Cheyenne brings a young bank robber to justice while trying to keep the man's crime a secret from his family.

Hard Bargain
Season 2, Episode 19
Air date May 21, 1957
Written by Jack Natteford, Howard Browne
Directed by Edward Ludwig
Episode guide
The Spanish Grant
The Broken Pledge

Episode Notes

  • Film and television star Richard Crenna, possibly best known as playing Colonel Sam Trautman in three Rambo movies, stars as Curley Galway.

Errors and Continuity Nitpicks

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Real World References

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Cowboys pick a fight with Cheyenne to draw attention away from a bank robbery.

Cheyenne Bodie is barely in the town of Trail Cross for 90 seconds when three cowboys pick a fight with him. The sheriff hears the ruckus and comes over to stop it, but Cheyenne has already knocked the three men on their cans. He tells the sheriff to look across the street at a man crawling out the bank door with a gag in his mouth. A lone robber has just made off with $4,000. Both Cheyenne and the sheriff suspect the fight was started as a distraction. While the cowboys are jailed, the bank owner asks Bodie to chase after the robber and the sheriff gratefully deputizes him.

On the trail, Cheyenne hears gunfire and finds a young man shooting it out with a group of Sioux indians. When Bodie joins the fight, the indians retreat. Curley Galway thanks Cheyenne for his help but when Bodie flashes his deputy badge, Curley takes a swing at him. Bodie punches him, ties him up and finds the missing $4,000 in his saddle bag. Cheyenne decides to avoid another Sioux attack by taking a different way back to town. He makes camp and when he offers Curley coffee, the young man tries to toss it in his face. Ever patient, Cheyenne makes his prisoner dinner and asks him about his motives. Curley refuses to admit he had accomplices and rejects Cheyenne's comments about going down a wrong path in life. When he settles in to sleep, Cheyenne notes it will be a clear, chilly night and covers Curley in his own blanket.


The law can only hold Curley's accomplices for 72 hours.

In the morning, Bodie is scouting ahead when he trips a deadfall trap and a log lands on top of him. Curley finds him and helps lift the log enough for Cheyenne to slide out. Favoring his wounded left arm, Cheyenne admonishes Curley on being a poor excuse for a criminal for helping him instead of trying to escape. Curley demands that they go to his home, which isn't far off, to get help. Bodie's condition is obviously worse when they arrive. Curley puts Cheyenne in the care of his sister Nora then rides out. After a nap, Cheyenne wakes and finds the young man has returned with Doctor McAllep from the nearby town of Rock Butte. The doctor pulls several splinters out of Cheyenne's arm and puts him on the road to recovery.

Cheyenne faces down the man who ordered Curley's father beaten up.

Cheyenne recuperates under the roof of the Galways, who prove to be a generous, pious family. To avoid mentioning Curley's crime, Bodie tells them that he and Curley have partnered together to buy stock. The Galways talk about the greedy policies of the neighboring XL Ranch around the dinner table. Their fears become real when Curley's father Pat is attacked by two strangers from the XL for putting up a fence. Cheyenne rides out to the XL and uses his deputy badge to influence ranch manager John Beamer to restring the Galway fence in exchange for Cheyenne not bringing in the entire XL crew as material witnesses.

Meanwhile, Red Crowell, one of Curley's accomplices, pays him a visit and threatens to kill his father if he doesn't bring the money to a meeting place in 30 minutes. Curley finds the money in Cheyenne's room, but Nora interrupts him and guesses where the cash came from. Cheyenne enters and Nora accuses him of turning Curley bad. The young man confesses to his sister what really happened, who Cheyenne really is and then leaves.


Has Curley betrayed Cheyenne to his outlaw friends?

The next morning as Curley and Cheyenne are headed to Trail Cross, they are held up by Curley's three accomplices. Curley dismounts and takes Bodie's gun; it turns out he plotted the ambush the day before with Red. But at the last moment he tosses the gun back to Cheyenne and starts fighting with the nearest robber. In the firefight, Curley is wounded, but still manages to save Cheyenne by shooting one of the men sneaking up on him.

A posse led by the Trail Cross sheriff arrives and the surviving robber surrenders. Cheyenne tells the sheriff of Curley's bravery in the final fight and his assistance when Bodie was injured. Cheyenne returns the deputy badge and instructs the sheriff to give his share of the recovered money to Pat Galway. Cheyenne shakes hands with Curley and rides away leaving the young man with the posse and his own fate.


"Doc, what's been going on over in Rock Butte?"
"Outside of a dog fight now and then, and the weekly meeting of the sewing circle, what could go on?"

- Curley and Doc McAllep talk about the social calendar of Rock Butte.

Nora puts the injured Cheyenne to bed despite his protests.

"Seems like there should be something we could do."
"No, I'm afraid not. It's what Curley does that's going to count, and I'm bettin' on him."
"So am I."

- Nora Galway wants to help her brother, but Cheyenne wants him to help himself in the eyes of the law.

"You're wearing a face as long as a hangman's rope."

- Cheyenne notes Curley's demeanor just before the trap is sprung.


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