After running into a hired killer, Cheyenne uncovers a deadly love triangle in the middle of a range war.
Rand's men punish Bridgeman's hand for putting up a fence.
Cheyenne and Les recover after a street brawl with Rand's crew.
Rand's men gang up on Cheyenne.
- According to an article in the Aug. 31, 1957 issue of TV Guide, it took over five hours to film the two-minute fight scene in this episode.
- Alan Hale, Jr., best-known as Skipper on Gilligan's Island made his first guest appearance of the series in this episode.
- Writer Berne Giler recycled this story for a 1961 episode of Maverick titled "Substitute Gun" switching out rival ranchers for rival saloon owners.
Real World References
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Continuity Nitpicks and Errors
- Crane and one of his friends have a conversation in front of the Gunsight Gazette newspaper office, a location that was featured prominently in the season two episode Decision at Gunsight.
A shot rings out and Cheyenne Bodie turns to see Preacher, a killer for hire, fall from his horse as a knife drops from his hand. Sheriff Hardin holds the smoking gun that brought Preacher down before he could knife Bodie in the back. Preacher dies with the name Bridgeman on his lips. Hardin offers to give Cheyenne deputy pay if he will ride to a local ranch to learn if Les Bridgeman hired Preacher to kill rival rancher Kiley Rand. Cheyenne agrees.
In a day or so, Cheyenne returns to report on what he's found. His work on the Bridgeman ranch has been an unexpected pleasure. The cowhands are good-natured and the boisterous Les is a generous boss. Every day ends with a hearty meal and a friendly poker game. The only sore spot in the deal is Lilli Bridgeman who acts like she'd rather be anyone else than Les's wife. Hardin orders Cheyenne to keep up the investigation.
Tensions between the ranchers start to heat up. Rand, his foreman Crane and his men attack Cheyenne and the cow hands as they put up fences. Then, a routine trip into town turns into a street brawl between Cheyenne and Les and Crane and his crew. There doesn't appear to be a truce in sight, or a hint at who hired Preacher.
A break comes when Cheyenne accompanies Lilli into town, follows her into an alley and sees her in Rand's arms. It turns out that Lilli is the one who hired Preacher to kill her husband! Cheyenne fills Hardin in about her shenanigans and then confronts her. Knowing that lives are at stake, he threatens her with exposure if she doesn't tell Rand to back down and doesn't start acting like a wife instead of a black widow.
In the meantime, Rand and Crane discover that Hardin killed Preacher, and that Cheyenne is more than just another cowhand. Rand decides to make his big play and bring in a huge herd. Knowing that the range can't support the excess cattle, Bridgeman vows to defend his fences. As both ranches prepare for conflict, Lilli sets up Cheyenne to make it appear he's molesting her. A jealous Les comes to her rescue, stopping just short of killing Bodie despite Lilli's goading him on.
Cheyenne spills the beans and tells Les of his wife's affair with Rand. Faced with his wife's infidelity and losing his ranch, Bridgeman decides to fight for the latter. Les, Cheyenne and his crew battle the invaders. Rand and his men meet a violent end.
Peace comes to the range and Cheyenne makes a final report to Hardin. As he prepares to ride out, the tall cowboy sees Lilli leaving town having lost her husband and her a lover because of her own treachery.
"Where are you from, Mr. Bodie?"
"My home is any place I happen to be."
- - Lily Bridgeman tries to learn more about Cheyenne