion, Victoria brings over her guest Sarah Longtree (Pat Delany) to meet the family. The sight of her repulses Heath who offers Nick to take over his job. Once the stallion tamed, Heath retires in the barn with a brief glance back at Sarah. The tension between the two raises questions among family members. Victoria suddenly recalls the young lady as Heath’s former girlfriend.


Relentless, Sarah follows Heath into the barn to confront him. She explains that the reason why she ran away during their courtship was that he was a young man full of anger and uncertainty and couldn’t bear to spend the rest of her life being unsure of whether he would leave her. Then she met Dr. Raoul Mendez (Gerald Mohr) who helped her get back on her feet. He is a revolutionary imprisoned down in Mexico with a price on his head and if he’s not smuggled out of San Miguel, he will be killed for instigating a rebellion. She begs for Heath’s help to do the job. The Barkley name is highly respected down in Mexico and knows he won’t have any problem sneaking her husband out in a wagon.

Heath won’t hear of her preposterous plan. When she insists, he pushes her out of the way, causing her to accidentally hit her head on a beam.


Luckily the woman suffers only a mere bump on the head but nevertheless Victoria offers her to stay the night to give her an opportunity to settle her differences with Heath; a decision that doesn’t sit well with her son who rather have Sarah leave the house at once.

After dinner the Barkleys gather in the living room to discuss Sarah’s request. While the family is not against the idea of helping the distressed woman, Nick is vehemently opposed and sides with Heath that she should leave. At some point Heath wanders onto the balcony, soon followed by Victoria who tells him to follow his heart.


Next morning at the breakfast table, Heath announces his decision to grant Sarah’s wish. Again Nick is against the idea, stating that if Heath gets caught south of the border hiding a revolutionary, they will revoke their franchise for operating a mine down in Mexico. Jarrod knows Heath is aware of the risks, and even goes to devise a plan to smuggle Dr. Mendez out of Mexico; by hiding him in a wagon full of ore from the Barkley mine. Who would suspect?

About two miles up the Mexican border, Heath alights the surrey and lets Sarah continue on alone as a decoy. She passes checkpoint where the two guards recognize her. They plan to follow her hoping she will lead them to her husband. Sarah is no fool. She knows they are on her trail, which is what she wants.


She enters a cantina and meets with her friend, barmaid Rose Valdez (Beatriz Monteil) and tells her of the plan to sneak her husband out of the country. Sarah’s return in San Miguel reaches the ears of Federalist Captain Chavez (H. M. Wynant) who vainly tries to get information out of her. She fibs about her husband being dead, but Chavez has his doubts.

After passing the border check post without incident, Heath meets with two gringos who take him to Mendez’s hideout. There Heath expounds the plan to visit the Barkley mine, load the wagon with ore and pick him up afterwards. As for Sarah she is heading south as a decoy and will meet them in San Diego.


As planned, Heath stops by the Barkley mine to load the wagon with ore. On account of the recent upheavals in the area, the intentant Ramon (Nate Esformes) suggests that he bring some of the gold back with him for safekeeping. The conversation is overheard by some greedy miners who are already smiling in anticipation of getting their hands on that wealth.

Once Mendez is aboard the wagon, Heath heads to San Diego. His plans change when the miners bushwhack him. The leader, Garcia (Ruben Morena), convinces his friend Mendez that Barkley is carrying gold. Mendez won’t be part of the robbery for he is grateful to Heath for smuggling him out of Mexico. After a brief word with Garcia, he convinces them to retreat, but Heath is not so easily convinced Mendez is on the level.


After a close call with two guards who wanted to search the wagon, Mendez pulls out his gun and orders Heath to stop. There Garcia and his men are waiting to steal the gold. Sarah, who has doubled back, begs her husband not to betray Heath. The man needs to be rewarded for the risk he took, which is what Mendez intends to do once he is free and wealthy.


Suddenly gunfire erupts. In the commotion Heath and Mendez fight for a rifle, but a shot by Captain Chavez ends the struggle. Mendez dies in his wife’s arms.

With Mendez’s death, people of San Miguel will no longer live a dream but will embrace reality. The rebellion will be no more. Therefore Chavez allows Heath to go free.


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