The Big Deal (Episode 1.04)

Produced by Charles Marquis Warren
Teleplay by Winston Miller
Story by Richard Jessup
Directed by Earl Bellamy

Mister, ain’t I seen you somewhere before?

Episode scene:

While the Virginian and Trampas are having dinner, a salesman thinks he recognizes Trampas and persists in his efforts to be recognized by the cowpuncher, finally saying “I never forget a face” to which Trampas replies “I do.”

Quotation from the book (Chapter 2):

“Guess I’ve met you before,” the drummer stated ...
The Virginian glanced at him for a brief moment.
“Haven’t I, now? Ain’t I seen you somewheres? Look at me. You been in Chicago,ain't you? You look at me well. Remember Ikey’s, don't you?”
“I don’t reckon I do.”
“See now! I knowed you’d been in Chicago. Four or five years ago. Or maybe it’s two years. Time’s nothing to me. But I never forget a face. Yes, sir. Him and me’s met at Ikey’s, all right.”
....“Maybe you did,” said the Virginian. “Sometimes I’m mighty careless what I look at.”

Won’t you be uncomfortable sleeping on your gun?

Episode scene:

The Virginian and the Judge’s visitor, Enrique Cueliar, find that the hotel is full for the night, forcing them to share a room with other guests. If they are “lucky” they can pay someone to share their bed instead of sleeping on the floor. But the Virginian gets his own bed by paying a drummer to share and then scaring the hapless man into thinking he is a dangerous bedfellow.

Quotation from the book(Chapter 3):

“I should think,” said the drummer’s voice, “that you’d feel your knife and your gun clean through that pillow.”
“I do,” responded the Virginian.
“I should think you’d put them on a chair and be comfortable.”
“I’d be uncomfortable, then.”
“Used to the feel of them, I suppose?”
“That’s it. Used to the feel of them. I would miss them, and that would make me wakeful.”
“Well, good night.”
“Good night. If I get to talkin’ and tossin’, or what not, you’ll understand you’re to -”
“Yes, I’ll wake you.”
“No, don’t yu’, for God’s sake!”
“Not?”
“Don’t yu’ touch me.”
“What’ll I do?”
“Roll away quick to your side. It don’t last but a minute.”

The brake's gone!

Episode scene:

While driving the Judge's guest to Shiloh, a rattlesnake scares the team of horses, who run away with the buckboard. The Virginian shouts “The brake’s gone!” and while he is trying to get back control of the team, Enrique Cueliar thoroughly enjoys the wild ride.

Quotation from the book (Chapter 4):

I grasped the seat. Something gave a forlorn jingle. It was the brake.
“Don’t jump!” commanded the trustworthy man.
“No,” I said, as my hat flew off.
Help was too far away to do anything for us. We passed scathless through a part of the cattle; I saw their horns and backs go by. Some earth crumbled, and we plunged downward into water, rocking among stones, and upward again through some more crumbling earth. I heard a crash, and saw my trunk landing in the stream.
“She’s safer there,” said the trustworthy man.
“True,” I said.
...A dry gully was coming, and no room to turn...He steered the horses straight over, and just at the bottom swung them, with astonishing skill, to the right along the hard-baked mud...we came to a harmless standstill among a bower of leaves...
“I reckon," said he, "you're feelin’ about half-way between ‘Oh, Lord!’ and ‘Thank God!’”
“That’s quite it,” said I, as he got down on the ground.

Additional comments:

  1. In the book, the exchange over dinner takes place between a drummer and the Virginian at an eating-house.
  2. The dialogue for the bed scene in the show was taken almost word for word from the book. However, in the book the Virginian makes a bet with Steve that he would get his own bed, and the whole town celebrates his victory all night.
  3. In the book, it takes the Virginian and the Judge’s eastern guest four days to travel 263 miles from Medicine Bow to the ranch, which was called Sunk Creek. In the show it is only a couple of hours to Shiloh.
  4. Senor Cueliar carries a small valise containing his travel essentials, such as soap, and in the book the narrator does the same. Also, the name of one of the runaway horses in the book was Buck, which is the name of Trampas' horse on the show. Thanks to Barbara Townsend for these observations.


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(Compilation © 2002 by Alice Munzo. All rights reserved.)
(Pictures updated November 13, 2003 courtesy The Hallmark Channel)
(Comment 4 added January 23, 2004)