| Season 11, Episode |
# in Series
|Air date||7 Dec. 1969|
|Written by||Michael Landon|
|Directed by||Michael Landon|
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A Darker Shadow
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Salty Hubbard is recounting a story to a group of men in the saloon. He tells everyone he was surrounded by three bounty hunters and fired off two shots and killed them. Bobby Dan interrupts him but asking him how he could kill three people with a double barrelled flintlock pistol. Salty thinks about it and then tells everyone that he waited until two of them were standing in line, one right behind the other, and the bullet went through both of them. Bobby declares Salty the biggest liar in Sunville and every time a paper comes to town and mentions an outlaw he claims to know them. Bobby tells Salty it’s just like today’s paper that mentions Big Jack robbed a bank and he comes up with another humdinger. Salty declares it’s the truth and Bobby believes it’s all hogwash and he’s been listening to them for fifteen years and never believed a single one. Salty asks why he listens to them, and Bobby tells him that they don’t have anything else to do.
Hoss and Candy arrive in Sunville. Hoss asks if they should deal with the bank draft, bath or beer first, Candy votes for the beer. Inside they sit in the corner and Hoss puts a saddle bag on the table and then asks a saloon girl with her back to him and calls her doll, when she turns around she’s an elderly lady, Hoss asks for a couple of beers. She pinches Hoss’ cheek and tells him it’s coming right up, Candy waits until she’s at the bar and starts laughing. Salty hears him and turns around to look at them and then back at his paper, he looks around at them again and back to the paper, he puts the paper down on the table and goes over to Bobby at the bar. Salty asks Bobby to guess who’s sitting in the corner of the saloon, Bobby tells him he doesn’t know. Salty tells him that it’s Big Jack, Bobby tells Salty to go over to them and say howdy. Salty tells him he would but Big Jack would only tell him that he didn’t know him due to the fact that he would be embarrassed for running out on Salty. Bobby tells him there’s only one way to find out and tells him to go over to him. Bobby gathers everyone in the saloon to watch Salty introduce himself to an old friend. Salty slaps Hoss on the back creating a plume of dust to rise off, Salty exclaims to Hoss “Big Jack, long time no see!” Hoss doesn’t know what’s going on. Salty tells ‘Big Jack’ to stop pretending he doesn’t know him. Hoss tells him he’s mistaken and introduces himself to Salty as Hoss Cartwright. Salty tells ‘Big Jack’ that he must be going under one of his many aliases and it’s about time he paid him a visit. Hoss tells Salty he’s not Big Jack and that he’s passing through and that they have business at the bank and then they’ll be on their way. Salty tells him not to worry since he’s among friends, he leans in and asks ‘Jack’ how much he got from the bank job. Again Hoss tells him he’s not been to the town that got robbed and makes his excuses to leave. Salty is leaning on the saddle bag that Hoss put on the table and when Hoss goes to pick it up it spills open and money pours out. Hoss and Candy do everything they can to pick up the spilt cash, Bobby is dumbfounded and stares at the cash for a while before sneaking out.
Bobby returns to the saloon with the Sheriff in tow, he demands to know where they are, Salty tells them that
they’re at the hotel taking a bath. Bobby tells the Sheriff to go over there and arrest them, the Sheriff asks them for what, there’s no law for taking a bath. Bobby tells him to arrest them for robbing the bank, the Sheriff shakes his head and tells him that he doesn’t even know that they did it. Bobby tells him that he saw the money and Salty recognised who they were. The Sheriff asks Salty if the man he saw was Big Jack, Salty confirms he is. Bobby asks him what he’s going to do and the Sheriff tells him the only thing he can do, retire! Bobby tells him he can’t retire and that they pay him to be Sheriff of the town. The Sheriff tells Bobby that with the money they pay him he couldn’t even afford to bury himself. Bobby offers to chip in more money to keep him as Sheriff but the Sheriff tells him that there will be a Federal Officer who will pass by in a month and he can take care of everything. Bobby tells the Sheriff to wait and goes to the rest of the boys in the saloon and asks them to up the Sheriff’s salary, everyone cheers, Bobby turns around to tell the Sheriff the good news but he’s gone, the flaps to the saloon still moving from his quick exit.
