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Bandits, soldiers, civilians and indians fight for survival on a rocky hilltop.

Mountain Fortress
Season 1, Episode 1
Air date September 20, 1955
Written by Don Martin, Alan LeMay, Winston Miller
Directed by Richard L. Bare
Episode guide
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Episode Notes

  • This is the first of 108 episodes of Cheyenne aired from 1955 to 1963.
  • James Garner guest stars in this episode as Brad Forsythe. It was also his television debut.
  • This episode is retold in Cheyenne Comic Number 1.

Real World References

  • Stew describes a moment when he served sowbelly and beans to General Robert E. Lee outside of Gettysburg.

Continuity Nitpicks

  • In the three quick camera shots that compose Forsythe's ride up to the trio of Smitty, Joan and Cheyenne, Cheyenne is crouched in the first, standing in the second, and crouched again in the third.

Plot

Joancarter-mountainfortress

Joan isn't interested in Cheyenne's explanations of the Shoshone's reasons for attacking her stagecoach.

Riding through rough country, Cheyenne Bodie and Smitty spy smoke signals from the surrounding mountains and head for a defensible position on a rocky hill. Once there they run into a group of well-armed travelers led by a man named Bob Manson who claims they were waiting for nighttime to escape the indians.

Not long after, one of Manson's crew spies a stagecoach coming in the distance. It's being chased by a troop of Shoshone warriors under the leadership of War Cloud. The entire group mounts and gives chase to try to stop the attack. The stage hits a rough patch of ground, throws the driver and tips over in a swirl of dust. Manson's crew, along with Cheyenne and Smitty, come to the aid of Kiley the driver and his female passenger, Miss Joan Carter. With the stage contents in his possession, Manson reveals his gang's true purpose; they were planning to rob the stage the whole time. Manson orders everyone back to the mountain.

Mountainfortress-shoshoneattack-cheyenne

Smitty fires on attacking Shoshone who have used ladders to flank Manson's gang.

Manson demands that Cheyenne lead the gang to the Mexican border or he'll kill Joan. Cheyenne maps out a route in the dirt and Manson plans his nighttime escape. A new kink in this plan arrives in the form of a four-man patrol from Fort Kermus under the command of Joan's fiancé, Lieutenant Brad Forsythe. Manson plans to ambush and kill the soldiers, but Cheyenne makes a deal with Manson to lead him to the border personally in exchange for the soldiers' lives. Knowing the soldiers will track them to the mountainside, Manson uses Joan to lure the soldiers into a trap and take them prisoner.

After an escape attempt under cover of darkness fails, the group retreats back to the hill. In daylight, Shoshone attack from all sides. The first attack is repulsed, but Cheyenne knows they won't survive another and suggests the group splits in two to give Miss Carter a chance to escape. When Manson refuses to let anyone leave, gangmember Perado kills him. The bandit has a conscience and doesn't want Joan harmed.

Mountainfortress-cheyenneriding-cheyenne

Cheyenne rides out with the others to draw the Shoshone away.

The group heads out using Cheyenne's plan and it's an all-out race to outrun the Shoshone, while Joan and Kiley head the other way to safety. A bad turn leads Cheyenne and the others into a dead end, and they're forced to turn around and gallop straight into the attacking indians. Most of Manson's crew is killed before a cavalry troop appears in the distance and comes to the rescue. Young Stew Davis, the last of the Manson gang still alive, succumbs to a gunshot wound and falls dead.

With the retreat of the Shoshone and the survivors out of danger, Cheyenne declines an invitation to the Carter-Forsythe wedding and heads off with Smitty to his next adventure.

Quotes

"You must be new to these parts, mister. This here's Cheyenne."
"So you're Cheyenne Bodie."

-Smitty introduces Manson and the rest of the world to Cheyenne.


"It's no secret. I scout this country. He draws it up on little pieces of paper. When we get to a settlement we put them all together and we've got a map. Sabe?"

- Cheyenne explains to a stranger what he and Smitty do for a living.


"Best yankee bait in the world is a yankee girl."

- Plank gloats as cavalry soldiers fall into Manson's trap.


"You can think of more ways to get a man buried!"

- Smitty doesn't approve of Manson's escape plan.

Purchase Cheyenne Season 1

CheyenneseasononeDVD150px
www.clintwalker.com or www.amazon.com

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