The second episode of the third season continues an arc that began with Dragon at the Door. Dragon gave us young Mike, an orphan who comes to the ranch, and Ladies Day continues the saga, introducing Our Miss Daisy. This is the ultimate domestic episode. Except for some brief town scenes, the rest takes place entirely at the ranch. This is also the first season where we see our heroes in living color, and for my money, color certainly don’t do them no harm. We apologize for the poor picture quality of our screen caps. Hey, it's an old show. All of the pictures are at the bottom of the page on this one. I'm not as good at this stuff as Jenny was.
A bad guy that we later come to know briefly as Ernie, sees a wanted poster in Laramie for one Sam Willet a fella he appears to know. That is confirmed a minute later when he bursts into a hotel room where the same Sam Willet (take note of the beard) sits idly on the bed reading the local paper. He seems unconcerned that his face is plastered all over town, but his partner, Ernie is packin up to go.
Sam says if they leave now, they attract attention, now’s the time to make plans, but Ernie is having none of it. Sam cooly reaches into a doctor's bag on the bed and pulls out some shears, all the while expositing that the doctor bag will give him another disguise, but Ernie doesn’t want to give him a chance to use it. Since Ernie seems entirely unimpressed by Sam’s brilliance, Sam decides to sever their partnership. He reaches into his coat for a derringer, at the same time reaching for a pillow. Cue the dastardly music and Ernie is no longer the worry wart he once was. We have now established that Sam is a bad, bad man.
After the credits we find ourselves at home with the boys. Mort is visiting and telling Slim and Jess about the wanted Sam Willet. They're scouring the countryside for him and he asks the boys to look around on their spread. Him and a few other men are going to station themselves at the junction and stop anyone who goes through there hoping to catch Sam.
Slim suggests they can't both go because of Mike, but offers for Jess to look around some. After a full season of no familial responsibilities, it's nice to see that ol' Slim hasn't lost his touch.
Throughout this little bit of exposition, Mike is making a nuisance of himself which the guys seem to already be accustomed to. They deal with it like big brothers would a pestiferous little brother, first by ignoring him, then by shooing him away. Mike grabs one of the wanted posters and trots off.
After Mike leaves the subject changes and Mort allows how he's run into a bit of a problem trying to trace Mike’s kin. He just doesn’t have any. Meanwhile Mike has snuck back and is eavesdropping. Slim asks if Mort has found out if Mike can stay with them. Mort says it’s up to the courts and then asks if they’ve had any luck finding a housekeeper. Slim says the ones they’ve interviewed, they couldn’t agree on. Either Jess didn’t like them, or he didn’t, and Mike didn’t like any of them. Mike even put ants in the purse of one of them. Mike pipes up from his hiding place saying, "Aw, she was a pickle!” Jess has but to agree.
Mort lets on some information that he figures he shouldn’t, but decides the boys need a bit of warning. A judge is coming to the ranch to check them out, to see if they're a proper home for the boy. He’ll look for things like: are they feeding him right, keeping him clean. Mort opines that a capable woman around sure would be a big help. The boys are a bit bummed as they look around at the shape the place is in. Hey for a couple of batchelors, it aint bad, but not too impressive for the likes of a judge they figure. Okay, a personal note here. One would reasonably think that two grown men the likes of Slim and Jess would not have one speck of trouble finding a woman. There should be volunteers lined up from here to the Yellowstone. What is the matter with these Wyoming women? Okay, on with our story.
Meanwhile, back in town, a woman in one of them tight traveling dresses that don’t make no sense since traveling should be comfortable, but I digress. Anyway, this woman is talking to the man who is about to be no longer in her life. He is going out after Sam Willet (must be a bounty hunter) and he’s telling her she has to go to work. Nothing doing she says, no more hustling drinks for her. If he leaves, she won’t be here when he gets back. Good for you sister!
He's bound and determined, she tries to wimper at him, but it don’t work. He has to earn a living and he’s pretty darn confident she’ll be there when he gets back having no money and with him being so irresistable an’ all. Oh puhleeze. He gives her a possessive kiss and off he goes. Sally watches him go, making plans in her pretty little head.
