1966 - 1967
#47 - "The Short, Happy
Fatherhood of Reese Bennett"

Original air date Jan 27, 1967
Directed by Ezra Stone
Written by Leonard Praskins
    & Barbara Merlin

Regular Cast
Neville Brand as Reese Bennett
Peter Brown as Chad Cooper
William Smith as Joe Riley
Robert Wolders as Erik Hunter
Phil Carey as Capt. Parmalee

Guest Cast
ichael Greene as Red Gully
ick Natoli as Black Wing
an Arvan as Flying Cloud
ileen Wesson as Cecile
leta Rotell as Mary
illian Field as Barbara
yn Peters as Nellie
indy O'Hara as Rosie
uddy Garion as Abner Gully
uff Brady as third Gully
o-Ko Tani as china trader
Red Gully and his brothers attack a group of peaceful Indians to steal their horses. They kill everyone except for young Black Wing and his uncle Flying Cloud. Black Wing, not realizing Flying Cloud is alive, puts on war paint and vows revenge. In the meantime, Reese has extended a week's time off into two weeks partying with Rosie, Nellie. and Margie at the China Hat Saloon in Apocalypse. Chad, Joe and Erik are assigned to bring him back under arrest, as well as to get rid of the Gully Gang. Reese, suddenly realizing he's overdue, takes off for Laredo.
Before Reese can get home, he's ambushed by Black Wing and ends up with an arrow in the buttocks. While Reese is quarreling with, then establishing a fatherly concern for, Black Wing, the other Rangers have made their way to the China Hat Saloon. They enjoy themselves while waiting for an answer to a telegram sent to the Captain. Part of this interlude features Peter Brown "singing" a little ditty. (We suggest that if you want to hear Peter sing, you find the Warners Christmas album on where he sings Winter Wonderland to much better effect.)
The Rangers find three mail order brides stranded because the Gully boys stole their carriage horse. Our heroes give them a ride to meet their new husbands. This little junket does nothing to advance the plot so apparently they needed some filler.
Meanwhile, Black Wing has tried to take revenge on the Gullys by shooting an arrow into the camp. When the Gullys go after him, Reese takes advantage of the distraction to get the jump on them. Black Wing gets away but Reese is taken captive. Black Wing runs into the other Rangers. Together they track the Gullys to a cabin where Reese is held hostage.
The Rangers take out the gang just in time for Flying Cloud to show up for his nephew. Reese knows it is best for Black Wing to go with his uncle and pretends not to care that his plans to adopt Black Wing are for naught. Back in Laredo, Reese  gets time in the guardhouse as punishment for his extended vacation. The other Rangers can't get him to cheer up and join their Ranger games. But when Black Wing stops by on his way to join his tribe in Oklahoma to say goodbye, Reese finds himself in good spirits again.
NiteOwl Review: We have it on good authority that Ezra Stone found directing this episode to be an exasperating chore because of Neville Brand problems which prevented him from paying full attention to his work. Of course, anyone who's read the summaries of the prior episodes knows that the NiteOwls are unlikely to fully embrace any episode which is short on Chad and Joe working as a team. But those of us who watched Laredo as a family group in those days of one television per family, remember that our parents and much younger siblines loved Neville Brand and probably loved this episode. Since we are older now than most of our parents were then, we don't know why we haven't fully embraced the Reese character in our retrospective of this series. Don't get us wrong, we actually liked what he brought to this show in small doses. The Chad and Joe team worked best when conning Reese or having him interfere with their plans. But the dose was too big here for most of us. But that's just the opinion of a bunch of yuppie baby boomers.
Reese "adopts" an orphan
Official Peter Brown Fan Site