Episode Number: 16, according to broadcast order. Airdate: February 12, 1995. Director: Brad Turner. Writer: Kathryn Baker.
Guest Stars: Anthony De Longis (Jack Munch) / David MacNiven (Private Elliott) / Dmitry Chepovetsky (British soldier) / Demetri Goritsas (guard) / Vince Metcalf (General Brossard).
Other Titles: In German: "Unter persönlichem Schutz" ("Under Personal Protection").
At the Black Horse Tavern outside Fort Bennington, McKinney, Peevey and their friend Private Elliott, Captain Taylor Shields’s aide, play a game of darts. McKinney, having beaten Peevey for the eighth time, offers to assuage his friend’s wounded spirits with a mug of ale. As McKinney goes over to the bar and order two more ales, he listens to a boisterous woodsman entertaining some friends with a funny story, and joins in the laughter as the story ends. But the woodsman, seeing McKinney laughing, accuses him of laughing at him, not the story. McKinney denies this, and the woodsman says he will not take offense if McKinney buys him a drink. McKinney tells him that he has spent his last money on the drinks in his hand, and starts to leave. The woodsman pushes his arm and causes ale to spill down McKinney’s front. Peevey and Pvt. Elliott watch as McKinney, mad at what happened, swings ineffectively at the woodsman. When Peevey moves to help his friend, Pvt. Elliott tells him that the man, Jack Munch, is too dangerous to get involved. Laughing, the woodsman punches McKinney in the face, then the stomach, but his hand is grabbed by Hawkeye. Telling Munch to leave McKinney alone, Munch is about to fight Hawkeye, but a soldier comes in the door and tells Munch that Captain Shields wants to see him. Surprised, both Hawkeye and McKinney watch as Munch leave, laughing at his rescue.
In Captain Shields’ office, Munch, obviously under arrest, is pushed into a chair by two soldiers, and Shields asks Munch what he has to say in defense of certain charges. Munch replies that he wants to speak in private, and Taylor orders the two soldiers to leave, but Private Elliott to stay. Munch smugly says “Le Generale Phillippe Chasseur Broussard” to an amazed Taylor and Elliott. He tells Taylor that he was working for the French and saw from a secret document that the French General is going to travel incognito from Fort Duquesne to Carillon, and he will pass close to Fort Bennington in two days with a small escort. He offers to lead Shields to the general for amnesty for all events that happened on a date in July 1755, and Shields agrees, and signs a paper that Munch had written as a guarantee.
Munch swaggers outside and bullies Hawkeye, who refuses to fight him. Indignantly, Hawkeye then asks Shields why Munch is walking about a free man. Shields tells Hawkeye that he has important information, and orders that Hawkeye should leave Munch alone, or Hawkeye will be accused of treason against the crown. At the trading post, Elizabeth overhears the two boys argue over the fight at the tavern, and McKinney’s claims that he would have beaten Munch. Amused at the big talk, she asks what happened “I suppose that McKinney got his bloody nose by running into a hitching post,” she says. “Sometimes a man’s honor is worth fighting for, ma’am,” replies McKinney. “There’s also honor in not fighting,” says Elizabeth, seriously. McKinney then accuses Peevey of being a coward in not helping him, and Elizabeth has to pull the boys apart as they begin to fight. Indignant, the boys leave separately as Hawkeye enters. He helps Elizabeth take some blankets to the soldier’s barracks.
As they walk outside, her hand on his arm, Elizabeth asks “what is it about men, Hawkeye, always fighting?” “I suppose it’s in our nature to compete with one another,” he replies, amused at her question. “Do you think that will ever change?” she says. “Maybe, but not for a long, long time,” he says. “That doesn’t sound very encouraging,” she says, as Jack Munch approaches them. He saunters past Elizabeth, deliberately eyeing her, and smacks a kiss in the air as she freezes in shock and disgust, then he walks away, laughing. When she asks who Munch is, Hawkeye tells her that he is a turncoat and a coward, and was accused of stealing English guns and selling them to the French. “If he has been charged, then why isn’t he in jail?” Elizabeth says. “Because he’s under Taylor’s protection, for reasons only known to him and Taylor,” says Hawkeye with unconcealed disgust.
