A mystery must be solved when someone or something is killing men in the Big Ghost Basin and leaving strange signs behind.
Doc Raven shows Cheyenne the fossilized bone of a wooly mammoth.
Harwick stops Pierce Paxton from using his gun on Cheyenne.
Cheyenne threatens Oregon with torture if he doesn't cooperate.
Something deadly watches from the woods.
|Big Ghost Basin|
|Season 2, Episode 14|
|Air date||March 12, 1957|
|Written by||Steve Frazee, Wells Root|
|Directed by||Joe Kane|
- Slim Pickins guest stars in this episode.
Errors and Continuity Nitpicks
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Real World References
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While exploring a wilderness basin, Cheyenne Bodie discovers a campsite with an unattended campfire. The site is actually a trap where Bill Paxton is hiding to capture cattle rustlers. When Bill tries to take him prisoner, Bodie snatches his gun, tells him off and rides away. Moments later, Cheyenne hears the young man screaming. He returns to find Bill's battered corpse near his smothered fire.
Cheyenne brings Bill's body into Crowhard so the local doctor can do an autopsy. Doc Raven determines that Bill’s mortal injuries were caused by several crushing blows, but he finds no marks on the body that indicate who or what did it.
A passerby recognizes the body and notifies Bill's next of kin, his twin brother Pierce. When Cheyenne visits the saloon where the locals are drinking in Bill's memory, Pierce tries to pick a fight with him. Local rancher Jim Harwick intervenes. Impressed with Cheyenne's demeanor, Harwick offers him a job. This doesn’t sit well with the other ranchers who then accuse Harwick of being in cahoots with the rustlers. To placate them, Harwick assigns Cheyenne the job of scouting the basin. Cheyenne reluctantly agrees to the dangerous job and rides out. With revenge on his mind, Pierce follows.While scouting in the basin during the day, Cheyenne finds Doc Raven and his daughter Sherry digging up bones. Doc studies paleontology as a hobby and says the basin was once home to many strange creatures, as evidenced by the fossils he has unearthed. Nervous sounds from the horses interrupt their conversation and Cheyenne suggests they move on.
The Ravens part ways with him and stop at a small cabin for the night. While Sherry is watering their horses, something spooks them and they bolt. Sherry is knocked from her horse and falls to the ground, unconscious. She wakes after dark to see a pair of eyes peering at her. Her frightened screams bring Cheyenne to her aid. At his camp, he tends to her wounds, wraps her in a blanket and stands guard through the night while she sleeps.In the morning, Cheyenne is wandering through the brush when a gunshot nearly wings him. He trades lead with the assailant and, with a well-placed shot, he disarms Pierce, who is horribly jealous that Cheyenne spent the night with his fiancé. Cheyenne asks for Pierce’s help and reveals he’s working undercover as a special agent for the Indian Department. He knows the rustler’s scout is following him and signaling the others with a mirror. He asks Pierce to help drive the rustlers out of the basin and catch Bill's killer. Pierce agrees.
The pair capture the rustlers' scout. Cheyenne builds a fire and threatens the scout he calls Moccasin Joe with torture. The rough man won't budge, but he's desperately concerned about putting out the fire. When there's a rustling in the trees, the man goes berserk with fear. Cheyenne and Pierce bring the scout back to the cabin where Doc Raven is staying. The doc recognizes Joe as a local tough he calls Oregon. When the others are asleep, Oregon knocks Raven out but makes a ruckus as he tries to escape. After Cheyenne shoots him, he tries to get Oregon to tell him who or what is the basin killer. With his last breath, Oregon warns him that if he keeps making fires in the basin, he'll find out.The next day, Cheyenne uses Oregon's signal mirror to tell the rustlers that the basin is clear. Pierce then rides back to town to gather a posse that will hopefully finish off the rustlers once and for all. In the evening, Cheyenne builds a huge fire to draw out the killer and waits for it up in a tree. He dozes for a while, then climbs down to add more firewood and grab a drink of water. While his back is turned, something smothers the flames and then comes after him. He turns in time and uses Harwick's elephant gun and his revolver to bring the killer down.
In the morning, Cheyenne meets with the posse. They've managed to capture or kill all of the rustlers. Cheyenne shows them the basin killer: a scarred and deformed bear. The bear was burned in a forest fire a few years back, which explained its hatred of fire and lack of claws. The mystery is solved.
"Bodie, there's a rule on my ranch that the last man hired gets the dirtiest job. How badly do you need work?"
"Well...I'm just about down to the blanket."
- - Harwick doesn't sugarcoat the job he's offering Cheyenne, who sounds a bit desperate for work.
"My hobby is paleontology."
"Pay-lee...*smirks*...you better chew that for me a little finer."
- - Doc Raven's hobby is unknown to Cheyenne.
"Well where you been? Make a trip to see your girlfriend?"
- - Cheyenne is ticked at Pierce's returning so late.
"Don't tell her who I am. She's a nice girl, and I hope I find one as pretty and as smart some day, but I never saw a woman yet who was tongue-tied."
- - Cheyenne doesn't want Sherry to know he's an agent for the government.