The Hant is the second episode of Shane. It first aired on September 17, 1966.
An old man shows up and watches Shane from a distance. When Shane confronts the man, he discovers he shot and killed the old man's son four years before. The fact that he couldn't remember, and the old man's strange request makes Shane physically ill. Shane must find some way to come to terms with what he did. - Source: IMDb.com
It is night and Shane wakes up hearing things outside his cabin. He sees an old man watching through the window, so he sets out to meet him. He takes his gun and looks around his cabin, only to find the man riding away with his horse and buggy. As he disappears over the hill Shane decides to go back to sleep.
In the morning, as Marian serves breakfast, Tom mentions going out the back some time at night but he tells Shane he hadn’t seen anything. As Joey’s mind goes wondering he suggests it were Indians that were at the farm the night before but Shane, having seen the man’s face, assures him it weren’t as he himself keeps wondering who it was he saw.
As Shane tells the family what he’d seen and explains what happened, Marian suggests that he may have been dreaming. He tells her that maybe that’s what it was. “Maybe it was a hant.” he says. Joey asks what a hant is. Marian explains that the word comes from haunt and is used to talk about ghosts but she tells him they don’t exist. Joey, however, has heard some stories about ghosts from his grandpa. Shane decides to go along with Marian and assures Joey there’s no such thing as ghosts.
The next day, while Shane and Joey ride to town, Shane sees the buggy again on a hilltop. They just ride on to town and go into Grafton’s. There Joey stares himself blind on the candy they got and Shane takes a look at the footwear. When holding a pair of boots and hearing Grafton talk about them Shane tells him they seem a little stiff but he decides to try them out by taking a little walk.
When Shane walks into the saloon some cattle men at the bar tell Grafton they’ve been waiting a little too long to have a drink. The men are rude and do not have any good words for Grafton or for sodbusters. Shane is standing somewhere close to the men and falls when he tries to put out the boots. When doing so he makes one of the men spill his drink.
The man, called Jed Andrews, doesn’t think an apology is enough and when his friends start making fun of him he decides to draw his gun. He starts calling Shane names while Joey comes in and starts watching the fuss from the saloon doors between the store and the bar. Grafton and Shane try to stop Andrews from doing anything stupid and Shane offers to buy him the drink he made him spill.Andrews was holding his gun back a little but decides to draw again as he seems to be getting more serious about killing Shane. But Shane, still sitting on the ground, throws up a boot when Andrews is about to shoot him. The gun goes off and the bullet flies in an upwards direction, hitting a lamp on the way to the ceiling. Shane immediately jumps at Andrews and tries to get rid of the gun. They start fighting but soon Andrew’s friends break it up and tell him that it’s been enough. “He’s just a Saturday-afternoon-payday-drunk.” one of his friends says while apologizing to Shane.
When Shane changes his boots while sitting down the mystery-man walks in. As the old man walks slowly up to Shane and looks at him from behind a table lamp Grafton asks him if he’s the new hardware drummer that would be coming through, but he then comes walking up to the bar and just stares at the men standing there. He decides to take another good look at Shane, calling him by his name. Shane still doesn’t know who the man would be and when he asks him what he wants he says “nothing”. Then he just turns his back and walks away.
At night Joey’s taking a bath and he tells his mother and grandfather all about what happened in the saloon. When hearing about the fight Marian asks Shane if he was hurt but he tells her no. The man he fought was drunk and not much of a fight. Joey starts to see Shane as a hero, but Shane can’t say he wasn’t afraid. “Mad dogs and young drunks a man oughtta be afraid of”.
Joey goes on with his story and tells them about the man who came in after the fight. Tom asks about him but Shane tells him it was just an old man. While Joey’s a little concerned about his privacy when his mother comes at him with a towel to get him out of the tub, Tom goes on asking Shane if he knew the man. He says he never saw him or at least doesn’t remember ever seeing him. Tom is sure it must’ve been the same man that was at their farm the night before an also mentions Arnd Gunderson seeing him drive his buggy ‘cross Buffalo Creek.
Joey has his own ghost-theory about the man he saw. The thing that struck him as odd was that the man knew Shane, but Shane didn’t know him. Shane tells him that in his life he has met a lot of men who did know his name but of whom he wouldn’t know theirs. That’s just it, he guesses.
When the night has fallen and they’re all in bed, Marian wakes up, just like Shane the night before. Only she’s awake before someone comes up to their house. Just as she’s checking on Joey she hears a horse riding in and as she goes outside to take a look she sees Shane’s already there to have a talk with the stranger. She asks who it is but Shane asks her to go back to bed. He says it’s an old friend and asks him inside.Shane again asks him what it is he wants, coming to their house in the middle of the night, but the man still tells him “nothing”. When Shane asks how he got his name, however, he mentions Black Falls, Colorado, a state Shane is familiar with but a place that doesn’t ring a bell. It doesn’t look like the man’s gonna tell a lot more than that and Shane, a little worried the man will wake up Marian again riding out, invites him to stay in his bunk house for the night.
