The Young Riders (1989–1992): Season 3, Episode 17 - The Road Not Taken - full transcript

Cody has written a story about the riders and the rest take exception about how they are portrayed when it's published. Jimmy and Jesse take after cold blooded killer Dobbins who's after a widow and her son Seth.

That's good, mister.

That's real good.

What are you?
You, some kind of magician?

How about you
put on a little show for me?

Just to help pass the time.

How about I make you, disappear?

Keep away from the bars, rummy.


It's for sure all right.

Order from the governor is on
its way from the capital.

You're just gonna have to
get me out of here then
before it comes,

won't you?

I don't know, dobbins. It's...

How about for this?

And a couple
thousand more just like it.


Well, you get me out of here,

we'll go there together.


You still here?

Here you go, Donny.


full house, aces high.

Not so fast.

One, two, three...

Four ladies.

She did it again.
How is she doing it?

Don't ask me.

Teaspoon around?

He's probably at his office.

Special order from the governor.

Cody, I got
a letter for you, too.

It's all the way from New York.

- New York?
- There you go.

"Dear mister Cody,
we are happy to inform you..."

They bought it. Ha!
They bought my story.

- Who bought it?
- What story?

About the pony express.
About us.

- What about us?
- Everything.

I sent in part of my journal
as a story to one of
them periodicals,

"true tales of the west,"
and they bought it and they
want to see more.

I didn't know you were
writing a journal.

I didn't know you could write.

It says right there,
it's gonna be in
the very next issue.

Can't wait.

Well, I've been working on it
for a while,

but I kept it a secret from
you all because I didn't want
you funning me.

It says right there

they want the... the...

The real truth.

From you?

I think it's great, Cody.
It shows you're
thinking about the future.

I, for one, can't wait to read
what you wrote about us.

Well, Lou, I'll be sure you
get the first copy.

Well, maybe the second.

Teaspoon, we should
just burn this thing
and put it out of its misery.

Why, it's time to spruce up.

This place ain't been
cleaned since...

Teaspoon, this just
came for you.

It's straight from the governor.

What is it?

I don't know.

It's an extradition order.

A fellow doing time for
robbery in hooper county,

but marshals in Kansas want
him to stand trial for murder.

What's his name?

Floyd dobbins.

- Floyd dobbins?
- You know him, Jimmy?

- Yeah, I've heard of him.
- I haven't.

You consider yourself lucky.
He ain't the kind of fellow
you want to cross paths with.

The trouble is, dobbins is due
to get out of jail the day
after tomorrow.

The governor figures we're the
only ones who can get this
order to hooper in time,

before he's sprung.

It's a three-day ride.

It'll get there,

I'll make it.

Does that mean you're
volunteering, mister hickok.


Well, pin this on and take this.

And, Jimmy,

ride safe.

- Got everything you need?
- Don't need much.

Hooper county's a long ways off.

Ain't that long, Jesse.

Long enough for a body to get
awful lonesome by themselves.

Jesse, I'm not taking you with
me, so you can quit trying to
get me to ask you.

You got to let me go, Jimmy.

- No, I don't.
- Yeah, you do. It's time.

Time for what?

Time to show them
what I'm made of,
do what I'm supposed to do.

Oh, come on, Jesse.

No, I'm sick of letting you
talk me out of things.

All day long, you guys have me
cleaning the bunkhouse

and sweeping the jail and
carrying mattresses around.

But at night,

at night I dream of the way
things ought to be.

Yeah, and how's that?

Me making the difference.

You must have felt the
same way once.

Yeah, I guess I did.

Then you know why you
got to let me go.

No. I understand
why you can't.

Hey, ho!
I don't got time for this.

- I don't care.
- Well, get on back
to rock creek!

- I ain't going back!
- Don't argue with me!

Hold up. Hold up!

- What did you do to her?
- I don't know,

I was riding pretty hard, but...

She hurt her leg real bad.

You're lucky you made
it this far.

So now I suppose you're just
gonna leave me here.

Well, it would serve
you right, Jesse.

But I wouldn't do
that to the horse.

Give me the reins and
get on back.

You'll see, I won't be
no trouble.

Heck, I can be a lot of help
and good company too.

