Ringo stumbles into town after a long absence reeking of alcohol, calls out two cowboys from a saloon and guns them down. Mayor Henderson demands to know Ringo's reasons for killing the men... See full summary »





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Episode cast overview:
Burt Scanlon
Alvy Moore ...
Billy Joe Scanlon
Ralph Thomas ...
Webb Scanlon
Peter Chong ...
Foo Chung
Charlie Chung
Judy Dan ...
Lisa Lu Chung
Mayor Henderson
Luke (as Carter de Haven Sr.)


Ringo stumbles into town after a long absence reeking of alcohol, calls out two cowboys from a saloon and guns them down. Mayor Henderson demands to know Ringo's reasons for killing the men and the sheriff explains that he found three Chinese tied up in the desert who died from lack of water and tracked the killers into town with only whiskey to keep him from falling victim to the same fate as the other victims. His mission isn't complete - one of the murderers is still at large. Written by David Bassler

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Release Date:

12 May 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The Message Is Tolerance!!!
29 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Every television series features an episode or two that makes a worthwhile, socially responsible statement about mankind in the larger scheme of things. The episode entitled "Single Debt" in producer Aaron Spelling's western series "John Ringo" qualifies as such a show. This episode examines prejudice on the part of lowlife Americans toward an Asian family. The Chung family, Foo (Peter Chong), Charlie (James Hong of "Chinatown"), and Lisa Lu (Judy Dan), are peaceful farmers tilling the soil who do nothing to upset anybody. Burt Scanlon (Warren Oates of "Return of the Seven") is a no-account rancher who wants the Chung family property and has no qualms about getting it. Initially, Scanlon appeals to their greed by offering them $600 dollars for their land. He claims that he is being more than fair, but the Chungs turn him down cold. At this point, Burt and Billy Joe (Alvy Moore of "Green Acres") whip out their six-guns and usher the Chung family some 20 miles into the parched desert to get them to negotiate. Nevertheless, they refuse. Later, Ringo rides out and finds them, but he cannot save them. Burt and Bill Joe get the drop on him and leave him afoot with nothing but a bottle of liquor. Miraculously, Ringo makes it back to town, looking like hell. At first, Cully (Mark Goddard), Mayor Headerson (Willis Bouchey), and the others townspeople believe that Ringo is drunk as a skunk and behaving inappropriately when he staggers up to the Golden Wheel Saloon and slaps leather with Billy Joe and Webb Scanlon (Ralph Thomas), shooting them dead on the spot in the first scene. Burt gets out of town before Ringo has a chance to kill him. Thereafter, Ringo recounts what happens. Naturally, everybody is appalled by the conduct of the Scanlons and Ringo stands redeemed in their eyes. Later, Ringo and Cully track Burt down, scare off his horse, and leave him to die in the vast sun-scorched wasteland. Afterward, Ringo goes back to fetch Burt because it would be inhuman to leave him out there to die. "Single Debt" ranks as one of the best episodes in the short-lived "Johnny Ringo" series. Prolific editor Arthur Helton helmed this episode, the only one that he did for "Johnny Ringo," but he is best known for his notorious, so-bad-its-good "Cat-Women of the Moon." The message of tolerance toward other races of humans makes this a memorable episode.

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