Hoss and Candy are taken to their room in the hotel, the clerk seems a little edgy, he’s given them the best room. Candy asks for hot water and two tubs and the clerk tells them that it will take a while, Hoss asks how long and he tells them about thirty minutes. When he leaves he tells them that if they need him again to pull on the cord by the door, he gives Hoss the room key and calls him Mr Cartwright but winks at him as he says his name.
Hoss is confused and asks Candy if he saw the man wink at him, Candy tells him that maybe he likes him. Candy tells Hoss what happened in the saloon, nothing in the town will surprises him and calls him Big Jack. Hoss tells him that the man mist have mistook him for a friend, Candy tells Hoss about the incident at the saloon when the money fell out of the saddle bag, the people’s faces in there looked like they thought he was a bank robber. Hoss tells Candy that they should really get that bank draft now since people know they’re carrying a lot of money.
Bobby has been spying through the window of the hotel and shouts to everyone that they’re coming out, everyone scarpers. When Hoss and Candy exit the hotel the town has turned into a ghost town, no one about. Hoss notices a dog and beckons to it, it runs off. They reach the bank and Hoss opens the door to the bank but no sooner has he opened it it’s slammed shut in his face. Hoss shouts for the bank to open up and knocks on the door, a sign appears and a voice from within declares the bank closed. Hoss asks if they’ve closed for lunch, the voice from the door tells them no and that they’re just closed and that they close early on holidays. Hoss turns to Candy and asks him if today is a holiday, Candy doesn’t think so. Hoss shouts through the door and asks what holiday it is, the voice from within tells him that it’s Good Tuesday. Hoss turns to Candy and tells him he’s never heard of it and neither has Candy, but Candy puts it down to a local thing and that’s why it’s so quiet around town. Hoss and Candy decide to go get their baths since they can’t do anything today. A pair of eyes appears through the window of the bank after Hoss and Candy have left.
The same pair of eyes are at the saloon recounting what he heard, he tells everyone that since they can’t get what they want now they’ll get it in the morning, he asks Bobby what can he do. Bobby tells him to keep the bank closed until they go away. Salty tells them it won’t make a difference since Big Jack doesn’t care if the banks closed since he’ll just blow off the front doors. Bobby asks Salty to go over to the hotel and asks them not to rob the bank since he knows them. Salty tells him that he doesn’t know Big Jack, Bobby tells him that they know he knows him and they’ve seen all the money he’s got. Salty doesn’t care, he tells Bobby that he thought he was lying and that he doesn’t know anyone, he declares that he doesn’t know anybody as far as he’s concerned.
Back at the hotel Hoss and Candy are having a bath in their tubs filled with bubbles, Hoss asks Candy to ring the bell so they can have more hot water brought up. The clerk enters the room rather quickly as though he’s been pushed through the door, he asks them what they require, Candy asks for more hot water and the clerk tells them that there’s got water and it’s ready to go. As he’s leaving Hoss calls to him, the clerk turns around really slowly and Hoss wishes him a happy Good Tuesday. The clerk looks confused, thanks him and then leaves quickly, Hoss comments on the good service they’re receiving.
The bell is being rung from reception, the clerk hurries downstairs, there are two men impatiently waiting to be seen to. The clerk talks really fast and tells him to sign in, and he’ll get him the keys and the room in a few minutes since he’s got to get some hot water. The larger of the two men grabs the clerk and lifts him off the ground and pulls him in front of him, the man declares he’s tired and he wants the keys now. The clerk tells him he’ll have to wait because the person waiting for the water is none other than Big Jack, the man lets go of the clerk and he runs off, the man looks confused. The man repeats the name, Big Jack and says it’s a real strange coincidence and asks his companion Sid for confirmation, he confirms it and calls his friend Big Jack.
Hoss and Candy are having breakfast, Hoss drowns his in ketchup, the clock strikes quarter past nine, they head for the bank. As they leave their room so do the real Big Jack and Sid, they say morning to each other and head downstairs. The clerk sees them and hides behind his counter.
