The Young Riders (1989–1992): Season 3, Episode 12 - Song of Isaiah - full transcript

After visiting his sister in Kansas, Hickok meets the attractive young wife of a militant abolishionist. He reluctantly gets involved, and while saving the woman's life, ten others lose theirs. The abolishionist is wanted by the law. In Kansas City, Kid sees a wanted poster on Isiah Burke.

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Move, you lazy
good-for-nothing.
I said move!

The oppressed await
deliverance, Nathan.

We must not fail them.

Let's go.

Yah! Yah!

Come here, girl.

Do it!

It's over now.
You're free.

It's time to go.
Let's go to the
wagon.

Thank you.

Don't leave me like this.



Good, you haven't left yet.

Actually, I've been gone
an hour, why?

Teaspoon's got
a special dispatch
for Kansas City.

Figured you could
use the company.

- Well, it's all right, you
don't have to.
- I want to.

Look, kid, this ain't
no big thing.

I'm just going
to see my sister, is all.

Becoming an uncle
for the first time
ain't a big deal?

No.

Oh. Well, uh, what's...

What's this?

Give me that.

All right, you can go.

Just hurry up before we
get any more interruptions.



Jimmy?

- Damn.
- You going someplace?

What do you guys want?

Well, we didn't think it was
right for you to leave without
saying a proper goodbye.

All right, well, you did it.
So, if you don't mind...

Oh, Jimmy...

What?

Rachel knit a little
blanket for the baby.

One side's pink and the
other side's blue

for whichever way it turns out.

And I got
something for you, too.

Aww!

In case you get thirsty
along the way.

- I'll be sure to share it
with the kid.
- Look at that. Jimmy hickok,

fastest bottle in the west.

That's just uncle Jimmy.

In a few hours,
you will take
the long journey north.

And very soon,

the righteous war
we are about to enter

will spread across
this great land

until all of us stand again
in freedom and equality.

- God bless.
- God bless you.

And have mercy on us all.

Are the children
in any condition to travel?

Most of them.
This girl has a fever.

Perhaps she should stay behind.

It's more important
she be with her mother.

And if she infects the others?

If she hasn't by now, she won't.

Isiah, don't worry,
I'll have her ready.

Very well.
Thank you, Rosemary.

You must be real proud to
be his wife.

- He's a great man.
- Yes, he is.

- What is it?
- Kansas.

I can't believe I'm back
in Kansas.

Have you ever
stopped here before?

No. But I don't see
as anybody would refuse
a man water for his horse.

Yeah, well,
don't be so sure about that.

Jimmy, I know
this is Kansas,
but it can't be that crazy.

Let's take a look.

It doesn't look like
anybody's home.

-Ain't crazy, huh?
-Who are you?
What do you want?

We're just pony express
riders, ma'am.

I'm headed to Kansas City.
He's headed to leavenworth.

You... you ain't here
to take Calvin?

- Who's he, ma'am?
- We just want water
for our horses, ma'am.

- We'll be on our way
if that's too much trouble.
- Calvin?

Morning.

You want to water your
horses, go ahead.

But you ain't taking Calvin,
hear?

- Whatever you say, ma'am.
- This a'way.

Ain't right folks telling you
how to live your life
and then

shooting if you don't
see things the same way.

I agree with you, ma'am.

Well, when they've had
their fill,
Calvin will rub 'em down.

You don't have to do
that, ma'am.

Just 'cause humankind's
going to hell in a hand basket

don't mean dumb animals
have got to suffer.

Well, if you'll excuse me,
I got work to do.

Well, if she don't beat all.

Ms. Leeds is a good woman.

You two work this place
all alone?

Do now. Family's over there.

Her husband, three sons,
a brother and their wives.

Flu took the women,
abolitionists got the
men.

Me and her buried 'em all.

Pardon my asking, but, uh,
Kansas is a free state now,
why don't you just leave?

What for?
This here's my home.
Besides, she needs me.

Jimmy, I don't abide
by slavery any more
than you do,

but what do you think about
a fellow like that?

Come on, kid,
we're talking about an old man
in the middle of the state.

What about the thousands
of people? People who are
bought and sold every day.

Do you think they're as happy
or as well-treated as him?

No, but like she
said, it ain't up to the
federal government to decide.

Well, then,
who the hell
is it up to?

The way I see it,
it's up to the folks
closest to you.

Your family, your friends,
next farm, the nearest town,
like that.