You won't even know I'm around.

Well, I'll be as quiet as
a scared hare the
first day of summer.

Besides, it's time I
showed you what
I could do, hickok.

Why don't you start with
keeping your mouth shut?

Credit? You must think I'm as
dumb as this mule.

I don't give no credit
and you ain't got nothing
I want to trade for.

You come back when
you got cash money.

He ain't gonna make no trade.
Let's get on back.

Fine animals, aren't they?

No, you won't
find better horses
in the whole territory.

Listen, ah, how about we swap

that horse for my friend's here?

Well, let's see.

She's lame.

Why do you think we're even
talking to you?

Look, mister, this horse is
twice the animal yours is.

Now, in a couple of days she's
gonna be as good as new.

It's a deal I wouldn't pass up.

Yeah, well you ain't me are ya?

This horse don't look like
nothing to me.

Come on, Jesse,
let's find someone who knows
what they're talking about.

Are you saying
I don't know my business?

You call this a business?

Take that back.

I said, take it back.

- Teach him a lesson, hickok.
- Stay out of this, Jesse.

Hickok? You're, ah,
you're "wild bill" hickok?

In the flesh, you called out
the wrong man, mister.

- Jesse.
- You don't look old enough
to be hickok.

Well, 'wild bill' let's see
who you really are.

Thought so.

Told you.

Which one of those horses
did you say you were
interested in, mister hickok?

- You got horses?
- Outback.

- How about the sheriff?
- Over to the saloon
having drinks.

Well, you done good.

Hey Curtis, you seen my?
What the hell?

What you have to kill him for?

He was in my way.

You're not going back on our
deal, are you?

Our deal is the same
as it's always been.

- There you are, partner.
- Thank you.


Tompkins, are they here yet?


Well, are they here?

Cody, I'm pleased to say
they're here.

Now, the reason I'm pleased
is because I won't have to
listen to you

ask me anymore,
if they've shown up yet.

Well, I'm glad that
you're happy, tompkins.

Now, let's just get
this crate open.

"On the trail with the pony
express," by...

William f. Cody!

Congratulations, Cody.

You owe me a dime for that.

I'll tell you what, tompkins,

here's a dollar.
I'll be taking ten of these.

One for each of the riders,

a few extras in case
any of them want
more than one copy.

Why don't you just buy
the whole box?

Well, I wouldn't want to
deprive your customers
of the opportunity

to read about
my exciting exploits.

You mean you filled
the whole book
just writing about yourself?

Of course not.

There's a whole bunch
of stuff about the other
riders in here.

Plenty of it.

I got to go, tompkins.
Boy, wait till they
get a load of this.


You can say that again!



Excuse me.

- So, where are we headed?
- We?

You're gonna start that again?

No, I'm starting
after dobbins, and you're
gonna end up in rock creek.

I ain't going back, Jimmy.

You're gonna have to take me
or you're gonna
have to shoot me.

Alright, you can go.

Really? I'm going with ya?

It's a lot easier letting you
come then telling you
why you can't.

You won't regret it, Jimmy.
I'll do you proud.
Anything you say.

Alright, look,

why don't you start by
going over the general store,
and getting some supplies.

We'll be on the road
for about two days.

You got it!

I'll be back in two minutes.

More like two weeks.


You forgot to tell me
what you wanted.

Maybe you'd better come with me.

Is that Cody's magazine?

Yeah, it sure is!
Have you read this yet?

Well he gave me a copy
but I hadn't gotten
around to it yet.

Is it funny?

Well, you ah,
you could say that.

You can't imagine what he's
been like these last few days.

He's scared to talk to you, huh?

Whatever for?

Well, for no reason...

You really haven't read this,
have you?

No. Should I?

Well, if you if you get
around to it,

parts of it are
kind of entertaining.

Ah, ah, ah, but, I wouldn't
read page five if I were you.

Page five, huh?
What are these pages?

Well, I'm just, ah,
marking my spot.

"Rachel, the woman who runs
the station is a true joy
to have around."

I think that's about enough.

"Not only is she quite
competent at doing her job,
but the way that woman

"fills out a dress is enough
to make a blind man blush."

I can't believe he wrote
that about me.

I wouldn't read page seven
if I were you.

