Laramie (1959–1963)
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The Debt 

Jess as acting deputy frees a bounty hunter's prisoner who had cut down Jess during a lynching five years earlier saving his life. Having paid his debt, he decides to see if the prisoner was truly innocent himself or should be recaptured.


Joseph Kane


David Lang


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Episode cast overview:
John Smith ... Slim Sherman
Robert Fuller ... Jess Harper
Jason Evers ... Hanson
Vaughn Taylor ... Pettis
Harry Carey Jr. ... Harry Markle
Stuart Randall ... Sheriff Mort Cory
Roy Barcroft ... Fred T. Cotter
Monica Lewis ... Clovis


Harry Markle is being trailed by bounty hunter Hanson who fakes a campsite luring Markle into trying to ambush him which fails. Hanson takes the captured Markle into Laramie and turns him over to acting deputy sheriff Jess Harper for the night. Markle recognizes Jess although Jess has no idea who he is. Jess owes Markle his life when Markle cut him from a hangman's noose five years earlier. Markle is now accused of robbing the American Mail Company and killing the night watchman and he claims he's as innocent as Jess was on that long ago day. Jess repays the debt at the expense of his reputation, by letting Markle go then goes to Daggett to prove Markle's claim. He takes a job with the mail company and starts nosing around. Someone at the company office is a blackmailer and someone a murderer as Jess gets closer to the truth. The closer he gets the more dangerous it becomes. Proving Markle innocent may cost Jess his life. Written by DarSpi

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Release Date:

18 April 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


With the passing of Monica Lewis in 2015, Robert Fuller remains as the only living member of the cast as of 2018. Fuller outlived most of the guests on the series as well as his contemporaries from other period westerns. See more »

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User Reviews

Compelled to investigate
1 January 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

As per the title of this episode Robert Fuller who was acting as a sheriff's deputy frees bounty hunter Jason Evers's prisoner. Of course he and Harry Carey, Jr. make it look like a jailbreak, but nobody's really fooled.

Carey did Fuller a similar favor way back when and Fuller is compelled to do what he did. But he also feels compelled to investigate what Carey was wanted for, specifically a robbery of a payroll in a nearby town

As part of said investigation he takes a job with stagecoach outfit which was robbed and the franchise there is run by old time perennial Republic western villain Roy Barcroft, the henpecked husband of Ellen Corby which also employs Vaughn Taylor as a bookkeeper. Sheriff Emile Meyer is suspicious of all.

All I will say as Jess Harper becomes detective is that things don't quite go as he or the viewer will suspect. But of course the job gets done and the truth is revealed.

Hercule Poirot couldn't have revealed it better.

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