Cheyenne is assigned as scout to Lt. Col. Custer just before gold and greed lead to disaster at the Little Bighorn.
Custer faces his fate at the Little Bighorn.
Disguised as a Cheyenne chief, Bodie watches Custer's last stand.
- This episode and its second part were edited together and released in European theaters in 1964 as a stand-alone feature film.
- Battle scenes in this episode were lifted from the film They Died with Their Boots On released in 1941.
- Scenes used to depict Cheyenne scouting the countryside are reused from the 1958 film Fort Dobbs staring Clint Walker and Virginia Mayo.
- A French "photonovel magazine" of this episode was published in 1964 by Star-Cine Adventures consisting of still frames from the episode similar to a comic book.
Real World References
- To tie this episode to real events, the story takes place across the span of two years, from when Custer’s expedition discovered gold in the Black Hills in 1874, to the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.
Continuity Nitpicks and Errors
- Street scenes of Washington, D.C. in this episode were also used in the season three episode The Conspirators.
PlotSenator Conrad in Washington, D.C. has evidence of gold deposits in the Black Hills region and is making plans to undermine the treaty with the Sioux to exploit the area. In the meantime, Army scout Cheyenne Bodie is riding through a piece of the Dakota territory when he sees two mounted Sioux fleeing with a white woman captive. Cheyenne shoots one indian and tackles the other. Afterwards he makes a shocking discovery...the indians are actually white men in disguise.
Cheyenne takes the captive Irene Travers back to her wagon train. She's more than interested in getting to know the tall, handsome stranger who rescued her. Major Marcus Reno wants to retaliate against the indians but that's when Cheyenne shows the soldiers their attackers were white men dressed as Sioux. The indian-hating Reno isn't sure what to make of it, but he is sure of how he feels about Irene and tells Cheyenne to keep away. Bodie tells his superior officer not to order him about his private life.
Cheyenne joins Lt. Col. George Custer's command as a scout at Fort Abraham Lincoln. Custer's orders are to find a suitable patch of ground for a future fort. Cheyenne and Indian Commissioner Brady suspect that the expedition is in search of gold and they're right. After Custer's men discover gold, they start carving up the countryside for themselves.
Cheyenne watches from the sidelines as the prospectors pour into the region. He refuses to join in the frenzy since the law states that the Black Hills belong to the Sioux. Irene is planning to marry Cheyenne as soon as they return to civilization, but she can't understand why he isn't staking claims with the others. She sees the Sioux as savages, while Bodie sees them as the rightful occupants. The disagreement derails their romance.
Custer makes permanent camp in the Black Hills hoping to make a name for himself. Violent skirmishes between the Sioux, the prospectors and the Army break out, but no decisive action is ordered from Washington. Then, the indians mysteriously disappear. Custer sends Cheyenne and other scouts into the bush to find them. Cheyenne returns to tell Custer that he's found evidence of entire Sioux settlements on the move. Custer decides to pursue and orders the company into the saddle early next morning.
Before sunrise, Reno meets with Custer with news: Cheyenne is no where to be found. Custer orders him to be posted for desertion, then he and Reno leave to meet their fate on the Little Bighorn battlefield. But Bodie didn't desert and he too has found his way into the battle, but as a prisoner of the hostile indians dressed as a southern Cheyenne chief. His arms tied, he can only watch as Custer's luck runs out.
"When a Sioux makes a promise he'll keep it or die tryin'. If we did the same we wouldn't have any indian trouble."
- - Cheyenne explains to Custer his opinion on indian relations.
"To me personally only three things matter: promotion, glory and country."
- - Custer explains his priorities.
"The way your father talked, Major Reno is something more than just an old friend. You forgetting that?"
- - Cheyenne and Irene clear the air about Reno.
"I'd do anything in the world for you, Irene, except destroy what I believe in."
"What you really mean is you don't love me enough."
"Maybe the shoe is on the other foot."
- - Cheyenne tries to explain to Irene his convictions.