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False Witness Recap

A woman, Marcy James, rides into Porter and tells Ralph that she wants to see Hoby. She finds him at the Buckhorn discussing a recent killer's execution. Marcy says that she's there about Joe Corbett. The newspaper has said that Joe's appeal has been denied and he'll be executed at the state prison. Marcy says that Joe didn't kill Henry Palmer: she saw the man who did. After stating that, Marcy collapses from exhaustion.

As Tenner takes Marcy to the doctor's office, Henry Palmer's wife Jan comes up and asks him what is going on. The gambler tells her what Marcy said, and Jan is shocked that her husband's killer might not have been put away. Jan's ranch hand Leo Crane comes over and Jan tells him to take the groceries home.

In the doctor's office, Calhoun sees to Marcy. Hoby questions her and she explains that she doesn't know Joe. However, she saw the killer and knows that it wasn't Joe. Marcy says that she came to Porter to shop and went a walk while she waited. She heard two men arguing in a wooded area off the road and when she looked, Joe was on the ground and the younger man was hitting him in the head with a rock. Marcy rode off and hasn't come forward because she wasn't sure if the killer saw her. When she heard that Joe was going to the gallows, she decided to come forward. Calhoun orders Hoby out and says that he gave her a sedative.

Hoby dispatches two telegrams to Marcy's home town and to the store that she claimed to work at. He then checks on Joe in jail. Joe admits that he stole a saddle from Joe's horse when he found it wandering loose, but didn't kill Joe. Joe claims that he doesn't know how Marcy is, and Hoby figures that he's lying. However, Joe refuses to explain further.

Jan arrives at the sheriff's office and asks if Marcy had identified a new killer. Hoby confirms that she hasn't, and admits that he doesn't know if Marcy is trying to protect Joe. Jan warns that she couldn't go through a new trial again. Ralph comes in with the replies to Hoby's telegram. He reads them and leaves.

Hoby goes to the doctor's office where Henrietta is trying to get in to see Marcy. Calhoun tells Hoby that he can't allow any visitors because she's too groggy to say anything.

At the Palmer house, Jan gives Leo a rifle and tells him that it's the only way. Leo suggests that they ride into Mexico, worried that Marcy will identify him. Jan assures him that Marcy hasn't told them anything specific yet, and they kiss before Leo goes to Calhoun's office.

In Porter, Marcy wakes up and Hoby takes her to the sheriff's office. Leo tries to get a clear shot at her but can't. Meanwhile, Hoby tells Marcy about the penalty for perjury. She insists that she hasn't lied, and shows her the telegram from her boss. It confirms that she worked the day that Harry was killed. Marcy claims that she has no reason to protect Joe, but Hoby doesn't believe her. When he says that Joe is a cheap saddle bum, Marcy insists that Joe isn't a saddle bum. Ralph brings Joe in and Marcy stares at him in shock. He tells Hoby to get Marcy out, insisting that she can't help him. Hoby warns him that Marcy is perjuring herself to save Joe, and Joe tells her that it won't work.

Joe goes back to his cell and Marcy insists that Joe is innocent. She explains that they were going to be married in Dallas, and Joe went away. Marcy leaves and Hoby hears gunshots. He runs out into the street and finds Marcy lying on the street, unconscious from a head shot. He has her taken to Calhoun's, and later checks in. Henrietta is there and wonders why someone shot Marcy if she was lying. Hoby says that he's going to find the reason and leaves.

Leo rides back to the farm and tells Jan that it's done and no one saw him. She tells him to saddle his horse, and when Leo walks away Jan grabs his rifle and shoots him in the back. Hoby hears the shots and rides to investigate. Meanwhile, Marcy sees Hoby coming and drags Leo's body into the barn. Hoby arrives and sees Leo's saddle lying on the ground with blood on it. He enters the barn and sees Jan and Leo's body. Jan claims that Leo was going to kill him, saying that he was a madman and a killer. Hoby tells her that Marcy isn't dead, and Jan insists that she'll confirm that Leo killed Joe. The Ranger tells Jan that Marcy didn't see anything, and Jan runs out and bars the door behind her. She grabs Leo's rifle and shoots at Hoby, who tosses a rock through the window and then kicks the door down and tells Jan to surrender. Jan does and Hoby takes her away.

Later, Hoby stops in at Calhoun's office to give Marcy her reward: Joe, free of all charges.

Written by Gadfly on Apr 30, 2017

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