What this country doesn't need
is a bunch of damn politicians
in Washington

telling us what to do.

If folks could just live
and let live,
you'd be right.

But it might be
too late for that.

Well, let's just hope it ain't.

Well, if Katie's feeling strong,

we ought to
make Kansas City by
tomorrow morning.

Careful, kid, that's Missouri.

I will.

Say hello to celinda for me.

I'll try and stop by
on my way back.

-All right. Good.
Thanks for the ride, kid.
-You, too.

Jimmy, even if things
do get worse,
we'll always be friends.

- Jimmy!
- Surprise.

- Look at you.
- Me? Look at you.

Come here.

- So, how's life with
the pony express?
- It's all right, I guess.

You know, I just can't
get over seeing you like that.

Having this baby is gonna be
the best thing
that ever happened to us.

You'll see.

At first Nathan was
a little worried because
these are such dark times.

Any sign of the coming trouble
up your way, Jimmy?

Yeah. It's like a disease.

Past couple of months,
I ain't hardly been any place

that there ain't
some sign of it.

So, I guess you're
still working with
the vigilance committee, huh?

More than ever.

It's getting to the point
where I hardly ever
see him anymore.

We're doing some real
important work, ever since
Mr. Burke got here.

- Isiah Burke?
- You know him?

No. I've heard of him, though.

They say he's another
John brown.

He's a great man, Jimmy.

Why, the last month alone
we've rescued
over a hundred slaves.

Only lost two men.

Sorry I'm late.
Little Lucinda
was breaking a fever.

It took some doing,
but I think I persuaded
the driver to take her along.

Excuse me, I didn't know
you were expecting company.

No, I ain't exactly company.
Just a uncle-to-be.

Rosemary Burke,
this is my brother,
Jimmy hickok.

- Pleased to meet you.
- The pleasure's mine,
Mr. Hickok.

- Celinda's told me all
about you.
- Uh-oh.

She also told me
not to believe
everything I hear.

Well, good.

So, you ain't any relation
to Isiah Burke, are you?

- He's my husband.
- Oh.

I'm happy to inform you that
the people we freed today
are already heading north

on their way to new lives.

That him?

I'm equally pleased to
announce that our next target
will be the slave compound

- at crown point, Missouri.
- Excuse me, Mr. Burke.

I know that place.
And it's heavily guarded.

I'm aware of that.

Well, we're liable to
suffer heavy losses.

I refer you to hebrews 9:22.

Without shedding of blood
there is no
remission of sin.

And without the shedding
of blood there can be no end
to slavery.

I'm afraid Nathan
is right, gentlemen.

Now, those of you who will be
riding with us on crown point,
please stay.

The rest of you may go...

Good.

I believe that covers
everything.

It's late. Go home to
your wives and families.

If they ask you where
you've been this evening

or where you're going,
tell them that
your children's children

will sleep better
for what we've planned
here tonight.

Isiah Burke, I'd like you
to meet my brother-in-law,
James Butler hickok.

It's an honor, Mr. Hickok.

Although I did not
know him well, I admired
your late father very much.

Thank you. He was a good man.

He died for the noblest
cause of all.

The brotherhood and dignity
of all men.

The way I remember it,
he was stabbed
by a drunken slaver.

You know, he died in my arms.

Yes.

You also have something
of a reputation, Mr. Hickok,

whether rightly earned or not.

Regardless, we could
use your help.

- I don't think so.
- Think about it.

This is a rare opportunity
to be part of a greater good.

Yeah? And in a couple of days,

how many of these men's wives
are gonna be widows?

Too many, unfortunately.

Just give it some thought.

In the meantime,
perhaps you could lend us
some benign assistance.

We'll be needing
medical supplies,

and since many of our members
are already living under
a veil of suspicion,

I would be greatly indebted
if you would accompany my wife
to the apothecary.

I guess I can do that.

Thank you.

You really think that fella
in there believed
these were for an orphanage?

Probably not.
But I'm sure Isiah will have
his people check him out.

What do you mean?
Like which side he's on?

People's lives are
at stake here, James.

- You can't be too careful.
- So, I gather.

Sorry.

Can I have the ball back?

Go ahead...

You like kids, don't you?

Very much.

Rosemary, I know I don't
hardly know you at all,

but it sure looks like...

I don't know,
you and your husband
sure seem different, I guess.

Do we?

We weren't always.

When I met him,
he was so heroic.

Back then we believed
that if people
were only educated

they would recognize
the evils of slavery

and change would
come peacefully.