Down the street we behold our first of Our Miss Daisy who has enlisted Mose and another driver into helping her choose the proper hat for her arrival (to where we know not yet, but I’ll bet you can guess). They help her to choose the business-like yet perky hat, and begin throwing her bags onto the stage. She is worried about a mix up with her ticket. Mose and other-driver are a bit weary of Driving Miss Daisy (you knew I'd work that in somewhere). It seems they've been hauling her since long before they arrived in Laramie.
About the same time, Sally moseys her little self with the pink bow on her butt down the street to the stage office. My hand to God, she has a big pink bow on her butt!
Meanwhile, in the stage office Our Miss Daisy is talking with the ticket agent. Her ticket was to go to a place called Sherman, Wyoming. He tells her there is no such place, but there is a Sherman Relay Station, but it ain't a town. She decides to see for herself. She allows how she doesn’t have much cash for the extra distance, but the agent says she can go anyway and tells her to let him know if she finds a town called Sherman so he can put it on the map. She pleasantly goes on her way and Sally, who has been looking at the bulletin boards asks the agent about the ad she found for a housekeeper and caretaker for a young boy. He directs her to the self-same Sherman Ranch and she sashays off to get on the stage (taking time somewhere to change her outfit).
The ticket office is a busy place. After Sally leaves, Sam Willet minus the beard, plus glasses and looking very distinguished as a doctor, buys a ticket for Virginia City where he would no doubt butt heads with those Cartwright boys, but of course we all know he never gets there. He’s getting on that stage to the Twilight Zone. The stage whose destination is the one and only Sherman Ranch, and, just for today, seems to be carrying half the population of Laramie, Wyoming. A stage that has a rendevous with destiny.
The ticket agent closes up after his little flurry of business. Before Sam leaves, he takes the opportunity to remove the poster of himself from the bulletin board, folds it, and puts it into his doctor's bag. Yeah, that’s the way to stifle the free press. Wonder if he has the other six hundred stashed somewhere.
Back at the ranch (I love saying that), Jess is riding around and stops at a stream to fill his canteen. Low and behold a feller sees him and for some reason, jumps him! You’ll never guess who it is! Its Sally’s boyfriend the bounty hunter!
Jess and boyfriend fight, Jess pops a few buttons but has no trouble subduing the scoundrel. The fella confesses to be Bud Dever and Jess immediately pegs him as a bounty hunter looking for Sam Willet. He orders Dever off the ranch and pisses him off by throwing his gun in the water. Now there's a fella we’re likely to see again later. You mark my words. Jess when will you learn?
The stage to the Twilight Zone pulls up at the ranch and disgorges Our Miss Daisy, Doctor Sam and Sally who has managed to change into her yellow number that she probably wears for all of her job interviews.
Our Miss Daisy is flabbergasted that this is her Sherman, Wyoming. She asks Mose if he’s positive this is Sherman. He says he’s positive it’s the Sherman way station and points out Slim Sherman to her.
Slim is changing the horses while Mike entertains himself by throwing mud balls at Sam’s poster. Kids!
Dr. Sam seems to be being a bit nosey as he comes out of the barn just in time to see Mike throwing mud balls at him, er, his picture. They talk a bit and Mike spills the beans about the Sheriff stopping anything going through the junction including the Twilight Zone Stage. Dr. Sam makes a snap decision to buy a horse and Mike leads him off to talk to Slim.
In the meantime, Mose has unloaded all of Daisy’s bags and is about to go off and leave her. Daisy, still convinced she should be in Sherman, Wyoming is questioning a rather puzzled Slim. Slim explains his ranch is a bit short of being a town.
Daisy, in her business-like yet perky hat explains that before her husband died, his dream was to own a store out west and he bought a building from a nice man passing through their town. A building in a place called Sherman, Wyoming, also known to us in the real world as The Twilight Zone . She even has the deed in her perky purse.
The doctor who is not really, comes up to speak with Slim just as Slim is telling Our Miss Daisy the deed isn't worth the paper it's written on. The news makes Daisy faint and she has to sit down rather suddenly. Sally rushes to help and Slim asks the doc to help her too.
Things seem to happen around Slim all at once. Sally introduces herself and says she's there for the job, Mose is taking off and the Doc says they need to get Daisy inside.
Dr. Sam tells Mose to go without him and he’ll catch the next coach. Looks like Mose just lost all of his passengers. He might as well pack up and go back to Laramie.
