The Sound of Bells

First Impressions:A bit of a "Ship of Fools" type episode where a number of disparate people are thrown together in stressful circumstances.   

The Story:This is only a brief synopsis. More details to come later...

It's Christmas and Andy and Jonesy are away at school so our two heroes are home alone, but not for long. Soon a passing stage comes in and dumps off a load of passengers who are stranded because of a local indian uprising. There is a veritable Gilligan's Island of characters: A rich older man with a younger spoiled wife, a bitter cavalry widow whose husband was sacrificed to stall the indian uprising, a rakish mexican bandito, a shady gun runner whose fault it is the indians have so many guns, a heroic stage driver and a little orphan boy who steals everyone's heart.

As the indians attack over and over, the people inside the house try to survive and give one last meaningful Christmas to the little boy with no home and no parents. As things are at their darkest, one of the passengers sacrifices himself to save the others.    

Annie's Favorite Moments:   I love when Slim and Jess awkwardly exchange the Christmas presents they got for each other. Unfortunately, and very frustratingly, we never get to see them open them. Dang! I also loved Jess' scenes with the kid. He would've made such a great father. In this case, he related to the kid because he saw himself "fifteen or twenty years ago." I love Robert Wilke and he really stands out in this episode as the gun runner who turns out to have a soft heart and makes the ultimate sacrifice to save everyone. Another stand-out favorite is Ross Martin as the delightfully unrepentant pistolero.

Jenny's Favorite Moments:   I love Christmas stories in general, so of course, I enjoyed this one.  Annie listed the moments that stand out in my mind, but the biggest reason I enjoyed this ep was the overall interaction of Jess and Slim throughout the ep.   Whether they were standing guard together, determining who would try to go for help, exchanging gifts, watching each others backs, or just talking to each other, it was good old Slim and Jess.   What could be better than a Slim and Jess Christmas?

Notes of Interest:    The lady who plays the bitter widow lady, later starred in General Hospital, but prior to that she co-starred with Robert Fuller in a memorable episode of Wagon Train, The Eli Bancroft Story.

The Owie Factor:   Not many owies for our heroes in this one. C'mon! It's Christmas for goodness sake!

Annie's rating:Three stars. Good action and drama, a variety of characters. But Andy and Jonesy were missed somethin' awful.

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