"Teacher of Outlaws"

(Original air date 02/02/66)


Mistaken for a school teacher, Victoria is kidnapped by gangsters who
want her to teach their leader how to read and write


Story: Lou Morheim

Teleplay: Gilbert Ralston

Director: Michael Ritchie

As class ends at the Mission School in Stockton, outlaws spring out of the shadows to kidnap the substitute teacher, Victoria Barkley. Unbeknownst to them that a young student, Johnny (Mark Hateley), has witnessed the crime.

The gang makes a brief halt along the way to unhitch the horse and push the buggy into a ditch before continuing on horseback.


Meanwhile in town, the Barkleys and the sheriff (Ken Lynch) form a posse to search for Victoria whom, according to the young boy’s description of the gangsters, was abducted by Sam Beldons’ boys: Will Handley (Steve Ihnat), Julio Gaiego (Pepe Callahan) and Preacher Clegg (Timothy Carey). Audra insists on joining the search but her brothers object and instead, they suggest she waits back at the ranch for the ransom note.

A few miles off their final destination, the outlaws blindfold Victoria and pursue their journey while Julio remains behind to sweep off the hoof prints.


Victoria is taken to a remote cabin in the woods where she meets with the daunting leader of the gang, Sam Beldon (Harold J. Stone).

On the trail The Barkley brothers spot the buggy at the bottom of the trench, an indication that they are on the right track.

Back at the cabin, a peeved Victoria discovers that she’s the victim of a mistaken identity. Sam Beldon wanted Miss Kelley, the school teacher. She is stunned to learn that the reason for her kidnapping is to teach Sam how to read and write.


The next morning at dawn, the posse gets back on the trail while Sam begins his first reading lesson. As the work progresses, Victoria encourages Sam to go at it alone but the effort proves too demanding for the first grader.


The posse reaches the end of the trail where the hoof prints were clearly brushed off. Their next step is to sweep the hills.

Victoria wonders about the purpose behind Sam’s eagerness to learn the ABCs. His explanation of wanting to be able to read road signs along the gang’s many journeys fails to convince Victoria.

Right then, Julio comes in with news that everyone’s all set for the bank robbery. Sam warns Victoria against any plan of escape. A guard will be posted outside the cabin


The gang gathers in town and each man adopts his respective striking position. However, Will has a sinking feeling about the sting going sour, and would prefer aborting the plan altogether

Meanwhile back at the cabin, Victoria tries to run but a guard stops her and escorts her back inside.

Back in town, the boys get ready to execute the plan. They have stationed themselves at strategic places and wait for the signal. One merchant spots the gang and runs to tell the sheriff.


Will throws a stick of dynamite into the livery stables to create a diversion.

In the gunfight that ensues, Preacher Clegg is killed and Julio is badly shot. Sam orders the rest of his men to retreat. They head back to the cabin and fetch the doctor for the injured Mexican.


As spokesman for his comrades, Bates (Dennis Cross) notifies Sam of their decision to forfeit the game, seeing how lady luck has forsaken them. Sam angrily throws the cowards out, convinced he can do better without them.

Alone and obviously running scared, Sam nevertheless keeps his wits about him. He goes as far as shooting at Victoria as she threatens to leave.

He retrieves a blank tombstone from a treasure chest and finally confides in Victoria the motive for wanting to learn his alphabet. He wishes to carve out his late wife’s name in the stone and replace it with the plain rock that he placed over her grave.


Late at night, the deputy sheriff (Richard Poston) informs the Barkley brothers that his men lost a trail at a specific spot and figure they would try to pick it up at dawn. However Nick, Heath and Jarrod aren’t about to lose a hot trail and convince the reluctant law officer to ride to the area in question.

At the cabin, Will shows up with Doctor Briggs (Ken Drake). Victoria quickly introduces herself as school teacher Miss Kelley, her expression urging him to act out the parts for the gangsters’ benefit. As she assists Dr. Briggs in tending to the patient, she notices a gun in his medical bag. She discreetly conceals the weapon in her skirt pocket while the doctor strives to stem the haemorrhage.


Once the job over, Victoria pulls out the gun and threatens Sam to allow the doctor to leave safely. She reluctantly hands him over the gun when he accedes to her request. He then instructs the good doctor to remove his shoes and walk back into town, thus given him enough time to pack up and leave for the hills before the posse shows up.

In early morning, the posse meets with a bushed Dr. Briggs who, despite his agonizing pain, agrees to lead them back to Sam’s cabin.


Meanwhile back at the cabin, Sam gets ready to leave and insists on Julio riding with them despite Will’s plea to leave him behind to get the proper care. The injured man will slow them down and ultimately, they’ll get caught.

The strain of the short walk drains the energy out of Julio who heaves his last breath in Sam’s arms.


After Julio’s burial, Will announces his intention to part ways, but his plan turns sour when men begin surrounding the cabin.

Will and Sam are stunned to learn that THE Victoria Barkley is their prisoner. Sam agrees to let her go but Will sternly objects, saying that she’s their ticket to freedom.


In his desperation to escape, Will takes Victoria hostage and threatens the posse to clear the way for him. Sam shoots him in the back, allowing Victoria to break free from the neck hold.


Gunfires are exchanged, ending with Sam being shot dead.

Sam is buried next to Julio and instead of a tombstone, Victoria lays the learning book on his grave.


Return to Episode Guide     Return to Homepage