Later Slim comes out of the house and begins picking up Daisy's luggage, but something in the corral spooks the horses and he goes to check. It’s a big black with white spots on his butt (Yes! I swear! At least it's not pink bows. It looks like someone took a paintbrush to the poor thing's butt. I can just hear the art director now: "We gotta do something that will make him stand out; make people remember him.") Slim lassoes the wild thing. Jess rides up and sees Slim struggling with the horse and tells Slim to show it who’s boss.
Jess is a big help and Slim shouts at him to open the barn door. Jess does in his most helpful way possible, and then follows Slim and the rogue horse inside asking Slim when he’s going to get rid of that troublemaker. Slim wants to as soon as he can. Jess teases that he's gotten kind of attached to old Tumbleweed and Slim shoots back that he wasn’t very attached last time Tumbleweed threw him.
Jess posits that you can always count on Tumbleweed to liven up the day. Slim explains that Mose just left a stage full of passengers. Slim tells him about the sick lady, and the doc and the girl, thoroughly confusing Jess. Slim notices Jess rubbing his hand and asks about it. Jess explains about meeting Dever looking for Sam Willet and ordering him off the property. When he tells Slim that he had to persuade him a bit, Slim thinks that Dever might come looking for Jess. Jess says “Well don’t tell him what bunk I'm hiding under.”
The two of them move Daisy’s things, and by things I mean valises, trunks, suitcases etc, into the barn and then go into the house where the faux doc is just coming out of the bedroom. He gave Daisy a sedative and Slim is feeling a bit guilty about the shock he gave her.
Mike, being Mike, is snooping in the doctor's bag and faux doc stops him telling him there are sharp instruments in there. Mike tells Slim how the doc was thinking about buying a horse. Faux doc explains that he’s going to Virginia City to dig bullets out of Little Joe Cartwright (just kidding), to be the doctor of a mining operation, but he wouldn’t think of leaving until he’s sure Miss Daisy is okay.
Sally, (remember her?) pipes up and offers to help with Miss Daisy. Kind of an on-the-job interview of sorts. She offers to stay overnight since there isn't another stage today. Jess can barely take his eyes off of her and agrees readily. Mikey isn't quite so sure. They send the very reluctant Mike off with faux doc to show him around the ranch. Mike would much rather stay and see what's going on in the house. He takes faux doc out to look at the horses that the doc will have to choose from.
Sally wants to get started right away, so she heads for the kitchen with Jess hot on her heels. He spends an inordinate anount of time helping her out of her jacket. Slim tells Jess she "don’t look much like a housekeeper", to which Jess replies, “well what’s a housekeeper look like anyway?” They decide they don’t have much choice with the judge coming an’ all. Slim suggests they give Mike a bath too, to which Jess says "don’t make her do that, she’ll never stay.”
Outside Mike is telling Sam Willet about the judge coming, and when he gets there, Mike plans on taking off. Sam offers the suggestion that maybe that’s not the best thing. That feller over there on the wanted poster never just runs, he stops and plans things first. He can get lost in a crowd (braggart) then when he does take off, people don’t pay too much attention. He tells Mike that it doesn’t do any good to run if folks see you go and follow you.
Mike agrees that this is a smart plan. Sam goes further and asks Mike if there are any back trails or shortcuts out of here. Sweet little Mike is only too happy to tell him all about them.
Inside Slim, Jess and Sally are filling the bath tub for Mike's bath and Slim goes out to find Mike. Mike is in the barn where Sam is saddling a horse. Mike goes out to Slim and tells him that he's selling faux doc a horse. He's putting a saddle on Tumbleweed and is going to try him out. Slim is appalled, but Mike explains that he heard Slim say Tumbleweed was the one horse he really wants to get rid of. Slim sends Mike inside and goes in the barn to save the doc from the devil horse. He talks Sam away from Tumbleweed but doesn’t exactly tell him why, just that he has better animals. They go out to the corral to look at other horses.
Meanwhile Dever sneaks up from the other side of the barn just in time to see Jess coming out of the house chasing Mike down who has run away from his bath. Jess grabs him by the pants and hauls him back inside. Mike, not Dever.
