Bill and the Major find a man lying hurt, a meal for the buzzards. When he meets an innocent woman on the wagon train who has an inheritance waiting for her, he shows other skills besides being just a schoolteacher and her mother is wary.
Adams and Hawks spot buzzards overhead finding Joshua Gilliam who has been severely whipped with a bull whip. They return to the train where Greta Halstadt tends to his wounds. Joshua tells them he is a school teacher who was whipped for giving a student a lashing. He is very friendly with Greta to the dismay of her mother Freda. Greta has been teaching the kids on the train but she suggests having a trained teacher would be beneficial to the kids. Joshua is a great teacher and his cultured manners wins Greta's heart. Joshua attempts to secretly hypnotize Greta but Freda interrupts. Freda tells Joshua that Greta will not receive her inheritance unless Freda blesses her marriage. As part of a history lesson Joshua teaches the children about the Salem witch trials while at the same time convincing them witches exist indirectly describing Freda. The children become frighten by Freda causing her to have a nervous breakdown aided by Joshua's tricks. He uses hypnosis to tell Freda to ride ...Written by
Dan Duryea who gave us so many memorable villains on the big screen and
small adds yet another in this Wagon Train story. If Ward Bond and Terry
Wilson knew what this guy was all about they'd have left him on the desert
with his back laid open from a bullwhip Duryea would have been left there.
But he's rescued and brought back and he says he's a schoolteacher and Ward
Bond decides to let him earn his pay doing just that. Duryea also learns that
spinster lady Bethel Leslie is traveling west with her mother Irene Tedrow to
claim a large inheritance in San Francisco.
Only Tedrow suspects he's not what he seems and she can't get anyone to believe it. Duryea turns the Wagon Train children against her with his spellbinding tales of the Salem Witch Trials. Duryea also is skilled in the arts
of Mesmer and he nearly has Leslie under a trance.
All I will say more is that Duryea meets a sudden and well deserved end. This
episode is for Dan Duryea fans of which I'm one.
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