Price of A Name — episode #16

While making his way further west, Jas joined a cattle drive. He had traveled 500 miles of dirt and cattle to check into a job offer. When he got to town all the men lined up to get their pay. Jas had made friends with a cowboy by the name of Roy Harris. Jas told Roy he was going to check on the job he was offered, he said Miss Benson was expecting him. Roy told Jas he would be at the saloon. Jas told him he would see him later.

Miss Benson told Jas that what she needed was the help of an expert. Her ranch, The Flying B, was one of the fastest growing enterprises in the territory. She was contemplating an expansion so big that she intended to leave her mark on this territory. Jas laughed to himself. She told him she wanted to use every square foot to her advantage. She wanted her building located strategically and fortified against anything, including an act of God. She told him that sometime in the afternoon the first shipment of construction materials will arrive. His first duty will be to see that she gets her moneys worth. Jas was surprised; he hadn’t even accepted the job yet. She seemed pretty sure of herself. “Mr. McCord… don’t strike me as the kind of a person who would ride 500 miles behind a herd of filthy cattle just to tell me you won’t accept the highest paying job he had ever been offered!” It looked like she had him figured out as well as her empire. He accepted the job. She told him they would discuss more about the job over lunch and that she had already reserved a room for him at the hotel. She told him she would expect him back in an hour.

Before heading over to the saloon, Jas thought he better get his horse put into the stable. As he approached his horse he could see his sabre was missing from the scabbard. Then someone threw his saber into the ground. As he looked up he was hit on the side of the head, as he started to go down two cowboys grabbed him while another roughed him up. The big guy, the one who did all the hitting and punching, picked up Jas’s saber and holding it to Jas’s throat and said…..“Now if you know what’s good for you…’ll get out of town, Captain McCord!”

These cowboys didn’t let up on Jas and Jas didn’t give an inch. Miss Benson had sent Jas into town to pick up the payroll. He was almost to the ranch when the same three cowboys who roughed him up in town stopped him on the road. The big man, who they called Carruthers, approached Jas holding a gun on him. “Your kinda hard of hearing, aren’t ya’ captain?” “I told you to get out of town.” “Just what is it you want mister?” Asked Jas. “Right now…..I’d like to rummage through your saddle bags some more,” said Carruthers. He then told Jas to drop his gun. When Jas didn’t do as he said, one of the other cowboys, shot into the ground as a warning. Jas then took his gun out of his holster and threw it on the ground. He then told Jas to get off of his horse. Again Jas didn’t respond and the other cowboy shot at Jas, missing him. Carruthers told Jas again to get down. This time Jas did as he was told. Carruthers then started to go through Jas’s saddlebags. He pulled out a sack from Jas’s saddlebags; it was the payroll that Miss Benson sent him for. He told Jas that he carried the most interesting things in his saddlebags, that a man could make a hobby out of going through them every now and then. He then took Jas’s sabre and cut the cinch to his saddle on his horse. Carruthers then took the saddle and laid it on the ground. He then walked up to Jas and said…..“Just how much will you take McCord? We can talk that over the next time we meet…..unless you decide to leave town.” The three men rode off taking Jas’s horse and sabre with them. Jas had no choice but to walk back to The Flying B, carrying his saddle.

Roy had gone to see Miss Benson about a job. She asked Roy how well she knew Jas. He told her they had been riding together for six weeks and he felt in that amount of time he got to know Jas pretty well. He left her know that he liked Jas and that he gave him no reason to think otherwise. She asked Roy questions about Jas. She then proceeded to tell Roy about Bitter Creek. Roy had no idea and was surprised that he had miss judged Jas. As she went to get Roy another drink, she happened to look out of her window to see Jas walking, carrying his saddle. She rushed out to Jas and Roy followed. Jas told her that his three friends showed up again and they took the payroll and apologized. She then looked at Roy with a sly look. Jas then asked her if he could borrow one of her horses, he wanted to go after them. She told him he could and that she would have Pete get a horse saddled for him.

When Jas got back to The Flying B he had knocked on the door, but Miss Benson did not answer. The door was unlocked so he went on in. He noticed on the wall of the fireplace there had at one time hung a sword and a picture. As he turned he could see Miss Benson locking up her safe and then she entered the room. She was surprised when she saw Jas standing there. He told her he found his horse tied to a tree, but there was no sign of the men or the money. She told Jas that she thought he should leave town immediately. He told her that if that’s the way she wanted it he would leave. He felt he got off on the wrong foot. She told him that wasn’t it, that the three men that had been harassing Jas was there about 10 minutes ago and if they saw him they would kill him. Jas thought this was getting stranger and stranger by the minute. He asked her if she knew of anyone who might object to him working for her. She asked why anyone would object. He told her, his reputation. She reminded him that in her letters to him she was only interested in her future, not his past. She told him she wasn’t backing down on her offer, he was welcome to come or go as he pleased. Jas told her he would stay. She then told Jas that Roy had quit his job he hadn’t even started. He asked her why and she told him that she had used bad judgment when talking to Roy and told him about Jas’s military background and that she didn’t know he wasn’t aware of it. She told Jas that he was across the street getting drunk.

