Responding to a newspaper item, Paladin takes the overland stage to Bracketville to see a man named DeWitt about his supposedly unruly son. For his fee, he is to kidnap the boy and take him...
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Responding to a newspaper item, Paladin takes the overland stage to Bracketville to see a man named DeWitt about his supposedly unruly son. For his fee, he is to kidnap the boy and take him to another town, where some friends will sit on him until he cools down. He discovers that DeWitt's son is the new attorney who rode with him on the stage into town. When the son is killed, Paladin must shoot it out with the marshal or be killed himself.Written by
There is a lot to Roddenberry's story line, some explicit, some not
In the beginning scene on the El Paso stagecoach, actor Slate drones on about a legal issue to a not-interested female passenger. It relates to the superposition of an ethics clause onto a contract, an abstract issue which does relate to the rest of the story. Paladin is in the coach, seemingly disinterested (his hat is over his eyes), but he is listening, and he (correctly) cites the relevant case as McAdams v US (1853), which case likely was about 20 years old at the presumed time of the stage ride. (Whether the case is real, I do not know) However, the stage destination of Brackettville is a real place, quite famous for reasons not in the story. Brackettville developed because of the presence of nearby Ft. Clark, the base of the Buffalo Soldiers and had a significant population of Black Seminoles. In the time period 1958-59 (about two years before this Have Gun episode), the tv show Mackenzie's Raiders related to cavalry exploits out of Ft. Clark.
The episode is notable for casting Buddy Ebsen (1926 graduate of Orlando High School) as a nasty villain. Marshall Elmo (Ebsen), who relied on his star to commit various bad acts, is finally (legally) tricked by Paladin. Or did the legality really matter, and was this simply about survival?
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