Outside Big Jack asks Hoss if he knows him, Hoss doesn’t think so. Big Jack tells him he looks familiar but he can’t place it, Hoss tells him it wouldn’t be by the name of Big Jack. Big Jack tells him that Big Jack is
a tall handsome guy and he looks nothing like him. They all arrive at the bank and the closed sign is still on the door, Hoss asks why they would be closed today and Candy tells him maybe it’s Good Wednesday. Hoss asks Big Jack if he knows what’s going on around town and Big Jack tells him that they’re strangers in town just passing through. Candy suggests that they go to the saloon and ask there, Hoss tells the two strangers if they want to get into the bank the only way to do so is to break in. Big Jack agrees, Hoss and Candy head for the saloon. Big Jack tells Sid that he’s going to kill Hoss and collect his own reward.
As soon as Hoss and Candy enter the saloon everyone stops talking, they walk up to the bar and ask for beer, Hoss asks the banker if he’s going to open the bank today. The banker looks at Bobby who shakes his head trying to not make it so obvious and then he looks at Hoss and gently shakes his head. Candy asks why he’s not opening the bank today, the bank manager looks over a Bobby who shrugs so the banker looks at Candy and shrugs. Hoss tells Candy that he didn’t want to do it that way but since they don’t have a choice now, they leave the saloon. Bobby’s eyes open wide in fear. As Hoss and Candy leave everyone rushes to the entrance and peers through, they’re heading to the hotel. Bobby declares they’re going to get some dynamite and they’re going to blow up the doors to the bank. He appeals to Salty to talk to Big Jack but Salty tells him he doesn’t know who he’s talking about. Bobby tells everyone to go home and get their guns, when they come back they’re going to surround the hotel and when they come out they’re going to fill them with more holes than a wormy apple. Salty doesn’t like where this conversation is going, he tells everyone they can’t kill them or it will be considered murder. Bobby tells him they’re wanted men and asks Salty for confirmation, Salty mumbles and before he can give an answer Bobby declares it settled. Salty tells them maybe he should go over to them and talk them into leaving town, Bobby asks why he didn’t do that in the first place. Salty tells them he was going to but he was having a bit of fun, he tells them that he’ll go right over there now. Bobby is suspicious that Salty wants to help all of a sudden, Salty tells Bobby he was just fooling about. Bobby tells Salty that he told them that he used to be a friend of theirs and that maybe they’re such good friends that he doesn’t want anything bad happening to them and that maybe he’s in on the bank job as well. Salty denies it as silliness. Bobby tells him maybe it is and maybe it isn’t but they can’t take chances. He tells everyone to get their guns, he tells Salty to speak to his friends to give themselves up and they’ll keep them locked up for a month till the Marshal get to town. Salty asks why he can’t just go over there and tell them to leave town. Bobby tells him he doesn’t trust him and they might come back at night and rob them, Salty tells them he’ll ask him but what if he says no, Bobby tells him then they’ll have to kill him.
Back at the hotel, Hoss and Candy are packing their things, there’s a knock at the door and it’s Salty, he wants
to talk to them about something. Hoss tells him that they’re trying to pack and leave the hotel, Salty tells them that’s what he wanted to talk to them about and it’s important. Hoss tells him he can talk while they’re packing. Salty tells them it’s a matter of life and death, Hoss asks whose and Salty tells him it’s his, at this point Salty has their attention. Salty tells them to sit down since it’s going to take a while. After about twenty minutes Hoss asks if this is a joke and Salty tells them it’s not, Candy asks it’s either a month in jail or get shot, Salty confirms it. Hoss doesn’t believe it is happening, Salty empathises with them and tells them he
wishes there was something he could do. Hoss tells him there is, to go out there and tell the truth. Salty tells Hoss they won’t believe him, Hoss ask why not. Salty tells him they don’t want to, Hoss tells him that doesn’t make any sense and Salty tells him it does. Salty tells Hoss that when he came to Sunville everyone had stopped living since there was nothing to do and even less to talk about, so he started making up stories that everybody loved, Hoss adds in apart from yesterday. Salty adds that they always called him a liar but soon got over it, then yesterday everyone was feeling really low until Hoss came to town, thinking they have a real bank robber in town. Hoss tells Salty that he hates to disappoint but he’s not going to jail for a month, Candy notes that he was given a choice. Hoss wonders if they can sneak out the back, but Salty tells him the hotel is surrounded. Candy starts smiling and Hoss wants to know what he finds so funny, Candy tells Hoss he might have a way out of the situation, Hoss wants to know what it is. Candy tells Hoss that the town wants him either jailed or dead, and Salty wants everyone to be happy, he picks up the ketchup bottle turning it in his hand and looks at Hoss and tells him Big Jack will have to die. Hoss nods frantically and then realises what he just said leading to Hoss frowning just as badly as he nodded.
