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Sheriff Madden is recovering from injuries while a gang of robbers and
horse thieves are loose around Stockton. A young deputy Billy Norris
(played by Johnny Crawford or Mark from the Rifleman) is the only law
in town. But it just so happens that a former sheriff, Harry Bodine,
happens to be in town visiting his wife's grave. But he wants no part
of being a lawman since his wife's death. Even after pleas from the
Barkley boys- Bodine refuses to be sheriff.
Only when Heath is injured by one of the horse thieves, does Harry Bodine agree to put the badge back onto his chest and go find the gang responsible for the thefts.- But this may be an act that the citizens of Stockton will regret. Harry Bodine may not live up to legend that citizens of Stockton have for the former Sheriff.
James Gregory (best known for as Inspector Luger in 'Barney Miller') gives another fine performance as the returning sheriff that wants to help his old town. This is his fourth and final member of the guest cast and has yet to let the viewer down. Even the more mature Johnny Crawford has a brief but well played part in this episode. When you add the regular cast this episode proves to be one of the better shows of the series.
Barkley matriarch Barbara Stanwyck gets put in harm's way in this Big
Valley story. A man she and her late husband once trusted implicitly
let's her down big time.
That man is former sheriff James Gregory a once respected lawman now in league with outlaws. The regular Stockton sheriff Douglas Kennedy is laid up with a gunshot wound. The only regular law in the town now is Johnny Crawford, a young inexperienced deputy. But it's Crawford who proves to be the key to stopping Gregory.
There's a lot of horse stealing, but that's only an opener to the daring caper Gregory plans and nearly pulls off. Stanwyck proves pretty resourceful herself.
Gregory dominates this episode as a cynical and vengeful former member of the law enforcement community.
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