The man makes himself right at home and unpacks the bag he carried with him. After a razor and a bible come out he shows Shane a picture of his son. The old man thinks maybe Shane remembers him because he knows they’ve met on April 14, four years before. The reason he’s so sure about the time and date is that the coroner's inquest always was on a Wednesday. And that was on the fifteenth back then.
The old man tells Shane that Frank Harts was the man running the inquest and he goes on mentioning names of people that were in the jury, but Shane still doesn’t really know what the man is talking about. The man says he would know what they had said: “Death by misadventure.” That’s what they called the death of his son, but he says it wasn’t hard to find out about what really happened: half the town knew a bullet killed him. And it was Shane who shot him.
Shane ignores the man’s remark, telling the old man the only reason he’d let him in was so he wouldn’t scare Mrs. Starett. He’d still like to know what he wants from him and asks him once again. “Nothing,” the man says “nothing.”. Shane lets the man stay for the night but when the man is asleep he checks his gun and lays it within reach. When he takes another look at the picture he seems to remember the face.
The next morning Marian wakes up Shane telling him the old man’s gone. He’d gone off without saying a word after she greeted him. She asks him who he was and Shane has to admit he didn’t know him but knew his son a few years before. When Marian tells him breakfast is ready and she leaves his cabin Shane picks up the picture the man left behind and he seems to remember more and more about what happened a few years back.
Joey’s busy getting water when he sees the old man and his buggy riding up on the hill again. He shouts out to Shane and asks what the man wants. “Nothing,” Shane says, slowly walking up to the well, “nothing.”.
Later on, when the family’s having lunch and Marian tells Joey she wants to make cheese and how she does that, Shane keeps thinking about the man’s son and the face of the man becomes clearer in his mind. When Marian pours him another cup of coffee he remembers about a drink that got spilled a few years back and it makes him spill his coffee. When Marian asks him if he’s alright he says yes but walks out.
Marian notices Shane’s strange behavior and is about to tell Tom how she thinks Shane is acting but doesn’t finish her sentence, not wanting Joey to hear bad things about Shane. When Joey starts to asks about what she thinks of Shane she tells him to eat his food but Joey makes clear he knows about her little ‘trick’: “Every time you don’t wanna tell me something you say: ‘Eat your food.’. Pretty soon I’ll be the fattest dumbest kid in Wyoming.”
Shane is in bed, tossing and turning while having a bad dream. He wakes up drawing his gun and aiming it at the picture of the old man’s son. When he realizes what he was doing he gets angry and throws the picture on the floor, breaking the glass.
As he goes out to get some air Marian is outside as well and she asks him if he’s alright. He says he is but as Marian goes on asking he tells her he thinks he killed the man’s son. The thing is, he only remembers pieces and doesn’t know for sure. Marian thinks you would know if you killed someone but Shane isn’t so sure. He cleaned his gun every day in those days and admits there’s something terrible about it but he just can’t remember every detail.
While telling her all about what he knows of the time he must’ve killed the man and as Marian keeps questioning if he did really kill him, to Shane the events start to become clearer. The man threw whiskey at him while he and a friend of his were at a bar when working as guards for a mining claim. He now can picture it all:
- As his friend starts to see their job as some kind of suicide mission, a man (the old man’s son) comes walking up to them. The young man ignores Shane’s friend and talks directly to Shane, asking him if he works for Harkness. Shane has a high reputation but the man questions if he really is that fast with his gun. He'd like to offer him a drink but says he decided to give him his own instead and then throws it in his face. Directly after he draws his gun but Shane throws the table they’re sitting at upwards and moves to the side. He then shoots him and disappears through the window.
Marian tells him he shouldn’t let it keep eating at him but now remembering the whole story Shane tells Marian it’s alright and he goes back into his cabin. He puts the broken picture back on the table and shortly after goes back to sleep.
After sunup the horse and buggy are standing in front of the Starett homestead and the old man has come to visit again. Shane tells him he remembers it all and admits he shot his son, making it clear he didn’t know if he lived or died, but the man drew on him and he had to do something about it. The old man tells Shane that he wanted his son to come live on his farm but that it didn’t came to that because of him. Shane says to him “It was him or me.” and that is the way the old man sees it too. That’s what made him think Shane should take his son’s place.
Shane is surprised by the old man’s wish and declines the offer. Shane offers him cash instead but the old man has enough money and even wants to offer him some. But as the man reaches into his pockets to give him something Shane points his gun at him, making it clear he still doesn’t believe in the innocence of the old man’s visit. The man wants to give the pocket knife of his son to Shane but he is so puzzled by the man’s intensions he puts him back on his buggy and sends him away.
