If You Have Tears (Episode 1.20)

Executive Producer Roy Huggins
Produced by Warren Duff
Teleplay by Frank Fenton and Frank Chase
Story by Thomas Fitzroy and Howard Browne
Directed by Richard L. Bare

Move that hand any farther, and you’ll never deal another card.

Episode scene:

As part of his plan to prove a friend’s innocence, the Virginian gets into a cardgame in order to meet the brother-in-law of a murdered man, and calls the dealer out for cheating. He lays his gun on the table, and when it appears the dealer is reaching into his jacket for a weapon, he smiles and gently speaks the words above.

Quotation from the book (Chapter 2):

The Virginian’s pistol came out, and his hand lay on the table, holding it unaimed. And with a voice as gentle as ever, the voice that sounded almost like a caress, but drawling a very little more than usual, so that there was almost a space between each word, he issued his orders to the man Trampas: --
“When you call me that, smile!” And he looked at Trampas across the table.

A lot of people are poets ...

Episode scene:

The Virginian and Mrs. Kellam, whom he suspects killed her husband, are discussing her brother, who is a poet. The Virginian muses “I once knew a man, could barely write his own name. But he could talk to the birds, could tell where a mountain cat had walked across a bed of pine needles, could tell his age by the trees and the weather by his bones, after he got old that is. I always considered him to be a poet.” She asks who the man was and he tells her “My father.” She then says she would have liked him, and he wistfully agrees.

Quotations from the book

(Chapter 6):
...“I went back home to see my folks onced. Mother was dyin’ slow, and she wanted me. I stayed a year. But them Virginia mountains could please me no more. Afteh she was gone, I told my brothers and sisters good-by. We like each other well enough, but I reckon I’ll not go back.”

(Chapter 22):
...Along Bear Creek...Molly and [the Virginian] took a ride...and she was telling him about Vermont.
“I never was there,” said he. “Never happened to strike in that direction.”
“What decided your direction?”
“Oh, looking for chances. I reckon I must have been more ambitious than my brothers - or more restless. They stayed around on farms. But I got out.”

(Chapter 29):
...I am of old stock in Virginia English and one Scotch Irish grandmother my father’s father brought from Kentucky. We have always stayed at the same place farmers and hunters not bettering our lot and very plain ... my father and two brothers were killed in the Valley sixty-four.

Additional comments:

  1. The card game scene in this episode is a great example of how James Drury could portray the Virginian just the way Owen Wister meant him to be. His voice is “gentle” and does sound “almost like a caress” as he forces the dealer to back down. In fact, the look on his face is almost angelic.
  2. See Ride A Dark Trail for a card game between Trampas and the Virginian that almost turns deadly.
  3. See my page about The Accomplice to see where James Drury’s Virginian says “When you call me that, smile” to Trampas.

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(Compilation © 2002 by Alice Munzo. All rights reserved.)
(Pictures updated April 24, 2004 courtesy The Hallmark Channel)