Hasn't quite worked out
that way.

It usually doesn't when
you're telling folks
they're wrong.

So, is that why you married him?

Because he was a... a hero?

I fell in love.

I'd never met a man
like Isiah before.

He was so gentle and kind.
Thoughtful.

We were part of a great
and noble cause.

Look, when I was growing up,
the cause was
all I ever heard about.

And, of course, the other side
had their cause, too.

So, I've seen some
pretty strange things
from both sides.

Lately, I can't help wondering
how much any cause is worth.

As opposed to what?

Family, living next to
your neighbor in peace,
things like that.

That will come someday.

For someone else, right?
Not you?

No, not me.
Not you, either,
if I'm any judge.

Given the heavy traffic
of slaves
through this compound

it's very well defended.

Warren, when I fire a shot,
your men will ride in
from behind these trees.

Rosemary, on my signal,
you'll approach
the south gate.

Excuse me, Isiah.
Ain't there some other way

of doing this
without using your wife?

Mr. Hickok,
Rosemary has assisted us
twice before.

Quite successfully, I might add.

Again, I must stress
that speed is essential.

It's up to you, gentlemen.

Any questions?

No.

Good. Let's get started.

Can't you talk him out of this?

Even if I wanted to,
I doubt it would be possible.

You've got to help me.
We were crossing the river.

We were attacked.
Abolitionists.

They wanted to take our
slaves. My husband's
holding them off,

but he's hurt bad
and he can't ride.

I'll get Jack way.

Just a few more minutes.

Nathan, get in position
to pick her up.

I'll go with him.

Please, you've got to help me.
The longer we wait,
the less chance they've got.

- I'll get some men ready
to ride.
- Wait.

- Ma'am, just how many
abolitionists did you see?
- At least a dozen, maybe more.

- And you say this happened
down by the bend in the river?
- Yes. Please, there's no time.

Lady, I've got a work crew
down there.

If there was trouble,
we'd have heard about it.

- Now, let's go have
a little talk with Mr. Sutton.
- No!

Double the watch!

- I'm gonna get her.
- Jimmy, no!

What's he doing?
He'll ruin everything.

Damn it!

That's the signal.
Let's go ride behind him.

Warren, no! Go back! Go back!

Warren, stop!

My god, they can't hear me.

I'm sorry, Isiah.

Mr. Hickok, because of
your foolishness, Warren
and his men will die today.

There's nothing we can do
for them now. We've failed.

Let's go.

Now.

- He gonna be all right?
- I think so.

When he gets ready to travel,
I'll take him on home.

Tell your sister I'll come by
to pray with her later.

Praying's fine, but I think
a doctor would be

a better idea right now,
don't you?

I'm sorry, we can't take
that chance.

We gotta talk.

There's nothing to talk about,
Mr. Hickok.

What happened this morning
was most unfortunate,

but it's over now.
All that matters
is that we regroup.

I don't believe you.

We could have just been
looking at Nathan and Rosemary
in a grave

and all you can talk about
is regrouping.

These are merely the opening
salvos of what promises to be
a long and bloody war.

And unless I'm mistaken,
wars usually
entail casualties.

And what if Rosemary's
one of 'em?

She'll be mourned...

By no one more than myself,
I can assure you.

Mr. Hickok,
it was your heroics
which doomed us to failure.

You will not put that on me!

We were undermanned
from the start
and you know it!

You know what
I don't understand?

Is how you can use your wife
and just sit there
as they take her off.

We would have gotten her out,
but instead you roused
the whole camp

and made success impossible,
at least for today.

- What do you mean today?
- I mean that we will have
to try again.

Well, that's crazy.
They'll be waiting for you
out there.

Not necessarily.

I have a contact inside
named Edwards.

He'll leak the word
that Warren and his men
were all we had.

Meanwhile, I will muster
replacements.

So you already got
a bloodbath.
Now you just want another one.

Hickok, if you don't believe
that the lives of thirty
of our black brothers

and sisters are worth
the sacrifice, I will have
to ask you to leave

and never speak
of today's events again.

- How's he doing?
- He's almost asleep.

- I'm gonna get
some more water.
- All right.

We messed up pretty good,
didn't we?

You mean me, don't you?

Don't worry, you'll get
another chance.

Seems old Isiah's bound
and determined to make
a martyr out of himself.

And just about anyone else
who's fool enough to go
along with him.

What are you talking about?