Mike is kicking and screaming and Jess threatens to dump him in headfirst. Sally tries to reason with Mike, but he will have none of it and runs into the bedroom smack dab into Our Miss Daisy. He explains the horror of the bath, in front of Sally no less, and Daisy sympathizes. Jess explains that Mike has to get cleaned up because the judge is coming to decide if Mike can stay with them or not. Daisy understands immediatly and takes Mike in hand, doing her best Mary Poppins.
While Daisy's helping Mike she smells something burning. Poor Sally's bread is burning. Jess takes over in a manly fashion throwing open the heavily smoking oven and taking out the bread. “Let me do it, I’m an expert at this," he says as he takes the pan outside and dumps the ruined bread in the yard. I'm saying it's bread, but actually I have no idea what it is.
Now let’s see, to recap, we have an outlaw posing as a doctor outside looking at horses with Slim, planning to escape from the law. We have a bounty hunter who has just arrived who is none too happy with Jess, and is looking for the aforementioned faux doc, not to mention the fact that his wife is inside when he told her to get a job in town. We have Mike getting nekkid in the living room to take a bath while Miss Daisy holds a towel in front of him, and we have a near fire in the kitchen with smoke pouring out all over the place.
Okay, now we’ll continue. After Jess dumps the food, the pan and the towels out in the yard, Sally begins to cry and Jess of course has to comfort her. In the middle of the inevitable hug, Dever makes himself known. “Now ain't this cozy?”
He threatens to beat Sally for her “infidelity”. Jess steps in, and Dever is all too happy to oblige him. In his best John Wayne, Dever says, "Fill your hand, mister.” Hoo boy.
Sally runs to Dever to stop him but he pushes her away. Jess steps in, but Dever says, "No one tells me how to treat my wife." Jess is a little taken aback but Sally confirms it’s true. Whew! Close one, Jess.
So, Dever tells Jess to draw. Now we all know how good Jess is with a gun, right? Well this is the weirdest gunfight I've ever seen. Dever draws and so does Jess but he doesn’t fire. Instead he hits the dirt and rolls. Dever fires directly at him 4 times and misses! A bounty hunter he may be, but a gunfighter, he ain't. Jess finally fires and hits Dever dead center. I have to admit it looked good with Jess rolling around an’ all, but it seemed a bit pointless.
So now Dever has a hole in his chest and for some reason this makes everyone, including Sally, all concerned over him all of a sudden. They all go inside put Dever in one of the beds and the doc pretends to look him over. He takes off his glasses and "accidentally" drops them and steps on them. Oh darn! He can't operate now.
Daisy, who is proving to be more and more useful steps in. She was a nurse in the army hospitals during the war and knows what to do.
While Jess and Mike are out cutting fire wood to build a fire to boil water, and Slim and Sally go to the kitchen to tear bandages, Daisy and faux doc are alone in the bedroom with Dever. Daisy has by this time seen the inside of the doc's bag. It’s full of money. Doc pulls his little gun on her and tells her to keep her mouth shut and he exits through the window, as you do.
Daisy is a bit shaken, but perky trooper that she is, she recovers and finds the poster of Sam; “master of disguises”. Just about now Dever starts moaning, so she tends to him. I suppose this explains why it takes her for-freakin'- ever to go tell Slim about Sam high-tailing out the window.
Sam sneaks around the yard avoiding Jess and Mike. Just then, the sheriff and the judge ride up. "Fine time for him to be showing up," Jess says. "Well, at least you look pretty," he says to Mike. Now THAT probably left a mark on the boy for life.
Okay, let us recap again, shall we? Killer doctor, stray wife, kid planning to go on the lam, bounty hunter with a hole in him, perky old lady practicing medicine without a license, smoke in the kitchen, killer horse in the barn. Clueless Jess and Slim. We continue.
Mort introduces the judge to Slim and Jess. Slim allows how things are a bit inside out today, but it's all under control now. Guess he should’ve checked before making such rash statements.
Mike runs behind the barn so the judge won't see him, Jess leads the judge and his horse off to get the horse settled, and Mort asks Slim what's wrong.
Slim tells him about Jess’ run in with Dever and the fact that he's in the house with a bullet in him. "Ya think we should tell the judge?" Hmmmm.
Peaking in on Mike, he’s heading for the hills, where he comes up on Sam who headed for the hills a bit earlier. Uh oh.
