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Ep.6 - The Night Walker

 
  Original Airdate: October 28, 1976
Writer: Paul West
Director: Harvey S. Laidman

Description:

  A prowler is lurking around Walton's Mountain which threatens Jason's plans to hold a community dance at Ike Godsey's new Hall.

Prologue:

  "Storytelling was art in our family, it was not only entertaining but a way of preserving family history, local legends, and a few tall tales. Stories of ghosts and nameless things that moved in the night were told by my grandfather in the warmth of the fireplace. But they lived only in our imaginations, until one, quiet, moonless night. It seemed that something was watching us."

Synopsis:

 

A prowler stirs up the barn animals one night at the Waltons causing John-Boy and has Daddy to investigate. They are unable to find the cause of the disturbance but the next morning the family is all worked up about what could be the cause. Jason reports that Thelma the owner of the Dew Drop Inn has closed up the roadhouse for a few weeks to go on a trip to Florida.

Ike decides to open up a hall. John-Boy suggests that Jason rent the hall and put together a band and hold a dance. Ike wants $3 a night during the week and $5 on the weekend.

Elizabeth and Erin walk home from school they hear the call of a whippoorwill. They see the shape of a man through the trees and run home. Grandpa tells a tall tale about “Tall Paul Tucker”. Grandma worries about Erin’s safety in coming home from her job at the phone switchboard. John-Boy waits at Ike’s for her call to pick her up but she gets a ride back to Ike’s by the Baldwin ladies. Corabeth retires to her bedroom for the night and sees the prowler lurking outside her window. She screams and Ike takes her to see the Sherrif.

Now that Jason is not working at the Dew Drop Inn he decides to hold the dance and develops a plan with John-Boy and Ben. He'll charge 25 cents a person and hopes to get 50 couples and sell 100 tickets with all the costs accounted for he hopes to clear $10. He calls his new act “Jason Walton and the Rhythm Kings”.

John-Boy stops by the Baldwin sisters to check on their safety. They report that they had seen someone out their window. John-Boy checks it but only finds a sack of apples that had been left by a tree. On his way home he sees a strange woman walking down the road who is looking for someone.

John drops off fire wood to the Baldwin ladies and they ask if he could repair some old wicker chairs. Sherrif Bridges arrives with Corabeth to discuss the prowler situation. Jason negotiates the rental of the hall with Ike for Saturday night.

John and Zeb go hunting. They spot a deer and they also see smoke coming from the old Montgomery place. They meet Eva Hadley. She is guarded and not interested in being friendly.

Back at the house Elizabeth weaves a bird cage for a school project and Jason announces his plans to hold a dance. He plays some music on the piano and Ben and Erin practice their dance moves. Sherrif Bridges and John visit Mrs. Hadley to learn more about her and her son but she wants to be left alone.

Ben, Jim-Bob and Elizabeth hang signs for the dance around the community. Ben can't sell any tickets for the dance. He believes that people are too afraid to go out at night with the prowler lurking around.

Jason practices with his band mates in the barn and they see the lurker just outside the door. They chase and catch him. When they realize that he is harmless and frightened they bring him inside the kitchen. John brings his mother to the Walton home. Her son Lorin is 18 and has been mute since he was born. She brought him to the country to avoid being tormented by uncaring people in Little Creek. All he knows how to do is weave and make bird sounds.

The night of the dance finally arrives and the community turns up now that their fears have been alleviated. The Hadley’s are invited and Miss Emily asks Lauren to dance.

Epilogue:

 
  "Lorin Hadley became a valued member of our community, and his skills supported his mother and himself from that day on. Jason didn't get rich from that dance at Godsey's Hall, but it did provide an unforgettable milestone in our memories of those lean, but wonderful years."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

 
 
  • Grandpa makes reference to a nearby town of Schuyler which is in fact the village that show creator Earl Hamner grew up in. The real Walton’s Mountain.
  • The Baldwins have a tea which is filmed in the front yard of their home. The location was previously used for dramatic scenes in Season 1 - Episode 19 "The Gypsies"

Additional Cast:

 
 

 


Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Peggy Webber (Mrs. Eva Hadley), Gary Tomlin (Lorin), "The Rhythm Kings" consisting of Larry McNeely (banjo player), Brian Longley (sax player), Ralph Henley (drums)

 

Music from this episode:

   
Theme heard while Ike hangs a sign for his new rental hall
Uneasy theme for the prowler
Jason plays "The Lullaby of Broadway" on the piano while Ben, Erin and Elizabeth dance.
Grandpa sings a song about "The Lady in Red"
Jason practices with his band in the barn while the prowler lurks outside
Jason Walton and the Rhythm Kings play at the dance

 


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