He's planning another raid
on crown point.

When?

Couple days, I think.

- I better heal up fast.
- Come on, Nathan,
think about this.

You and celinda got
a little one coming.

Don't you think that child
deserves a father?

We have to take chances
in the cause of Liberty.

I don't believe this.

Well, get some rest.
You're gonna need it.

- What's he talking about,
Nathan?
- Nothing.

We're committed to Isiah Burke.

If you don't share
that commitment,
you'd best leave.

- Nathan.
- It's between me
and Jimmy, honey.

I wanted to thank you
for coming after me
this morning.

I was afraid you might leave
before I got the chance.

Well, a lot of people
been telling me to,
that's for sure.

Don't hate Isiah, James.

Rosemary, I don't hate Isiah.

I just, uh,
feel more sorry for him.

Why?

Because he doesn't
appreciate you...

Tell me something, when was
the last time Isiah told you
that he loved you?

Those things
aren't important anymore.

To him or to you?

Come on, you're the one
who said he wasn't always
like this.

Why don't you tell me what
happened?

We had a son.

We were living in Boston.

When Michael was six months old,

there was an influenza epidemic.

Isiah was in New York
at a vigilance meeting.

He never forgave himself.
It changed him.

-I'm sorry.
-No, James. Please.
I'm already ashamed of myself.

For what?

For what I feel when
I'm around you.

- I'm sorry, I shouldn't
have said that.
- Why not? It's human.

I don't know
what's happening to me.

I came here to thank you
for saving my life,

and I also wanted
to see you again.

I know it's wrong,
but I don't want you to leave.

I ain't leaving.

You know, you don't have
to do this.

No one will think any less
of you.

- I know.
- Jimmy, please tell him
not to go.

I tried celinda.
But he won't listen.

I have to, honey.

This is what we've been
working for all this time.
You know that.

And I promise, when our baby
takes its first breath,
I'm gonna be there, okay?

We better go.

James... be careful.

Jimmy?

Kid?

What are you doing here?

Well, I got these in Kansas City

and I figured
I'd deliver them myself
and we'd ride back together.

- This here's
my brother-in-law, Nathan.
- How do you do?

Thanks.

Rosemary,
give these to celinda,
would you please?

Is there something wrong?

- Come on, Jimmy,
Isiah's waiting.
- Isiah Burke?

We'll be back
in a few hours, kid.
We'll talk then.

- You're riding with him,
aren't you?
- What if I am?

- Jimmy?
- It's all right, Nathan.

Isiah's doing some
important work, kid.

Jimmy, he's a fanatic
like John brown.

He murdered a federal marshal
in Kentucky.
He shot him in the back.

Well, they're killing slaves
down south and they ain't
calling that murder.

At least he's doing something
about it.

Why are you doing this?

Nathan?

- He'll give us away.
- No, he won't.

I guess you were right
about Kansas all along.

It ain't just about Kansas, kid.

Let's go.

I don't understand it.

I thought Jimmy was gonna
stay out of this kind
of trouble.

Being from the south, kid,
I know this is
hard for you.

But lately staying out of it
is getting harder and harder
for decent people to do.

Maybe. But Isiah Burke?

Ma'am, I know he's your husband.

And I'm sorry,
but he's a murderer.

-Kid?
-It's all right, celinda.
It's true.

Isiah did kill that marshal.

Would you like to know why?

He was going to send a family
of six runaways back to
a living hell in Mississippi.

I was there.

Isiah tried arguing with him,
but the man wouldn't listen.

There was nothing else
he could do.

I'll get it.

- Nathan here?
- He rode over to seneca
a little while ago.

Is there something I can
help you with, marshal?

Well, these soldiers here
got word that he might be part
of that vigilance committee

that's giving aid to
Isiah Burke.

I just got here.
I'll let you know
if I hear anything.

How about we take
a look for ourselves?

It's all right, sergeant.
I know these folks.

They wouldn't be involved
in something like that.

Thank you.

Celinda, as soon as Nathan
gets back, you're gonna have
to leave here.

If he gets back.

You're a brave man,
Mr. Edwards.

But I know you're working
for Isiah Burke.

Why don't you tell me...
When is he coming back?

You know, Isiah,
I can't seem
to figure you out.

What's to understand,
Mr. Hickok?

Why a man with so much
to live for seems so bent
on dying.

- Is that how you see me?
- It's true, ain't it?

Perhaps.
Rosemary thinks quite highly
of you.