Roy was setting on the front porch of the saloon with a bottle. Jas approached him and asked him why he quit. Roy asked him if he found his friends. Jas told him he didn’t and that Miss Benson said they were looking for him now. Roy laughed and said…..“That figures!” “Jas…..pretty soon you’re gonna see those fellows hiding behind every watering trough and hitching post in this town. Jas asked him what that was supposed to mean. Roy told Jas that he had been sitting there all afternoon and hadn’t seen anyone. Jas asked him if he was sure. He told Jas he was sure and that Jas had bad men on the brain or maybe some ghosts came back to haunt him. “That must have been some tea party at Bitter Creek,” said Roy. “What gets me is…..I can ride with somebody night and day for six weeks and think he was my friend.” Jas told him he thought they were friends and maybe they should talk when he sobered up. “I’ll be here…..will you?” Asked Roy. What was going on? As Jas thought about it he saw a cowboy talking to Mr. Lucas, the bank president. Jas approached him. The banker told him he was closed and that Jas had already cleaned him out earlier. Jas asked him if Miss Benson normally had such a big payroll. He told Jas that he hadn’t sent that much money out to the ranch since her husband, Mr. Hackett had died. Jas was surprised. He told Jas that he had some good advice for him and that was never to mention her husband around her. Jas asked him why but he told Jas he talked too much already and then went into the bank.
Miss Benson was watching Jas from her window and saw he was on his way to see her. He walked in and slammed the door. “It’s quite a show you’re putting on Miss Benson!” You could tell Jas was upset. “You must have paid plenty for it!” She asked him what he meant. “How did your husband die?” “Now look…..I just left your house…..a military sabre used to hang over the mantle piece and by the looks of it, a photograph. Where are they now?” “They belonged to your husband, didn’t they?” “How did he die?” “He was in the army,” said Miss Benson. “In battle?” Asked Jas. “No,” said Miss Benson. “What right do you have to ask these questions?” She asked. “Don’t talk to me about rights! I wanna know how your husband died!”
“He was shot for desertion!” She yelled. Now he was beginning to understand why she brought him there. It wasn’t to supervise construction. She wanted someone to use for a guinea pig, someone she could put under a magnifying glass and watch squirm.  “You wanted proof that your husband was really a coward, that he didn’t deserve to be remembered.” “So you punished me…..the way you never got the chance to punish him,” said Jas. “NO!” She yelled. “No! Well then maybe it was the other way around.” “Maybe you wanted to punish yourself because you didn’t have what it took to stand by him after he was dishonored!” “So you rejected his memory and his name!” Accused Jas. “That’s a horrible accusation to make!” “Look…..if you want an excuse to run…..don’t blame it on me!” Exclaimed Miss Benson. Jas looked at her and said…..“Those men haven’t been here all day. The only way you could know they were coming would be if you told them.” Jas didn’t even have those words out of his mouth right when the three cowboys rode into town. He looked out the window and said…..“Well Miss Benson…..they’re here!” “What are you going to do about it?” Asked Jas. She turned to Jas and asked…..“More important, what are you going to do?”

Jas walked out into the street. Carruthers yelled…..“You still in town captain?” The three cowboys approached Jas, with Carruthers doing all the talking. “Well if your gonna talk… better speak first ‘cause I got a knack for getting in the last word!” Just then Roy came up along side of them and drew his gun. “Nobody called you out mister,” said Carruthers to Roy. “I’m just keepin’ your friends honest,” said Roy. Carruthers told Roy they were gentle as lambs. “Alright McCord…..let’s see you live up to your reputation.” They stood there just looking at each other.  As she watched the men, Miss Benson was getting nervous, she hadn’t plan on it going this far. They were getting ready to draw against each other when she yelled…..“
Carruthers! That’s enough Carruthers.” “It’s all over!” She then turned and started to go into her store when Jas said to her…..“That was a dangerous game you had us playing.” “Yes…..but now I know.” Jas turned to her and said…..“No you don’t…..all you know is one man didn’t run one time.” “She looked up at Jas and said…..“I know that man was slandered unjustly.” “And if that’s true…..maybe my husband was misjudged too.” Maybe he was and maybe he wasn’t…..that isn’t important.” “Your test did not prove or disprove his courage, but it did prove you want to put him back in your life,” said Jas. “That is important… it!” “Mrs. Hackett!” She thought for a moment. How nice it was to hear her being called Mrs. Hackett again. She liked the sound. “Mrs. Hackett…..thank you.”

Carruthers walked up to Jas and handed his sabre to him and said…..“McCord… hard feelings?” “No… hard feelings.” He then hit Carruthers hard enough for him to fall to the ground. And said “But no hard feeling,” as he walked away. Carruthers laughed as he rubbed his jaw, he knew he had it coming.

Before riding out of town, Jas rode up to Roy and thanked him for standing by him. “Anytime! You’re my friend Jas…..sorry I forgot it before,” said Roy. Jas laid his hand on Roy’s shoulder as if to say all was forgiven, friend.

Price of A Name  ― Cast

Next ―
Judge Not

Episode Guide 1 & 2

the saddlebag..... 1 & 2



Site Map
 around The McCain Ranch