Cast & Crew
Twelve-year-old Danny Mitchell and his amateur detective pals spy on a new arrival in their town of Lawtonville, a reclusive and mysterious World War II veteran named Jed Barlow. Although the residents of the town believe that Jed is a misanthrope, Danny decides to pursue a friendship with him. When a letter addressed to Jed from the U.S. Army Military Prison arrives at the town post office, rumors quickly spread through Lawtonville that Jed is a "jailbird." A short time later, Danny follows Rusty, his dog, to Jed's, where he discovers that Jed is feverish and suffering from malaria. Danny helps Jed recover from his illness, but when Danny asks questions about Jed's personal life, Jed refuses to give him any answers. Jed makes a full recovery, and he and Danny eventually become good friends. While attending a pro-military rally at the town square, Jed is disturbed by a patriotic speech given by Luther Hebble, and as he walks away from the rally, Hebble follows him. A fistfight between the two men ensues when Hebble accuses Jed of being unpatriotic and throws a punch at him. Danny later avenges Luther's mistreatment of Jed by throwing a blueberry pie at him. One day, Jed accidentally injures Rusty while using dynamite to uproot a tree stump. The townspeople accuse Jed of deliberately trying to harm Rusty, and he is arrested. Certain that Jed did not intend to injure Rusty, Danny tries to help him by getting Mr. Gibson, a lawyer, to take his case. Gibson, a champion of fairness and an advocate of teaching children about how the justice system works, believes Danny's assertions and accepts Jed as his client. During the trial, Jed testifies that he is a veteran who was spurned by his girl friend and, as a result, became embittered at the world. Gibson uses Jed's testimony to argue that society, often too quick to judge someone by their outward appearance, has condemned Jed before learning the facts. Because of Gibson's emotional plea, Jed is fined only $100 for the accident, while Hebble is charged with slander.
Edward Peil Sr.
The Son of Rusty
The Son of Rusty
For more information on the "Rusty" series, see the catalog entry above for Adventures of Rusty and consult the Series Index.