Walk in the Dark (Murder Arena II)

McCloud complains about his assignment to rodeo detail, so Chief Clifford sends him to Special Auxiliary Force VI under the command of Sgt. Dameron, where he works to catch a murderer in Central Park.

Central Park After Dark

The significance of “Walk in the Dark” is that it serves to mirror the rustic chivalry in “The Concrete Corral” on a more sophisticated plane. McCloud is assigned to the all-girl police unit (alongside Susan St. James and Ann Prentiss) staking out Central Park with decoys to no avail and suffering casualties. The murderer, who “carves up” his victims, finds his way through the park after dark with incredible ease and slips right through the dragnet. He’s blind, as it turns out.

McCloud has to pull rank on Sgt. Dameron to get his man, and this earns him a professional rebuke as well as a commendation.


Susan St. James Officer Keach
Ann Prentiss Officer Murdock
Nina Foch Sergeant F.J. Dameron
Stewart Bradley Lloyd
Lou Massad
Bart Burns
Carol Lawson
Billy Beck News Vendor
Barbara Gates

Story by Leslie Stevens
Written by Leslie Stevens
Directed by Russ Mayberry  

185B, 10.14.70

Officer Keach, according to her file, is 5’4”, 36-24-35 (Badge No. 2006).

Sgt. Dameron’s deskplate appears to read F.J. Dameron, but Chief Clifford refers to her as D.J. Dameron, perhaps reflecting the discrepancy in this first season between his own deskplate and given name.


SGT. DAMERON: (Reading his transfer order.) No middle initial?
McCLOUD: Nope, not a one.

SGT. DAMERON: Do you have a women’s auxiliary force in Taos?
McCLOUD: We’ve got, uh, meter maids.
SGT. DAMERON: What about department stores, shoplifters and pickpockets?
McCLOUD: To tell ya the truth, Sergeant, I spend most o’ my time out on the mesa with the copperheads and the coyotes.

(McCloud receives a white belt with his karate outfit, having studied only jujitsu.)
OFC. MURDOCK: (Transfixed by his proximity in this all-girl police unit.) You know what white signifies.
McCLOUD: (Smiling.) Purity?
OFC. MURDOCK: (Breathless.) Beginner.

(After using his “rudimentary” jujitsu on his karate instructor.)
What’re ya doin’ for dinner tonight?
OFC. KEACH: (Furious.) Marshal McCloud, I’m gonna get you.
McCLOUD: (Overjoyed.) Ohhhhh, now you’re talkin’!

McCLOUD: (To Ofc. Keach, over dinner at a restaurant.) You’re just as tough as a packsaddle, mean as a bobcat, ya talk like a sodbuster, ‘n still manage to be feminine (It rhymes with “Adeline” in his pronunciation.).

(At the restaurant, Lt. Polk explains the Bridge Murderer case to McCloud.)
Our park detail’s been getting cut up by a maniac who operates around the west park entrances.

(Ofc. Keach had a premonitory dream before the murder of her friend, Ofc. Charlene Davis.)
McCLOUD: Well, I guess there’s more t’ things than we really know about.
OFC. KEACH: I hope not. (Ofc. Keach was in the dream, too.)

(On the firing range.)
SGT. DAMERON: Nice and clean, Marshal. You’re a credit to the mesa.
McCLOUD: Thank ya, ma’am.

(Special Auxiliary Force VI is having no luck capturing the Park Bridge Murderer.)
McCLOUD: You try usin’ dogs?
McCLOUD: I mean country dogs! City dogs like t’ sleep at night.

(McCloud may be in over his head.)
SGT. BROADHURST: Now, what do you want me to do?
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Well, go help him out! (Sgt. Broadhurst starts to exit.) Oh, Broadhurst.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: If Dameron catches you, this department disowns you completely.
SGT. BROADHURST: (Stoically.) If Dameron catches me, I self-destruct.

(McCloud tries unsuccessfully to transfer out of Special Auxiliary Force VI.)
What does he know about interdepartmental cooperation?
SGT. BROADHURST: You mean dirty politics.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: That’s what I said.

McCLOUD: (Discussing horses with the blind “paperseller.”) ...o’ course, if he starts switchin’ his tail, ya might as well tear up y’ ticket.

(Ofc. Keach, on decoy duty in the park, has disappeared, but McCloud isn’t a member of the “team”.)
McCLOUD: (To Sgt. Dameron.) Sergeant, you may not realize it, but three stripes don’t outrank a marshal. Now, you can poke around here all ya want to, but I’m followin’ her tracks.

(McCloud rescues Ofc. Keach and apprehends the assailant.)
McCLOUD: (Softly, to Sgt. Dameron.)
Why don’t you go book ‘im, ‘n I’ll meet ya.
SGT. DAMERON: McCloud, you’re gonna hear from me on two counts. One, I’m gonna file an official complaint, and two, I’m gonna attach a recommendation for Exceptional Service.
McCLOUD: I ‘preciate y’ kindness, Sergeant. (Kisses her on the left cheek.)