James MacArthur Official Website: Welcome To My Digital Scrapbook!
James MacArthur Official Website Other Goodies Articles, Photos & Video Email Credits, Biography & Info News and Updates James MacArthur Official Website Logo
The Littlest Hobo
Trail of No Return (9 April 1981)

Appearing as Jim Haley

Broadcast 9 April 1981 on Canadian television.

Synopsis by Curator@JMDigitalScrapbook.com:

David (Derek Jones) and his sister Chris (Cindy Hines) are two youngsters out for an overnight fishing and camping trip. Their mother Barbara (Pat Collins) takes the precaution of asking park ranger Jim Haley (James MacArthur) to check up on the children and make sure they're okay. Jim catches up with the young campers at Pine Lake, where he informs them that the lake is fished out and suggests an alternate spot. He is charmed by their companion, a stray dog whom they've dubbed Scout (London, the Littlest Hobo) for his ability to help them find their way when David nearly lost their compass.

Soon after Haley departs, David decides it would be more fun to visit Stoney Lake, and the trio changes direction. That evening they dine on the ham sandwiches their mother thoughtfully sent along. Chris decides she isn't hungry enough for the big sandwich and gives her portion to Scout. Back home the next morning, Barbara is listening to the radio and is stunned to hear a news report announcing the recall of certain tins of canned ham because they are contaminated with botulism. To her horror, she soon confirms that the sandwiches she made for her children are from the recalled batch.

Meanwhile, David and Scout have both begun to show signs of illness. Though too young and inexperienced to find her way home alone, Chris nonetheless sets out to get help. Her own worst fears are confirmed when she slips on a treacherous incline and nearly plunges to her death. Fortunately, Scout is there to pull her to safety and guide her back to David.

Though Haley has mobilized the rangers and volunteers into a massive search party, the children can't be found. Obviously, they aren't where they said they were going and no one has any idea where they are now. Assuming they ate their mother's sandwiches the previous evening, and knowing this particular type of botulism is fatal within 36 hours, time is running out for them. Barbara breaks down, confessing to Haley that she had lost her husband five years before. The thought that she might now lose her children as well is more than she can bear.

On a hunch Haley decides to check with some of the farmers who live along the edge of the preserve area. As he and Barbara are driving up the road to one such farm, they are startled and alarmed by the report of a rifle shot. Speeding toward the sound, they discover a farmer (Ned Conlon) and his wife (Kay Hawtrey) confronting a very sick dog whom the farmer had almost shot, mistaking him for a wolf.

Haley recognizes the dog as the one David and Chris called Scout. The fact that he is ill would seem to confirm that he was with the children until recently. Haley retrieves a map from his truck and spreads it on the ground, enlisting the farmer's help in describing how and when he first saw Scout to try to determine in which direction to continue searching for the children.

Abruptly, Scout seizes a small rock and staggers over to the map, dropping it directly over Stoney Lake. Jim and Barbara both understand in a flash. Somehow, this amazing animal has given them the answer and told them exactly where the children are to be found.

A few days later, Haley, with a fully recovered Scout at his side, drops in on Barbara and the children to see how all are faring after their harrowing ordeal. After gently lecturing the children in a rather fatherly way not to make the same kind of mistake again, and exhibiting an obvious attraction to Barbara, Jim suggests they all take a camping trip together at the upcoming weekend. Already looking very much like a happy and contented family, the group turns to include Scout in their plans, only to discover that he has disappeared.

Chris spots their erstwhile pet out in the yard. The group gathers at the kitchen window, dolefully watching their friend, savior (and matchmaker?) head off to parts unknown as Jim remarks, "I think Scout has trails of his own to follow."

Click here to view a gallery of images from this episode.

Click Ticket for Video

James MacArthur

James MacArthur, London, Cindy Hines, Derek Jones

James MacArthur

James MacArthur, Pat Collins

James MacArthur, Pat Collins

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

James MacArthur

James MacArthur, Pat Collins, Derek Jones, Cindy Hines

James MacArthur, Cindy Hines, Derek Jones, Pat Collins

>>Back to Top<<

{Home} {Current News} {Latest Site Updates} {Film Credits} {Television Credits} {Stage Credits}
{Other Credits} {Combined Credits} {Biography} {FAQ} {Charles MacArthur Salute}
{Email James MacArthur} {Photo Index} {Articles & Interviews} {Non-English Articles}
{Video Clips} {Contact Site Administrator} {Site Help} {Search Site} {Interactive Games}
{View/Sign Guestmap} {Join Mailing List} {Join Discussion Group} {Send an E-Card} {Free Screensavers}
{Site Visitor Statistics} {Site Awards} {Site Accreditations & Affiliations} {Links} {Privacy} {Copyright}
Site Layout and All Original Site Content © 2001-11 curator@jamesmacarthur.com. All rights reserved.

Site best viewed at 800x600 or higher screen resolution.