She's quite a woman.
You're very fortunate.

Yes. Yes, I suppose I am.

She told me how you used
to be a pacifist.

- What happened?
- History.

History?

Or was it a little boy
named Michael?

It wasn't your fault, you know.

Mr. Hickok,
the failure of our last raid,

that was not your fault, either.

I don't know if I would have
had the courage to do
what you did.

Yeah, you would.

As he died to make men holy,
let us fight
to make them free!

Something's wrong.

Edwards?

Go back!

It's a trap! Get out of here!

Save yourselves!
Get out of here!

Don't shoot!
That's Burke!
I want him alive.

Nathan!
I'm going to get Isiah.

No, you're not.

Oh, my god.
What happened?

We didn't stand a chance.
They were waiting for us.

Isiah?

He's alive, but they got him.

I'm sorry.

Kid, what are you doing here?

Federal troops came
right after you left.
They're looking for Nathan.

Jimmy, they think
he's working for
the vigilance committee.

It's only a matter of time
before they come back.

What about celinda?
Is she all right?

Don't worry, Nathan,
she's safe with the colberts.

What are you gonna do?

Wait until dusk,
then I'm going back,
get him out of there.

By yourself?

No, I'm going with him.

Michael?

Well, well, well.
What have we here?

Looks like old Daniel
got himself caught in
the lion's den.

Son, that there's
Mr. Isiah Burke.

He's a real important person.

Figures god gave him
the right to teach
the rest of us how to live.

Go on, take a look at him.

Tomorrow we're gonna hang him
till he's dead.

While 10,000 missourians
look on and cheer.

Come on, son.

Why are you doing this?

For the cause, why else?

Jimmy, if you don't
get him out...

Don't worry, we'll get him out.

Come on.

Would ya look at that.

That's pretty as a picture.

Course, this time tomorrow,
they'll all be heading back
to their rightful homes.

Big plantation, somewhere
down around Baton Rouge.

It's funny, ain't it,
what brings men
like you and me together.

Hi there.

Evening.

When those yankee friends
of yours

get to see what we're
gonna do with you
tomorrow...

Maybe they'll finally understand

that we can no longer tolerate
being part of any union

that regards a man like you
as some kind of hero.

Personally, I'm looking
forward to it.

One sound and you're dead.

- Isiah, are you all right?
- I think so.

The keys are up by the lantern.

God, what have they done to him?

Come on, let's get you
out of here.

Kid.

Go ahead, I'll watch him.

What are you laughing at?

I'm just wondering.
How you figuring on
getting out of here?

Don't you worry,
we'll figure out something.

Isiah.

Go ahead, shoot.
You won't get 10 feet
past that door.

It doesn't matter.

- Isiah.
- I'm sorry.

Poppa.

- I'm over here, son.
- I woke up, didn't know
where you were.

Poppa, why is that man
pointing a gun at you?

Isiah...

Don't do this...

Please.

Get rid of the boy.

Go on back to the house, son.

Go on. I'll be along
in a minute.

You get them,
I'll take care of him...

Stay here.

Now, listen to me.
You're all free to go,

but you're on your own.

Someone's coming.

Isiah!

Oh, my god!
What have they done to you?

Nathan, help him down.

Careful.

You're okay.

Here.

Rosemary, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

What for?

Not being there
when you needed me.

And Michael.

It's all right, Isiah.

It's all right.

How's, uh, how's your head?

Did you have to hit me so hard?

Look, Nathan,

if they've linked you up
with Isiah,

you know it's only gonna be
a matter of time
before they come back.

I know.

The committee's
got safe houses
all through the state.

We'll move as soon as
we get back.

All right.
Well, you let me know
where you are,

'cause I want to know
when that baby comes.

You sure you don't want
to join up with us?

Maybe one day, if folks
don't come to their senses.

Meanwhile, I'd just as soon
deliver the mail.

Give celinda my love, all right?

Jimmy...

Thanks.

You bet.

- You're leaving?
- Yeah.

There's too much fighting
going on around here.

- James, if things had
been different...
- Don't say it.

Just promise me one thing,
all right?

Anything.

As soon as Isiah gets healed up,

make sure he takes you dancing
or something.

- I promise.
- Good.

Goodbye, Rosemary.

James...

I'll never forget you.

Sure you will.

- Jimmy, we got a problem.
- Yeah, what's that?

Fastest way home's
through Kansas.

Oh, yeah? Well, anything
beats Missouri.