| Season 4, Episode 16 |
#116 in Series
|Air date||January 13, 1963|
|Written by||Judy George |
|Directed by||Don McDougall|
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Elegy for a Hangman
Song in the Dark on IMDb
Song in the Dark on TV.com
Incriminating scratches on cowhand Danny Morgan's arm and his penchant for riding alone through the night strumming his guitar makes him the prime suspect when a woman is found strangled the morning after witnesses heard Danny's voice singing in the dark outside her cabin.
Neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, stop by the Ponderosa and borrow a plow from the Cartwrights, and in doing so, deliver the news that the Widow Baker, who ran a gambling parlor, was murdered in town the night before. The sheriff comes by shortly afterward to question the Cartwright's hired hand, Danny Morgan, who was heard singing outside the widow's house. When he's found with fresh scratches on his forearm, the sheriff deems it enough evidence to arrest him. Danny maintains his innocence to Adam, who believes him and works hard to clear his name.
Mrs. Johnson grows suspicious of her husband, the self-ordained Reverend Johnson, who delivered the news about the murder of the widow. The reverend has a room in his home serving as a sanctuary with a pulpit that he acquired and plans to use in his own church. While he is sleeping, Mrs. Johnson discovers a huge sum of money inside the pulpit. Her husband walks in on her holding it, and, upon discovering that she knows his secret – that he murdered the Widow Baker and took the money to build his church – Mr. Johnson threatens to harm her and she falls down the steps. Johnson frames Danny for his wife's death, too.
Adam investigates Mr. Johnson and uncovers his secret desire to lead a church, and that the man is crazy. Adam plays the man's game until he ends up breaking the pulpit and seemingly, the spell that it has on Mr. Johnson. In the final scene, Danny Morgan rides off in the sunset, singing.
- Lorne Green: Ben Cartwright
- Dan Blocker: Hoss Cartwright
- Michael Landon: Little Joe Cartwright
- Pernell Roberts: Adam Cartwright
- Edward Andrews: Reverend William Johnson
- Gregory Walcott: Danny Morgan
- Harry Swoger: Felix
- James Tartan: Townman
- Mort Mills: Deputy Sheriff Jeff Sykes
- Virginia Christine: Mary Johnson
Did you know?Edit
- German episode title: "Das Böse im Menschen", meaning "The Evil in Man".
- "Only the pure shall enter my church!"
"I thought churches were meant for sinners."
- ―William Johnson and Mary Johnson[src]