The future of a town newspaper is in the hands of a drunk, and a crooked businessman with political aspirations wants it to fail.
Charlie offers Boyd his life savings to get the newspaper up and running again.
Cheyenne nurses Charlie back to health after the sheriff's men get rough.
Garth decides to kill his accomplices.
Garth wants a showdown with Boyd, but gets Cheyenne instead.
- This episode takes place in the summer of 1878, as evidenced by the date written on a Western Union receipt.
Real World References
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Errors and Continuity Notes
- Cheyenne wears a dark-colored, button-up shirt when he leaves the Dolan homestead; his buckskin, fringed shirt in the next shot riding through the countryside; a jacket when he trots into town in the next; and back to the dark colored button-up shirt when he reaches the land office. That's a lot of wardrobe changes for one trip.
- Paula says the town newspaper is the "Times" when in the scene before the newspaper masthead clearly says "Los Altos Courier".
- Merkel's hand is full of axel grease when Cheyenne finds his body, but in his previous scene his hands are clean when he gives Boyd booze.
Cheyenne is helping his long-time friend Charlie Dolan put up a fence on Charlie's homestead. Their work is interrupted by two men who serve Charlie an eviction notice. Charlie tries to force the men out and when Cheyenne intervenes the men knock both of them out. Cheyenne wakes and carries Charlie back to his shack, where the old man recovers. Cheyenne asks if Charlie got drunk and lost the homestead. Charlie then shows Cheyenne his conscience bottle, a bottle of alcohol he has kept with him at all times for the last three years and never opens. He tearfully says he wants to leave him the homestead when he passes since Cheyenne's been like a son to him.
Cheyenne heads off to Los Altos to learn more about the reason for the eviction notice, but no help is forthcoming at the land office. The sheriff is holed up at the local saloon talking to Len Garth, the local shady businessman with political aspirations. While Bodie waits for an appointment with the sheriff, he meets a friendly drunk named Boyd Copeland. Cheyenne helps Boyd stagger home and places him in the arms of his wife, Paula. It turns out Paula and Cheyenne were together three years ago. She is glad to see him, but Paula affirms her love for Boyd. Their conversation is interrupted when someone sounds the fire alarm. The newspaper office is burning with Boyd's uncle still inside. The building burns and Uncle John is killed.Boyd and Paula try to get a loan from the bank to buy a new printing press, but Boyd's reputation as a drinker drowns his chances. Charlie hears of Boyd's problem and plans to give him his life savings, hoping that it will be the catalyst to change Boyd's life and bring down Garth's crooked control over the town so he can get his homestead back.
Boyd heads out in a wagon to transport the new press, and Cheyenne and Charlie ride along to protect Charlie's investment. On the way back with the press, Boyd is at the reigns of the wagon and Charlie riding next to him. Meanwhile, Garth has placed a traitor in their midst who greases the brakes on the wagon, gives Boyd alcohol, and leads them into an ambush posted along the way. When Cheyenne leaves to fight the bushwhackers, Boyd pushes the wagon on, but the brakes won't work. Speeding along, the wagon tips, throwing Boyd and trapping Charlie underneath.
The men pull the old man out, but it's no good. Before he breathes his last, Charlie begs Cheyenne not to blame Boyd for the accident. Boyd tries to explain what happened but Bodie smells alcohol on his breath. Cheyenne is furious. He accuses Boyd of killing his friend and slaps him around. The others load the body onto the wagon while Cheyenne rides off to find the saboteur. Bodie finds his body in the wild, shot by his compatriots and axel grease on his hands.Boyd drives the wagon into Los Altos and heads straight to the saloon. Cheyenne finds him there and tells him about the saboteur. He assures Boyd that the accident wasn't his fault.
Encouraged, Boyd puts away the booze and gets the newspaper business up and running. He immediately prints stories that shed light on Garth's illegal activities. Garth covers his tracks by killing off his accomplices. When that doesn't work, Garth challenges Boyd to a showdown. Boyd accepts and Paula begs Cheyenne to stop him. While Paula distracts her husband, Bodie steps out into the street in his place. Garth draws and shoots, hitting Boyd in the arm. Cheyenne fires back and brings him down.
The threat over, Cheyenne says goodbye to the Copelands and rides away, leaving Charlie's conscience bottle in Boyd's care.
"I guess your soul was part indian, the part that I could never touch, moving with the seasons...south with the sun, north with the summer's grass...something I could never really share with you."
- - Paula explains to Cheyenne the kind of man she wants.
"I don't like your words."
"In that case I suggest you leave because I've got a few more."
"I got a better idea..."
[shoves Garth out the front door]"...I thought he'd never leave."
- - Cheyenne shows Garth the way out.
"Who can rightly say what courage is? Takes a special kind of courage for a man to peel his hide like you did just now. I'm not sure I coulda done it."
- - Cheyenne encourages Boyd
"Want a playmate, Garth?"
- - Cheyenne takes Boyd's place facing down Garth in the street.