Oh, when I get through with him,

he's not gonna remember
how to read let alone write!

Ah, Rachel,
you forgot your things!

Let's see, where was I here?

So where are we headed, or are
you gonna keep it a secret?

It's a little ranch
outside of Clinton.

Who lives there?

Someone dobbins is
itching to meet.

It be nice if we got
there first.

There's bad blood between
you two, ain't there?

What makes you say that?

The look in your eyes,
the way you say his name.

What did he do?

He just hurt some
innocent people.

That ain't all, is it?

Jesse, look, I just want to
get him to Kansas so the law
can take care of him.

That's all.

No it ain't. You want to kill
him, don't you?

If it gets to that.

Hanging around you,
it generally does.

Jesse, I don't get you.

What is it about folks
killing each other that
interests you so much?

I don't know.

Maybe I've been around
it so much, I'm curious.

Yeah, well, you get too
curious you may just find out
more than you want to.

Good news, teaspoon.

Kid ran across a
horse trader, he says he saw
Jesse and hickok together.

Oh, that boy.

Well, at least he's
in good hands.

If Jimmy knew
what was good for him,

he'd swap Jesse for a
new saddle.

Right about now, Cody's
the one I'd like to swap.

Is something troubling you, Lou?

Only this.

What, Cody's story?

I've been saving that.
I intended to peruse it
tonight before bed.

Well, just don't read it
while you're eating.

Is that a hint of literary
criticism in the air?

It's trash, teaspoon.

Listen to this

"Lou was awful quiet
when we first met.

"I could understand it too.

"Every litter
has to have a runt.

"Seems like Lou was ours."


That ain't so bad.

The boy is just being colorful.

"Still we felt sorry for him
and decided to keep Lou on.

"Even though he
can hardly lift up a mail bag
to get it on a horse."

Well, at least he didn't say
you was a girl.

That's because he knows
I would have pounded
him into the dirt.

Lou, you can't fault the boy
for having an
active imagination.

That is the Mark of
a great writer. You just
can't let it bother you.

Ah, then I suppose you're
not going let this bother you?

"The fellah running the outfit
is an ex-Texas ranger by the
name of teaspoon.

"Strange name it certainly
don't refer to his
eating habits.

"He is more likely
to chow down with a shovel

"then with a teaspoon,

"and he's got the
belly to prove it."

There's some slight

Now, this next part is a lie.

And that's a bigger lie.

Colorful, ain't it?




You stay here.

- Where'd she go?
- She moved, I told ya.

I bought the place
from her a couple
of years back.

Where'd she move?

I don't know.

Don't lie to me, old man.

Some somewhere north of here.
Out on the other side of town.

That's all I know! I swear it!

Don't try it, dobbins!


Put it down.

The gun too, put the gun down.

Well, well, well if it
ain't little Jimmy hickok,
all grown up.

Over there.

I appreciate your help, son.

You come too late, Jimmy.

Leland's widow done,
ah, moved on.

Oh, no, I came for you.

I'm taking you to Kansas
to see you hang.

You working for the law?

Ha! That ain't the
story I heard.

Well, you heard wrong.

You know this boy right here,
he used to be my right hand.

You've always been a big help.

You shut your mouth.

Why don't you tell the nice old
man here, Jimmy how you'd used
to do anything I'd say.

- Shut up!
- Tell him how you even used to
help me to kill.

Tell him!

Turn around!

Still trigger happy, huh?

Put these on!




Is he gonna be alright?

The doc says he is.

It's all my fault.
I heard the shots and I...

I know, I let him rattle me.

I ain't like you, Jimmy.
Letting a man do that to ya.

Dobbins ain't no ordinary man.

What do you mean?

Dobbins used to be
marshal around here.

I was on my own, drifting.

I had been hungry
for about three days...

He caught me stealing eggs
out of hen house

so instead of arresting me,
he put me to work.

As a deputy?

No, just odd office jobs.

Whatever he wanted me to do.

Kind of like me and teaspoon.

You got some explaining to do,

- For what?
- For what you wrote about us.

I was just telling the truth,
that's all.

The truth?
You call this the truth?

"A former Texas ranger who
spends more time with his
boots on his desk,

"then in his stirrups?"

