Ep.19 - The Gypsies

  Original Airdate: February 1, 1973
Writer: Paul Savage
Director: Harry Harris


  "Times were hard everywhere during the days of the great Depression, but on Walton's Mountain we were better off than most. To many though it was a time of wandering, of looking for some better place, a new grasp on life, or a change of scene. And I remember when some wanderers came to our mountain one wild stormy summer night."



A family of Gypsies is stranded when their caravan is damaged by a falling tree limb in a storm. They take refuge in the Baldwin home which they find is unoccupied. The Walton children are making popcorn balls while the adults try and listen to the radio but there is constant static caused by the lighting. John-Boy and Jason prepare to check on the Baldwin house but they are sidetracked when they hear the Gypsy's dog attacking their chickens. Meanwhile the Gypsies have made themselves comfortable inside the Baldwin home but their infant child is fussing and becoming increasingly ill.


The next moring when John-Boy and Jason discover that Gypsies have invaded the Baldwins place they run and call the sherrif. Volta, the Gypsy leader says that they needed a play to shelter his family from the storm when his wagon broke down and they have caused no harm to the Baldwin's place. When Sherrif Bridges can't seem to resolve the issue of trespassing John-boy offers to invite the Gypsy family to his house.

The family sets up their camp at the Walton's but they are unreceptive to the Walton's generosity. Volta's proud stance of "We ask for nothing, we take nothing" even if they go hungry brings unecessary hardship on his family. Meanwhile local bigot Matt Beckwith continues to spread fear and rumour down at Ike Godsey's store to whoever will listen. He accuses the Gypsy's dog of eating his chickens. When the Gypsy baby stops breathing Grandma steps in to treat it properly for it's influenza. Later at the two seem to be making a bond they see the Gypsy dog in the chicken coop. The men chase it down and as Volta aims his gun to shoot his own dog his son stops him in time and they discover that it was in fact a fox that had been attacking the chickens and the Gypsy dog had been protecting the flock. As the Gypsies prepare to leave Volta offers John his ring in thanks but John replies "We ask for nothing, we take nothing."


  "They might have come from a different planet, but they touched our lives briefly and then in my mind went on in some gaudy, mysterious and wonderful world. Nearly 30 years have passed but still those days are bright in my memory. I can still hear the scratch of my pen as I recorded all that wonder, the cosy patter of rain on the roof, and our voices just before going to sleep as we called one last drousy message."

Additional Cast:

  Guest Stars: Gregory Sierra (Volta), Celia Lovsky (Zena), Barry Miller (Craska), Karen Kondan (Franzia), Victor Argo (Zvelei), William Bramley (Matt Beckwith) with: John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey)

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