Stage Stop

First Impressions:     The quintessential Laramie. A strong introduction to the four main characters and the homey setting and family tone that is the hallmark of the rest of the series.

The Story:     Outlaw Bud Carlin comes to the Sherman Way Station to intercept a judge bound for Laramie on the stage. Slim Sherman runs the Stage Stop along with his younger brother Andy and their family friend, Jonesy.

Enter Jess harper, a drifter with a fast gun who is looking for the man whom Bud Carlin is trying to break out of jail. The first of many of Jess' "old friends" from his checkered past.

Jess first meets Slim when Jess decides to take a snooze by the lake on Slim's property. For some reason, Slim objects to this and shoos him off. An inauspicious beginning to a great friendship.

Jess arrives at the ranch house, well before Slim makes it home, and makes instant friends with Slim's brother, fourteen-year old Andy.  Andy is captivated by the charming and experienced Jess.  Andy's biggest complaint in his young life is that he "never gets to go anywhere".  To him, Jess is a breath of fresh air in his rather dull world, and the antithesis of his rather staid older brother.

When Slim arrives home to find the drifter that he ran off sitting at his table, he's none too pleased. Andy is already making noises about leaving home with Jess when he moves on.

 Jess of course, has no intention of taking Andy with him, but because Slim is acting so ornery, Jess goads him into a fight.  Just as Slim and Jess are squaring off against each other, Bud Carlin and his henchmen break in.
What follows is a hostage situation with Carlin's men holding the Sherman household and the newly arrived judge. They intend to get to town with Bud impersonating the judge, and break their friend out of jail.
In the course of events, it's proven that Carlin is a bit of a sadist when he amuses himself by having Jess and Slim continue with the fight that he witnessed the beginning of when he first came in.  "I like to watch." The guys are forced to oblige and Jess ends up knocking Slim down.  Repeatedly.

After Carlin and his men leave, Slim takes off after them by himself, Jess having refused to get involved.  Jonesy curtly dismisses Jess, and Andy tearfully, and very effectively pleads with Jess to help his brother.  Jess continues to refuse and Andy concludes that he was wrong about Jess all along.

Seeing the bitter disappointment in the boy, Jess decides to help and takes off after Slim.  He arrives at the outlaws rendevous place before Slim, and the gun battle ensues.  Eventually, it's down to Slim and Carlin, with Jess watching with glee as Slim gives Carlin exactly what Carlin had made Jess do to Slim earlier.

The tag has Jess leaving to move on down the road, and Slim pursues him, catches up with him and asks him to stay on as a ranch hand. This is the first of Slim's "this is good country" speeches. Jess reluctantly agrees and they ride back to the ranch to the ecstatic greeting of Andy and a relieved but reserved Jonesy.

Annie's Favorite Moments: click here

Jenny's Favorite Moments: click here

Notes of Interest:     Jess slugs Slim for the first, second, and third times.
One of Carlin's men is played by Robert Mitchum's brother.
The first of many appearances by one of RF's favorite guest stars, Dan Duryea.
Another of Carlin's henchmen is played by character actor, and all-around character, Jon Locke. See our Kanab pictures for a few great pics of this lovely gentleman.
The Owie Factor:    Two bandaids for the pummelling that Slim takes from both Jess and Carlin's man, and a nod of the nurse's cap to Jess who goes down for the count x 1.

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Glory Road