After the commercial, Slim is telling the judge about the ranch and the relay station business. The judge seems impressed, and Mort vouches for everything Slim says.
They all go inside while Sam and Mike watch from up on the hill. Sam makes Mike go down to get him a horse without anyone seeing him. He's threatened Slim and Jess if he doesn’t do it.
So Mike trots off to get a horse. Betcha can't guess which one he picks.
Meanwhile in the house, Daisy and Sally are fussing over Dever. They’ve just taken the bullet out and he is doing okay. Sally seems to be falling in love with her hubby all over again, seeing him hurt and all. Okay the man is a wife-beater, a bushwhacker and a low-down sidewinder, but "maybe we can make it work." I'm thinkin' a man wrote this episode-no offence.
Finally Daisy realizes she'd better go find out what that doctor fella was up to. She goes out to find the judge and all the men at the table. She slyly lets Jess and Slim know that everything is “okay” without letting on just what it is that's going on in the bedroom. Nod nod wink wink. Jess and Mort go to see for themselves. Mort is impressed and tells Slim "she’s perfect." Ha ha, he thinks she’s the new housekeeper! Silly man! We all know the new housekeeper is Sally! Anyway, Daisy heads back to the bedroom telling the judge “Slim will tell you all about Mike, and then I’ll come back and tell you the truth.” She’s such a card!
The judge thinks she’s charming and Slim agrees. In the room Daisy tells Jess and Mort about the doc leaving through the window and threatening her. She shows them the poster and tells them about the money. Now they know he's Sam Willet and he's outside somewhere with Mike.
Jess is afraid to go out and tell Slim about this with the judge out there, so Daisy says she’ll handle it. She goes to the living room and tells Slim that Mort and Jess need him in the bedroom. That judge has GOT to be wondering what the hell is going on in that bedroom by now. Then she sits down and proceeds to charm the pants off the judge.
The judge is no fool and he lets on right away that he can tell when things aren't going right. She says she should have known they couldn’t fool him.
She then gives Jess and Slim a glowing recommendation. He agrees they're fine young men and they meet the legal requirements for guardianship of Mike, but in cases like this, he looks for something else. Daisy says she thinks she knows what he means. “Those three boys couldn’t be closer if they were brothers. Is that it?”
"That’s it, Mrs. Cooper. That’s all I have to know."
Outside, Slim, Jess and Mort (who must've squoze out the window) are skulking around looking for Sam and Mike. They see Mike leading a saddled horse up the hill and Slim recognizes the horse as, you guessed it, Tumbleweed. Jess wonders if Mike knows what he's doing. Slim says he knows what he's doing, if he only has sense enough to stay clear. They start heading up the hill.
When Sam tries to mount Tumbleweed, and Mike makes a run for it, the inevitable happens, and Sam ends up on his butt. Jess, Slim and Mort take him into custody while Mike runs around picking up all the money that comes flying out of Sam's bag. "Well, aren't ya gonna help me pick it up?" Slim and Jess run over to do just that.
Awhile later they bid the judge and Mort goodbye and we find that the judge has approved Mike staying until they’ve exhausted the search for Mike's kin. Then they can look into an adoption.
Daisy rings the dinner bell with gusto and the guys are only too happy to eat. Mike asks if she's going to stay and Slim and Jess agree they'd sure love to have her stay. After they beg just a little she agrees and they all wash their hands like good boys.
Annie's Favorite Moments:  I think my favorite thing is the whole sequence starting with Jess getting home, and then the fairly long conversation that he and Slim have in the barn just after they've put Tumbleweed in a stall. Before that, Jess' assistance getting Tumbleweed in the barn is cute, and I love the little flourish with his hat.
Notes of Interest:
Sam Willet is played by Jock Mahoney whom Robert Fuller always cites as one of his heroes. Bud Dever is played by William Bryant who we have seen in bunches of episodes before and after. Sally is well-played by one of our stock female players, Gloria Talbott.
The Owie Factor:   This episode, not so much. The boys stay pretty much intact and blood-free. The only owie is Bud Dever and I ain't giving that wife beater one of my pretty pink bandaids.
Three stars. Daisy is utterly charming and an inspired addition to the cast. Mike is cute, and he serves to give the boys a little "brother" to protect and play off of, but I never really got over Andy.