Around town the hotel is surrounded and a barricade set up just outside of the hotel, Bobby looks at his watch because Salty has been in there talking to them for over half an hour. The door to the saloon opens and a white flag is waved, Salty comes out, he tells Bobby that Big Jack is coming out and he wants to give himself up. Bobby tells Salty if that’s the way he wants it, but Salty tells Bobby it’s not the way he wants it, he tells Bobby if he starts firing then innocent people will get hurt and tells Bobby that he asked Big Jack to meet him out on the street just him and Big Jack. The bank manager tells Salty to join them behind the barricade and then they can all shoot at once, then someone is bound to hit him. Salty tells them he can’t because that’s not the code of a gunfighter, Salty declares himself a professional gunfighter and tells everyone to leave it to him. Salty shouts for Big Jack to come out of the hotel, just as he does so the real Big Jacks and Sid are walking down the street and they dive for cover as they watch what is happening behind a large floral wreath. Hoss appears at the entrance to the hotel, Sid looks at Big Jack and tells him they weren’t after him they were after the other Big Jack. Hoss slowly exits the hotel and Salty tells him that’s far enough, Hoss gets ready to fire his gun and puts on a mean ole face for Salty. Salty turns his back on Hoss and Salty tells him to state his play, after a tense pause, Hoss goes to grab his gun and Salty shoots Hoss with his back turned to him, Hoss grabs his chest and dramatically falls to the ground. Candy comes out of the hotel to check on Hoss and the Undertaker removes his closed sign and changes it to open. Candy tells Hoss his death was the corniest thing he’s ever seen and pats the ketchup on Hoss’ chest. Candy tells Salty he got him right through the chest and Salty tells him he knows, Candy asks for help so he can fit Hoss in a pine box. Salty decides to have a beer and passes the real Big Jack, he tells Sid he’s sure glad that guy wasn’t him, Sid tells Big Jack he’s never seen anyone shot like that before. Big Jack tells Sid he knows one thing for sure, he doesn’t want Salty around when he hits the bank.
The town is in a merrier mood now that Big Jack has been taken care of, Candy goes to the undertakers to collect Hoss, two men outside offer to carry the coffin for a dollar upfront, the undertaker tells them it’s the first one on the left. The two men attempt to lift the coffin but they are finding it hard to One of the men tells the other they should give the dollar back but the other man goes to another coffin and tells them that this one is lighter, the man tells him that he doesn’t think they should, but end up going with it anyway they carry the lighter coffin to the wagon that Candy has waiting outside and he leaves. A hearse arrives in town, and the wreath Big Jack hid behind earlier is put on top of it.
Sid tells Big Jack that Salty won’t leave the saloon now and no one has entered the bank since the manager went back in. Big Jack tells them that they’ll go round the back in twenty minutes just before it closes.
Salty tells everyone in the saloon that he’s a man of plenty experience, so Bobby has a request, he wants him to be the town Sheriff, Salty asks if he will have to wear the badge, Bobby confirms he will so Salty agrees to be the Sheriff.
Big Jack tells Sid to make sure the old man is still in the saloon, Sid tells him he was only in there two minutes ago, Big Jack grabs Sid off the bed and tells him to make sure.
