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Ep.12 - The Last Mustang

 
  Original Airdate: December 16, 1976
Writer: Calvin Clements Jr.
Director: Walter Alzmann

Description:

  Sheriff Bridges is running for re-election but an out of town opponent has more charm and threatens to put Ep out of a job. A wild mustang is captured and Grandpa is determined to make sure it can continue to run free on Walton's Mountain.

Prologue:

  "According to my grandfather, legendary creatures once lived and some still existed on Walton's Mountain. There were tales of a bear so huge he had no fear of anything, a snake as big as a railroad tye, and a mythical white deer which could be spotted at the edge of a wood on a snowy evening. One creature we thought was legendary we went searching for one day, and found. "

Synopsis:

 

Grandpa, John-Boy and Jim-Bob go searching for a wild mustang believed to be running wild on the mountain. They spot it by the river. Grandpa says that the Spanish were the first to bring horses to the continent and that the mustang is a pure original breed.When they return home they find Sheriff Bridges visiting on the porch. Ep is running for re-election but is up against an out of town challenger this time. He has the Walton Family’s support but Olivia wants John-Boy to slant his newspaper coverage of the candidates words so that Ep has more of a chance against his more refined opponent Glen Oldfield. John-Boy says that he can't slant the news like that.

Glen Oldfield and his campaign manager arrive at the Walton’s home and ask John-Boy if he would reprint his coverage on Glen Oldfield's campaign as a promotional handout. John-Boy is hesitant at first as he doens't want to give preference to Oldfield's candidency over his friend Ep Bridges. They connvince him though that it is merely a business transaction that they are willing to pay for. John-Boy is lured by the money as every little bi will help to pay off his press. His Mama is not so convinced and warn's him that there must be some catch attached to the offer and that his actions are giving Oldfield an advantage that Sheriff Bridges cant afford. A pile of a mail arrives for John-Boy with advertising orders for his paper. John also receives an order to make park benches for Mr. Hastings, a powerful business man offering a contract that John didn't bid on. They believe that the work has all come to them as a result of the positive coverage that John-Boy has written of Glen Oldfield’s campaign in his paper. Despite Olivia's concerns both the men accept the money and the contracts choosing to believe it's just business and money they need.

Professor Ainsley from Boatwright University arrives to see the wild mustang so that the University can study it. Grandpa doesn't believe that it is right for the animal to be penned up, that it should be free to run wild. Ben arrives and announces that Carl Muntner has caught the mustang down by Green Creek and has penned him up beside his Hardware & Feed store in Rockfish to attract curious customers.

The Baldwins host a tea for the candidates. Glen Oldfield shines as he sings and plays the piano for the guests. Ep Bridges on the other hand feels awkward and out of play at such a fancy affair.

John-Boy talks to Mr. Jessup the campaign manager for Glen Oldfield at the campaign office. He is concerned about the orders he and his father received. Mr. Jessup tells him that they are supporters who are thanking John-Boy with their business. John-Boy learns that Glen has aspirations to run for the State Assembly in a year’s time. Mr. Jessup says that John-Boy could really benefit if he goes along for the ride as a supporter. John-Boy is determined to print this news to his readers. He doesn't want to see Sherrif Bridges out of a job so that it can be used as a temporary stepping stone for his opponent.

On his way back home John-Boy comes across the mustang that has broke free from it’s pen. A few minutes later Carl Muntner and some of his friends come along in chase and ask if he has seen the horse. John-Boy says he wouldn’t say if he did.

John-Boy tells his Daddy that Glen Oldfield is a carpet bagger with no intentions of setting down roots in Jefferson County.

Grandpa decides to brand the Mustang to protect it from being taken off their property. He forged a branding iron. Ben worries that it will hurt the horse but Grandpa believes that sometimes a little discomfort is necessary to arrive at some lasting good. He has to be a little cruel to be kind.

John-Boy prints the news of Glen Oldfield's intentions which results in swinging the vote in Sheriff Bridges favor.

Ike brings a telegram by for John. It is a cancellation for the park benches. John is furious that he wasn't able to finish the order before the news in John-Boy’s paper changes the minds of Glen Oldfield’s supporters. Olivia comes by to talk him down from his upset.

Glen Oldfield stops by to apologize for the way he run his campaign and how it hurt his family. He came to apologize in person for the damage that was done in his name. He thought that people like John-Boy could be bought with political favors. He says that he hopes he can earn his support the next time he comes through campaigning.

The family catches the mustang and Grandpa quickly brands the horse with a fancy “W”. They set it free to run wild for the rest of it’s life.

Epilogue:

 
  "The mustang remained free after that. We would see it from time to time and it always brought a rush of excitement and a feeling of being in touch with something primitive, and rare, and very special. Ep Bridges continued on as Sheriff for more years than anyone can remember, and Glen Oldfield, to no-one's surprise, became a member of the State Assembly."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

 
 
  • Ep Bridges is 46 years old and has been sheriff for 15 years. His first wife, Louella, died sometime in the past.

Additional Cast:

 
 

 


Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), John Fink (Glen Oldfield), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Alan Fudge (Arlo Jessup), Wayne Heffley (Carl Muntner), Arthur Malet (Professor Ainsley), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Asta Hansen (Campaign Worker)
 

Music from this episode:

   
Theme heard while the Waltons do yard work prior to the arrival of Glen Oldfield
2 themes heard when news that the mustang has been captured
Glen Oldfield sings and plays the piano at a tea put on by the Baldwin ladies
Common theme used while the Waltons prepare the brand the wild mustang

 


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