Joe Dakota

Pico Canyon and Newhall are just mentioned.

The oil well’s about to come in, where’s the title character who owned the land, just outside Arborville?

A mysterious, ornery bunch, the townspeople.

Stranger rides into town, asking about him.

A great film by a director of genius, a Jock Mahoney Western.

Arborville’s nothing, a windy spot on a map, if that.

Lumet’s The Offence throws a light on this.

“The only club in town” is a two-party system.

Huston’s The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean reflects the ending.

There is an obscure parallel to Harold French’s Adam and Evelyne.


Day of Reckoning

The Bannocks make war on the entire valley following the death of their chief. One of the settlers is a Bannock himself, married to a Shoshone woman who is a Christian.

Moreover, he’s the new chief’s brother, and saved Ben Cartwright from a Bannock brave, nursed his wounds and brought him back to the Ponderosa.

Much of this is his wife’s doing, but he gives farming a valiant go. An Indian-hating neighbor loses his wife in the Bannock assault, and kills the Shoshone wife in retribution. “An eye for an eye, it’s in the Book!”

This fellow is swiftly (but not too swiftly) pulverized by the husband, a brave again. He stakes Ben Cartwright to the ground for a slow death as an abettor, and cuts him loose hearing a prayer.

The land he farmed was a gift, the best of the Ponderosa. He is now the chief of the Bannocks, since his brother’s death in the war, shot by the neighbor. He promises to return one day for a friendly visit. “If I couldn’t torture you into hating me, I couldn’t kill you.”