The Virginian stops Matthew Cordell a prisoner on a work detail from escaping. He learns he has been in prison since the age of 15 but is in his mid twenties. He asks Judge Garth to check Cordell's background on a trip to the prison to discuss prison reform with the new warden. Cordell was in an orphanage until he went to prison for attempting to kill another boy. He has no history of freedom or a normal life. The Judge agrees to take him as a parolee as a test to Shiloh where he continues his prison lifestyle of isolation. When he heals a split hoof on Betsy's new horse, she develops a crush for him. But at Steve's birthday party Cordell is more interested in the older dressmaker Rita Marlow who also finds him interesting. When Cordell nearly kills Belden over dancing with Rita, Garth is close to sending him back to prison. Given a second chance, Cordell tries to make amends with the other men but his socialization is tested again when another convict shows up saying he is on parole but wants Cordell to help rob Judge Garth.- Written by Anonymous
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