That night at the tavern, Munch sees McKinney and taunts him into a fight, and beats him senseless. Carried unconscious to the fort infirmary, Elizabeth treats his wounds as Hawkeye, Pvt. Elliott and Peevey watch. Peevey feels that he has failed his friend, and leaves. Hawkeye, seeing that Elizabeth is upset at what has happened to McKinney, asks if she wants him to exact revenge against Munch. “No,” Elizabeth says; “how do you stop violence without using violence,” she asks. “Sometimes that’s not possible,” replies Hawkeye as he too leaves her to minister to McKinney’s wounds. But Peevey has his own plan for revenge, and sneaks into the trading post when no one it there, and takes a pistol and ammunition.
Jack Munch, seeing Elizabeth alone in the trading post, enters. Elizabeth, uneasy at his threatening attitude towards her, asks what he wants. When he says a blanket, she takes one from the shelf and gives it to him. When he doesn’t offer to pay for it or leave, she asks what else he wants. Walking behind the counter and up behind her back, Munch says “well, it sure would be nice to have someone to share it with,” and tries to place it about her shoulders. Elizabeth backs away. “You look like a woman who appreciates the company of a man,” Munch says. When Elizabeth sharply says she is married, Munch laughs and says he only sees Hawkeye. Confronting him with his accusations, Elizabeth furiously
defends herself, but Munch quickly grabs her around the waist and tries to kiss her. She tries to free herself, and strikes him on the chest as a soldier comes in to interrupt the attack. “You’d better leave now,” Elizabeth shakily says. “Or what?” Munch replies. “Are you afraid you might ask me to stay?” he says threateningly. But he leaves, and Elizabeth, upset at the attack, tries to seek help.
In the woods, Peevey tries to learn to shoot his stolen pistol. Hawkeye sees him and talks to him about what it means to have a gun, and how the responsibility of having it is very great. Peevey begins to understand what, but sullenly refuses to give up the idea of confronting Munch with it.
Elizabeth, not finding Hawkeye, goes to Taylor’s office and accuses Munch of attacking her. When Taylor insulting asks her if she did not provoke the attack, she is horrified at his turning the accusation around against her. “A woman has no business operating a trading post all by herself; you really are just asking for this sort of thing” he callously says. “Why am I defending myself, he’s the one that’s the criminal,” Elizabeth cries. “I appreciate your annoyance, Elizabeth, I do, but I am afraid that you will just have to look on it as a minor inconvenience of this war,” Taylor soothingly replies. “You don’t understand, Taylor….that man frightens me, I’m afraid he’s going to hurt me,” Elizabeth pleads, trying to make him understand. But Taylor dismisses her fears.
That evening, Peevey confronts Munch with the pistol outside of the tavern. Munch manages to take the pistol away from him, and accuses Peevey of trying to shoot him to Taylor. With both of them in his office, plus Hawkeye, Taylor berates Peevey for his attempt on Munch’s life. Taylor tells Hawkeye to keep Peevey away from Munch, and for Hawkeye to leave him alone. Hawkeye replies that he will do that, if Munch does the same. Outside, Hawkeye talks to Peevey about his failed efforts with Munch. Peevey confesses that it was wrong, and that the pistol went off when he tripped trying to flee from Munch. He gives the pistol to Hawkeye to return to the trading post. Peevey visits McKinney, who is still sore from the beating. He helps McKinney from the bed to a chair, and McKinney thanks Peevey for his efforts, and scolds him for his foolishness. Peevey says that he is out of the revenge business, and McKinney agrees that is a good idea. Hawkeye returns the pistol to Elizabeth. “Peevey,” she says in exasperation. “Mr. Lightfingers himself,” Hawkeye replies. Still incensed with Munch’s freedom to do as he pleases, Elizabeth says “Jack Munch is the lucky one. Why should a man like that have so much luck?” “That will change,” Hawkeye says. “How do you know that?” Elizabeth asks. “Everybody does,” Hawkeye says to her amusement, as he leaves the trading post.
