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Cheyenne tries to keep a business partner from losing his retirement savings to a cardsharp on a paddleboat trip.

Death Deals the Hand
Season 2, Episode 3
Air date Oct. 9, 1956
Written by Lee Loeb, L.J. Searles
Directed by Richard L. Bare
Episode guide
Previous
The Long Winter
Next
The Bounty Killers

Episode Notes

Real World References

  • Notice any? Add them here.

Errors and Continuity Nitpicks

  • Many of the steamboat shots are of a model versus the real thing. In one shot, a gangplank on the model bumps into some "trees" on the bank, gets stuck in them and tilts the boat awkwardly. The film in this scene is also reversed as the name painted on the rear of the boat model -- "Paul Jones" -- is backwards.

Plot

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Cheyenne takes a liking to fellow passenger Caroline Parker.

Cheyenne Bodie is resting outside a poker room on a riverboat, listening to the men playing the game inside. He glances at the table and sees one of the players nervously passing a lion-headed ring between his fingers. When raised voices catch his attention, Bodie looks up in time to see that same player shoot a man, run from the room and leap over the railing into the water below.

Years later, trapping partners Cheyenne and Hoot Hollister head to the local trading post with a wagon full of furs they've been collecting all winter long. After selling their wares, the pair head into town and are jumped by some crooks intending to steal their new money. As Cheyenne tries to fight them off, a well-dressed man sees the mess and comes to their aid. Bodie recognizes him as his old friend, Price Edwards. Their enemies defeated, the trio head to the nearest saloon for a "snort", then to the bath house.

Cleaned up and sporting new suits, the men board a paddleboat bound for St. Louis. Hoot is going there to marry his girlfriend Hilde, and Cheyenne wants to make sure his friend arrives with all (or most) of his retirement money. This turns out to be a challenge since Hoot is hankerin' for his turn at the poker tables, and a young schoolteacher named Caroline Parker proves to be a beautiful distraction.

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Caroline and Cheyenne enjoy the crew's music.

Then a danger element is added to the mix when a gambler named Lou Santell is all too eager to play poker with Price and Hoot. Cheyenne recognizes him as the killer from the card game years ago. After a one-sided fight, he forcefully tells the dangerous man to stay away from his friends.

Shortly after the ruckus, Santell meets up with Price in his cabin. It turns out the two men are partners, but Price wants out. Santell says he can leave but only after Price pays back a debt of $5,000 before the boat arrives in St. Louis. Carolline enters and interrupts them. She's no schoolteacher bound for a St. Louis classroom; she is Price's wife, but the pair keep their marriage a secret so they can work the riverboats as cardsharps and grifters. Caroline begs Price to break from Santell. He promises he will, but only after he takes all of Hoot's money.

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Caroline asks Price to quit, while Santell keeps on eye on them.

The poker games begin that evening and Caroline uses her charms to lure Cheyenne away to the lower decks. Caroline pulls Cheyenne in for a kiss, but he cuts it short. He's found evidence that Caroline and Price aren't being honest with him and calls her on it. When Caroline's isn't willing to admit their lies, Cheyenne heads back to the poker room. Santell catches him unawares, smacks him over the head, and ties him up.

Meanwhile upstairs, Price is using marked cards to put the squeeze on Hoot. Fearing for her husband and hating what they've become, Caroline searches the boat for the only person who can help. She finds Cheyenne tied up on the lower deck by Santell and frees him. Bodie returns to the poker room just in time to see Hoot lose his last dollar of retirement money to Price. He encourages Hoot to inspect the cards and the old man sees the deck is marked. When Hoot leaves to tell the captain about the cheating, Price runs after him while Santell holds Cheyenne at gunpoint. Cheyenne grabs the gun and the two of them fight, tossing tables and poker chips everywhere. Cheyenne overcomes Santell long enough until the crew arrives to arrest him.

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Santell picks a fight with Cheyenne and regrets it.

Price and Hoot are playing cat and mouse through the maze of cotton bales on the lower deck. Cheyenne arrives and corners Price, informing him of Santell's arrest and demanding that he give back Hoot's money. Price refuses to give up. When Cheyenne backs him against the railing, he leaps into the water and all Cheyenne can grab is his jacket. The current from the paddlewheel pulls him under the boat and he screams in terror as he's dragged to his death. Caroline weeps for her husband as Cheyenne and Hoot head back upstairs with Price's wallet.

The next day the boat nears St. Louis. The newly-widowed Caroline tells Cheyenne she's headed back home and he wishes her the best. They part as Hoot meets up with Cheyenne. He's got his money back and is ready to get married. His bride-to-be is waiting for them on the dock, either that or it's a totem pole. Hoot isn't sure which is which.

Quotes

Hoot Hollister's best quotes:

  • "She's so ugly I used to take her out with me all the time just so I wouldn't have ta kiss 'er goodbye." -- Describing his girlfriend Hilde
  • "Ain't seen so many bullets since Hilde's pa catched us courtin'." -- Winning poker with three aces
  • "That's either Hilde or a totem pole." -- Seeing his woman on the dock
  • "Poker lessons cost you money, boys. Fifty dollars. Don't squeeze 'em! Play 'em." -- When he's winning at the poker table
  • "You oughta taste Hilde's shortening bread. Ya know I ain't tasted that in 20 years. I get indigestion every time I think of it." -- About his girlfriend's cooking


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Cheyenne and Hoot ride the river to St. Louis.

"It's good to make new friends. It's the old ones that disappoint you sometimes."
- Cheyenne suspects his old friend Price is being less than honest.


"He's weak but down deep he's a good man....don't hurt him."
"I don't want to. That's up to him."

- Caroline asks Cheyenne to be gentle with her husband.

60th-deathdealsthehand

Purchase Cheyenne Season 2

Cheyenneseason2DVD150px
www.clintwalker.com or www.amazon.com

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