I write what I see, teaspoon.

"A rider who's so attached to
his whip, he sleeps with it
under his pillow."

"A fellah who talks
more to his horse
than his girlfriend?"

Now, fellahs,
a little humor keeps the
readers interested. Excuse me.

"Runt of the litter."

And I'm too much of a lady
to read what you
wrote about me,

but you'd never know it by
what you said.

A man's got a right to say
what he thinks.

Only if he thinks before
he says it.

Freedom of speech, Lou.
That's what makes
this country so great.

Now, if you all will excuse me.

Excuse me.

Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me.

You know, it occurs to me
there's something else
that makes this country great.

The sweet act of revenge.

This dobbins sounds like
an interesting fellah.

Marshal one day,
outlaw the next.

Why don't you just
leave it alone, Jesse?

It's just that you can't
see right through
a man like that.

Look, I hadn't seen as much
then as I've seen now.

I was only about your age.

So what happened?

These gold shipments
from California were...
Were getting robbed a lot.

Leland, the fellah who was
running the freight office, he
wanted dobbins to stop them.

What he do?

Dobbins told Leland to take
the next shipment off the
wagon before it got into town.

So that he could, ah,
take these outlaws
without risking the gold.


And, there were no outlaws!

It was dobbins who was
stealing the gold.

He was setting Leland up,
but I never seemed
to catch on.

Not until later,

when Leland's wife was a widow.

"Cody's mouth is so big,
the rest of the riders could
climb inside,

"but who'd want to,
considering his breath."

"The way this fellah rides,
you think he must have
trained on a goat,

"instead of a horse!"

That one's mine.

How do you like it?

What's going on here, Lou?

Lou? Don't you mean,
"runt of the litter?"

Are you all still getting
riled up about that?

Not anymore.
We're getting even.

You inspired us, Cody.

We're sending copies of
these off to that true tales
of the west.

- You wouldn't.
- Mmm-hmm.

Freedom of speech.
See we all wrote one,

and we figure that way
they're bound to print
at least one.

Maybe two, maybe
one every month or...

Or maybe a whole year
of stories about you, Cody.

What do you think?

I think I'm gonna be sick.

You haven't sent them
off yet, have ya?

The kid's taking them
on his next run.

Do you know if he left yet?

Well, howdy.

So, how'd you like them?

It's not exactly my style.

Look, we'd all like
to be writers but you're
the published author here.

And I'm sure that magazine
would love to get another
story from you about us.

I'm sure they would.

And maybe this time it can be
a true tale of the west.

Yeah, a real
true tale of the west.

I'm starting to get inspired.

And maybe this time
you'll let us see it
before you send it off.

Sir, excuse me.

Something I can do for you?

Yeah, I'm looking for
Sarah Leland,
Sam Leland's widow.

Do you know where
I might find her?

Might, you a friend of hers?

No, not exactly,
but I just need to
speak with her.

What about?

Well, it's none of your
concern really. Can you just
tell me where she is?

That poor woman has
got enough troubles
without you bothering her.

Jimmy, hold it!

Let him go.

I'm real sorry, mister,

but there's a good reason
why he's trying to find her.

She seems to be in a little
trouble and we aim to stop it.

She and her boy live in a
cabin a couple of miles
north of here,

just off the main road,
you can't miss it.

Thank you.

All right, children,
class is dismissed.

Goodbye now.

- Hey, I forgot my jacket.
- What?

You go on ahead,
I'll catch up to you.

Come on, it's this way.

Hey, Seth.

Do you remember me?


You... you are
Sam Leland's boy, right?

That's right.

Yeah, well, I'm an old friend
of your pa's.

Hey, what's that coming right
out of your ear, huh?

Well, lookee here.

Real gold.

You ever seen a
coin like that, huh?

Maybe your pa had one.


This must be the place.


Don't you think it's
time, Jimmy?

For what?

Time you told me
what this is all about.

It's about me.

It's about me looking so hard
for the good in somebody

that I couldn't see the bad.



Dobbins convinced me that
Leland had stolen the gold,

so we went to track him down.

Did you find him?

I led dobbins right to him,

but the gold wasn't there.

So Leland panicked,

took out his gun
and dobbins shot him.