At a funeral the coffin is removed from the hearse we saw earlier in town, as four pallbearers move the coffin out of the carriage they have no choice but to drop it due to its weight. Candy finds a safe spot to park the buggy and begins freeing Hoss from the coffin he has, as soon as he opens it he slams it shut with dread written all across his face. Back at the funeral the four pallbearers are having a hard time trying to move the coffin over to the burial site and the pain in their faces are evident as they try and carry the weight of the coffin. Cut to Candy racing back to town.
Candy runs into the undertakers’ office and asks if anyone is there, the undertaker rises out of a coffin on show and he tells Candy he was grabbing forty winks. Candy tells the man that he gave him the wrong coffin, the undertaker asks Candy how he knows this, Candy tells him he just knows and he wants the other one. The undertaker tells him he can’t do it and Candy asks why, the undertaker tells him it’s not here in his office. Candy asks where it is and the undertaker tells Candy by his guess is six feet underground in the cemetery. Candy asks where the cemetery is , and the undertaker tells him it’s North of town, Candy makes a quick exit but not before bumping into Sid as he jumps back in his buggy and rides out of town.
Back in the saloon Salty declares as long as he’s Sheriff of Sunville they don’t have to worry about any bank robbers. Big Jack and Sid enter the bank and when the door closes the closed sign appears in the door.
Candy rushes to the cemetery. Dillard begins the eulogy for Thaddeus Simpson. Candy is still making his way to the cemetery. Dillard speaks highly of Thaddeus, Hoss calls from within the coffin, looking around Dillard tells everyone to have a little respect for the departed. The speech carries on, and suddenly the lid of the coffin flies open and the mourners run in every direction. Hoss covered in a sheet rises from the coffin, the speaker faints and Candy arrives just in time to see the mourners scattering. Candy rescues Hoss from the coffin as the widower pulls Dillard out of the hole he fainted in. Hoss asks what happened and Candy tells him he’ll tell him on the way.
At the bank Big Jack is holding a gun to the banker who is opening the safe for him somewhat nervously. The banker turns the handle but the safe won’t open, Big Jack tells him to stop stalling.
Salty is at the saloon and he’s drunk as a skunk, Bobby tells him to have another one, but Salty tells them he’s on duty, Bobby tells him to have one more before they go outside and show them how he did it. Salty wants to know what he did, Bobby reminds him how he gunned down Big Jack and they want to see it again. Salty agrees.
At the bank the banker is still having problems opening the safe, Big Jack tells him he has 30 seconds. The banker asks if they could come back tomorrow, Big Jack tells him he has fifteen seconds now, this jogs the banker’s memory and he opens the safe. Big Jack tells Sid to tie up the banker while he goes to get the money. Hoss and Candy return to town and hide their faces by carrying two long planks between their heads and head for the livery stables. Big Jack comes out of the safe and Sid asks how much they got, Big Jack tells him about thirty thousand. Sid whistles, Big Jack tells Sid to make sure the coast is clear.
At the livery stable Hoss tells Candy that the coast is clear and to get the horses. Big Jack and Sid leave the bank with their ill gotten gains. Salty and the townsfolk leave the saloon stumbling around. Both Hoss and Candy hide immediately, but Big Jack and Sid have nowhere to hide and can be seen clear as day from the unruly bunch, they freeze on the spot.
Salty carries on talking since he’s got his back to Big Jack and Sid but the townsfolk can see them and Bobby tries to warn him, but Salty won’t have it and carries on talking like he did when he confronted oss outside the hotel. Big Jack tells Sid he’s not going to try him and continues to hold the money clear as day in his hands. Bobby points to the pair but Salty still won’t have it, Salty tells Big Jack to make his play. Candy and Hoss think that Salty is talking to them and asks Hoss what they do now since they’ve already killing him once. Hoss tells him that he’s prefer a month in jail than rather go through that again, he raises
his hands in the air, Big Jack drops the money bags just as Hoss and Candy walk out with their hands in the air, Big Jack and Sid raise their arms in the air. All four step out at the same time and Hoss stares at Big Jack and Big Jack stares at Hoss. The townsfolk rush to get the bags of money, Salty tells everyone to wait a minute because he’s not done the bang bit. Bobby looks at Hoss and then back at Salty, Salty sees Hoss and his face drops. Bobby tells Salty he thought he’d killed Big Jack. Things start going wobbly for Salty and then he passes out.