That night, Elizabeth is awakened from her sleep by a creaking floorboard in her trading post. Taking a pistol from the nightstand, she cautiously searches the building, and relieved at finding nothing, she returns to her bedroom. Suddenly, she is grabbed from behind by Jack Munch, and with a hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming, he takes the pistol. Trying to kiss her, she resists, but he is too strong. When she weakens, she is thrown onto her bed by Munch. When he attempts to climb on top of her, she screams, and he is suddenly pulled off by Hawkeye, who beats him. The night guard of soldiers, with Taylor, enters the room, and Taylor furiously asks what has happened. “This woman invites me into her room, then decides to act coy,” Munch breathlessly says, and a shaken but incensed Elizabeth screams “that is a most outrageous lie!” “You know damn good and well what he was trying to do, Taylor,” yells Hawkeye, still held by the soldiers. “Enough from all. Munch, if you feel the need for a woman, one can be found at the tavern, now get out,” Taylor cries. “Lock your doors” he says to Elizabeth, and to Hawkeye he repeats “ keep your hands off that man or I swear I will throw you in the stockade. Understood?” “Understood,” says a still furious Hawkeye, who tries to comfort a distraught Elizabeth.
Peevey, and Private Elliott pay a visit to McKinney, still in his sickbed, and play a game of cards, and Peevey loses again. They talk about card luck, and women, and the talk turns to Munch. Peevey says that Hawkeye is still angry over Munch’s attempted rape if Elizabeth, but Elliott says that in a short time, it won’t matter. He tells the two boys that Munch will leave the fort a free man the next day if he fulfills his promise to Taylor. The boys persuade Elliott to tell them what he knows as Shields’ aide, and Peevey goes to Hawkeye with the news that a French General is traveling near the fort with only a small guard. Hawkeye knows the path that they will take, and makes plans to intercept the general. He gives his pistol to Peevey, and tells him to stand guard outside Elizabeth’s window during the night, and to fire the pistol in the air if Munch comes around. Peevey promises to do so, and Hawkeye leaves the fort. Hawkeye finds the general in the nearby woods, guarded by his small escort. He easily sneaks past them and captures the general, “persuading him” to return to Fort Bennington.
The next morning, as Elizabeth leaves her quarters, she sees Munch mount his horse, with Taylor and a guard, ready to leave the fort, but as they are about to move out, the guards at the fort gate cry that riders are coming in. The gates open to show a mounted Hawkeye leading another man on horse. Hawkeye rides up to Taylor, and says “I believe I have something you’re looking for…General Broussard, I’d like you to meet Captain Taylor Shields. He’ll be your host for the next few days.” A stunned Munch and a delighted Taylor watch as General Broussard dismounts, and tips his hat in resigned salute. Taylor orders him to be kept under guard, and starts to return to his quarters with a salute to Hawkeye. “ Shields, wait a minute, what about our deal,” cries a trapped Munch, “I have a signed agreement with you.” “Ah yes, your amnesty. It is granted,” Taylor says to a relieved Munch. “Simultaneously, the immunity you have enjoyed here at Fort Bennington…is as of this moment, withdrawn,” Taylor continues, as Hawkeye and Elizabeth watch as Munch vainly cries out to Taylor, who goes into his quarters and shuts the door, leaving him to Hawkeye.
Trapped, Munch, tries to spur his horse out of the gate, but is pulled off his mount by Hawkeye.. As Munch throws a punch, Hawkeye grabs his hand and slaps his face, and continues to slap Munch as he staggers backwards, saying “now that’s not much of a way to conduct a fight, and you like to fight, don’t you Munch. You’re a big strong man, and quick. But you like to fight boys, and attack women; that’s not much of a match for a big strong man like yourself. That’s just bullying, it’s not fighting,” Hawkeye says as he continues to humiliate Munch by slapping him backwards, as everybody in the fort, including Peevey and McKinney, watch as Munch cowardly tries to shield his face. “Now, when you hurt people and beat on them as a way of living, you’ve got to remember this. There’s always somebody willing to return the favor; now get out Munch,” Hawkeye finishes, as he watches a craven and humiliated Jack Munch climb on his horse, while a very satisfied Elizabeth watches.
Later in the trading post, Peevey and McKinney talk over a game of chess about their experiences with the bully Munch, as Elizabeth watches from the doorway of her room. Peevey asks McKinney if he would have done what he did about Munch, if the circumstances were reversed. McKinney replies that he would have found a way to get rid of Munch by asking Hawkeye, then is amazed when Peevey checkmates him. Amused, Elizabeth later writes in her diary “Peevey and McKinney learned a few lessons, they nursed their wounds, both physical and mental. They did not boast of confrontations to come. They now know that in the presence of evil, virtue is no security. Our protection this time, as in so many times in the past, was provided by a hand as strong and caring as any I have ever known.”
All "Hawkeye" episode synopsis are © 2001 by Mark Meader for Wonderland.
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