But I didn't find out until
later that dobbins
had set him up.

He was long gone by then.

He must still be
looking for that gold.

He's got to figure the
only person who can
help him find it

is that woman down there.

The widow of an innocent
man whose

death I'm partly to blame for.

Something I can help you...


You got a lot of
nerve coming here.

I've come to help you.

Help me? Just like you helped
my husband?

No, that's why i'm here, ma'am.

What, to say you're sorry?

To say it was all
dobbins' fault?

Well, you already said that,
and it won't help now any more
than it did back then.

My husband was a good man.

An honest man.

Because of you, he's dead.

There ain't nothing more
for us to say.

Now, get off my land.

We've come about dobbins, ma'am.

It seems he's busted
out of jail and come
looking for the gold.

Dobbins and the gold can
go straight to hell.

And if you don't ride out
of here right now, I'll send
you there to meet him.

Mrs. Leland, Mrs. Leland,
Mrs. Leland!

- What is it, Luke?
- It's Seth.

He left school
with some stranger.

Well, what did he
look like, son?

Real rough,
dressed in a long duster.


Oh, no. No.

You, you're the one who
brought this on us!

Why did you have to
come back here?

Wasn't leading
him to my husband enough?

You had
to lead him to my son, too?

He's only a boy!


- Mrs. Leland.
- Go away.

I don't want to be here any
more than you want me here,

but dobbins has got your son
and I've got to find him.

Why would he take Seth?

Because he's
looking for the gold.

Now dobbins must figure
that Seth knows where it is.

He doesn't.

He doesn't know anything
about what happened back then.

Seth doesn't even know
how his daddy died.

Didn't you ever go
looking for it?

Don't you understand?

I didn't care about the gold.

Finding the gold wasn't gonna
bring back my husband.


Look, ma'am, I know how you
feel about Jimmy,

but you got to let him help
find your boy.


Because he's the only
one who can.

And he needs to.

Are you sure Seth has no idea
where your husband
took the gold?

It could have been
a million places.

My father used to take
me and my brother frank

up to special places
in the wild.

Secret places.

Places only we knew about.

Did Seth and his father have
a place like that?

Well, there was a place
in the woods.

A place my husband
had been going to
since he was a boy.

It's right over there.

All right.

Is this the place?

Yes, sir. See?

Here, every year pa would
make these marks

to see how much I grew.

His pa did the same for him
when he was young.

Pa says this tree is
part of our history.

You better hope it still is.

Let me go, let me go!

Which way?

I don't know.

- What if we don't find him?
- We will.

You don't know that, Jimmy.

Yeah, I do.
This is my responsibility.

It ain't like you killed Leland.

No, but I did everything but
pull the trigger, Jesse.

Look, if we don't find
that boy...

Come on.

You stay here.
I mean it this time!

Get your hands where
I can see them!

You always were
persistent, Jimmy.

-Hold on, son.
I'll be right there.

Help me!

I can't see.

You hit?

Damn it, I told you to stay
out of this!

- Let me see.
- It's nothing.

We've got to get out of here.

No, he's still got the boy,

What do you want me to do?

Look, I'll keep dobbins busy.

You, uh you circle around
and you get the boy.

And when you get the boy,
you keep going

until you get all the way home.

Just in case. Now go!





I'll go get Seth.

Give me the gun.


- Oh.
- Mom!

Seth oh, Seth oh, Seth.

Oh, Seth.

Mister hickok.

I don't know what to say, but...

You don't need to say anything.

I'm just happy
I got your boy back to you.

Take care of your mom.

Well, you boys ride safe now.

Thanks, ma'am.


That man, he was the one
who killed my pa, wasn't he?

Yeah, he was.

Your pa was a good man, Seth.

I'm sorry you didn't get
to know him too well.

Were you his friend?

No, but I would have
liked to have been.

It's a long way home.

Are you gonna start
talking to me sometime soon?

Sure. I'm not angry with you.

That's a first.

You know, I've been meaning
to thank you

for saving my life back there.

- It was nothing.
- It wasn't?

It was different than
I thought it would be.


No, just different.

Think you'll stop feeling
guilty now?


You think you'll start?


Good night, Jimmy.