Salty is woken up by the sounds of Hoss calling his name, Salty gets up and Hoss asks if he’s alright, Salty replies he’d be better if he was dead. Hoss tells him it’s not that bad, but Salty tells Hoss he’s the laughing stock of the whole town, he’s gone from Salty the gunfighter to Salty the liar, Salty asks what went wrong. Candy tells him just about everything and Hoss tells him they know he’s not Big Jack now. Salty tells them that now he’s not what he claims to be and asks ride with them, Hoss asks where he’s heading and Salty tells them somewhere where he can live out his years without folks laughing at him, and would prefer to sneak out without anyone seeing him. Hoss tells him it’s not going to be easy and Salty asks why, Candy tells him the townsfolk are all waiting outside for him. Salty gets up and peers out the window of the hotel doors, he sees everyone waiting as Candy said. Salty tells them that he doesn’t have to see them especially Bobby Dan because he’s worried about the backlash he’ll get. Hoss tells him he has to see him sooner or later, Salty asks why he can’t just slip out the back and pretend they’re not there. Hoss tells Salty to just go out the front and face them like a man. Salty puts his hat on and takes his gun and tells them he will, he’ll let them laugh at him and leaves through the front door.
Salty walks over to the town folks waiting for him, he tells them to go ahead because he deserves it, Bobby Dan with a solemn face tells Salty he sure does and then begins to smile as he hands Salty the Sheriff’s badge. Bobby tells Salty that Detective Cartwright told them that he planned the whole thing from the beginning just to lure the real Big Jack out into the open and they were all mighty proud of him. They all realised that he’s not just a real gunfighter, but he’s also a great lawman, Salty asks about the real Big Jack and Bobby tells him he caught him red handed. Bobby urges Salty to put on the badge. Salty doesn’t believe he should wear it, Hoss tells Salty that the town needs a good lawman and he can’t let them down now. Salty pins the badge onto his chest but not before telling everyone that he was thinking about rejoining the Texas Rangers but he guesses it can wait. Salty decrees to everyone he’ll be their Sheriff and everyone cheers. Bobby tells Salty that once word gets out Sunville will be famous all the way to New York, Bobby invites Salty for a cold one to celebrate, they all head to the saloon. Salty sees Hoss and Candy preparing to leave and he tells everyone he’ll see them at the saloon.
Salty asks where they’re heading, and Hoss tells them that they’re heading home, Salty wishes they could join him for a drink. Candy wishes he could as well but tells Salty they really need to get going. Salty tells them that he’ll never forget them and Candy returns the sentiment. Salty also wishes there was some way to thank them, and Hoss tells him he can by going to the saloon and having one on them. Hoss and Candy finally ride out. Bobby shouts at Salty to tell them about the Texas Rangers, Salty rubs his star and heads for the saloon.
- Sid is wearing a left handed holster rig back to front.
- There's a running joke of a sleeping man in the saloon that later appears asleep on the crates that form the barricade outside the hotel.
- The couple standing at the doorway and the two elderly women sitting in rocking chairs are part of Michael Landon's family and friend during the gunfight between Hoss and Salty.
- John Carradine is the father of David Carradine and Keith Carradine (Who also appeared in Bushwhacked).
The Cartwrights Edit
- Lorne Green: Ben Cartwright (Credit only)
- Dan Blocker: Hoss Cartwright
- Michael Landon: Little Joe Cartwright (Credit Only)
Recurring Characters Edit
Special Guests Edit
- Ivor Francis: Banker
- Jim Connell: Hotel Manager
- Robert Sorrells: Sid
- Guy Wilkerson: Sheriff
- Milton Parsons: Undertaker
- Sunshine Parker: Bum #1
- Lee McLaughlin: Bum #2
- John Carradine: Dillard