Marian sees Shane sending the man off and when Shane tells her what the man was up to it seems a little strange to her to get so angry about it. She says he shouldn’t have driven him off like that and sees the old man as a forgiving Christian but Shane thinks of him as a crazy person. When Shane walks back to his cabin he begins to feel sick and falls to the ground.
Marian heats up some stones and rolls them in a towel. She brings it to Shane who is lying in bed inside the house. When Tom walks in suggesting he may have malaria. As Marian is tending to Shane he wakes up and sees her as the man he shot a few years before. He then sees the events with the roles reversed and imagines himself being shot by the man. He’s afraid and starts feeling guilty about not remembering the man he killed. Marian tells him it’s gonna be alright.
That night Marian is sleeping in the rocking chair as Shane’s supposed to be sleeping in her bed but Shane is awake and dressed. He tells her he’s leaving without waking her up and she grabs his hand as he lightly touches her. But shortly after she wakes up and is just in time to catch him before he is done saddling his horse.She asks him what he’s doing and he tells her again that he’s going, this time with her listening. The old man has come from Colorado and has been all the way to Texas and back to Wyoming because Shane killed his son. He is afraid more stories will catch up with him and he doesn’t want that to happen where he is now. The whole country is full of hants and he doesn’t want to bring them down on Marian. She tells him she wouldn’t want to stop him but is afraid he’s going back to his old life and doesn’t want that to happen. Shane ignores her and rides off.
Shane heads over to Grafton’s first to gather some supplies. The two of them go over into the saloon as Grafton figures out what it’s gonna cost and in there the same three drovers are having a drink as the last time Shane was in there. While they’re arguing a drunk Andrews is trying to make a point. He’s standing on a table to put up a bottle somewhere but as he puts it there it falls down and breaks. Grafton and Shane hear this and try to find out what’s going on and they see Andrews falling down when he tries to get off the table. As his friends offer him another drink he asks Grafton if he has another empty bottle. When he says he doesn’t Andrews offers to empty a full one.
Andrews then again challenges Shane when he and Grafton are looking at him and his drunk activities. When he calls Shane a sodbuster and reminds him he spilled whiskey on him Shane starts getting flashbacks and sees him as the old man’s son. His friends try to stop Andrews but he’s out to kill Shane. As Shane’s starting to sweat Andrews goes on with his provocative talk, finally offering to count from one to three to make it a fair gunfight.
Grafton sees Shane is not feeling right and tells Andrews that he’s sick or something but Andrews doesn’t care and tells him he’s gonna be a lot sicker but then the old man appears in the doorway and tells them to stop. Andrews, however, starts counting. As he gets to three the old man is just in time to pull down his arm, preventing him from shooting at Shane at first but then getting shot himself.
Andrews convinces himself that it wasn’t his fault and the old man asks Shane if he’s alright. Shane reassures him he is as Andrews realizes what he’s done. The old man dies, glad this time he could save his son.
The course of events made Shane realize he doesn’t want to leave the Starett family and he rides back to their homestead. Marian opens the door when he knocks and he tells her what happened. The old man did leave something for Shane and he shows her what it is: a pocket knife of his son.
- First appearance of Ned Romero. In this episode he's seen as an unidentified drover but later on in the series he'll be named Chips and turns out to be one of Ryker's men.
- Second episode (out of total of six) without a so-called Guest Star.
- First of 4 episodes written by Ernest Kinoy.
|Tom Starett||Tom Tully|
|Old Man||John Qualen|
|Jed Andrews||Carl Reindel|
|Drover #1||Ned Romero|
|Drover #2||Claude Hall|
|Shane's Companion||Sam Melville|
|Young Man||John Garfield, Jr.|
Crew (and other credits)Edit
- Executive Producer: David Shaw
- Producer: Denne Bart Petitclerc
- Written by: Ernest Kinoy
- Directed by: Gerald Mayer
- Story Consultant: William Blinn
- Associate Producer: Austen Jewell
- Director of Photography: Richard R. Batcheller
- Art Directors: Bill Ross and Stan Jolley
- Post Production Supervisor: Jim Faris
- Casting Supervisor: Betty Martin
- Music Composed and Conducted by: Jerry Fielding
- Theme by: Victor Young
- Asst. to Producer: Robert Hardin
- Assistant Director: Les Berke
- Set Decorator: Bill Calvert
- Property Master: Anthony Bavero
- Script Supervisor: Larry Lund
- Makeup Artist: Louis J. Haszillo, J.M.A.
- Sound Mixer: Walter Goss
- Special Effects: Charles Spurgeon
- Film Editor: Bill Murphy
- Wardrobe Supervisor: Edward Lossmann
- Construction Coordinator: James West
- Lighting Gaffer: Bobby Jones
- Key Grip: Irvin McClellan
- Color by: Pathe Laboratories
- Titles by: CineFX
"A Presentation of Titus Productions, Inc. | Filmed at Paramount Studios, Hollywood"
|Shane - Season 1 episodes|