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Civil War veterans want to start a charity for orphans, but a tyrannical landowner opposes their plans.


Episode Notes

  • Alan Hale, Jr., best known for playing the Skipper on Gilligan's Island, guest stars as Tuk in this episode.
  • This episode takes place in 1866, since Confederate veteran Carl Tower says he was in an army hospital for a year after the end of the Civil War, and was just released a week earlier.

Real World References

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Continuity Nitpicks and Errors

  • The protracted fight between Cheyenne and Tuk in the beginning of the episode is mostly performed by stunt men, with obvious close-up cuts to the stars then back to the stunt men.

Plot

After winning a freight contract job in a poker game, Cheyenne Bodie inspects the wagon and cargo. A man named Tuk thinks Bodie is stealing and with a swing starts a rip-roaring fight. The two men beat each other to a stand still and finally realize that they are supposed to be working together. Cheyenne's cargo is headed to Tuk's associates up in the mountains so they can mine a gold claim.

Tuk is a member of The Brothers, a group of Civil War veterans who want to build a home for children orphaned by the war. So far, their mining plan has been foiled by Manuel Loza, a local tyrant who is leasing them the land and hates the independent spirit Tuk and his men represent. Tuk and Cheyenne can't move their cargo until they hire a third driver. No one wants the dangerous job because the last three men who attempted the trip were murdered. Tuk finds a veteran named Carl Tower who is willing to make the trip into hostile territory for his own reasons.

The men drive along the Road to Three Graves toward a town named Security which is Loza's headquarters. The way is narrow and dangerous. Hazards including road debris, a nighttime ambush and a broken wheel nearly bring the trip to an end. As Tuk repairs the wheel, Tower tells Cheyenne the real reason he took the job -- his future wife Alice and son are waiting for him in Security.

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Carl Tower anticipates his first night with his bride.

The trio of wagons makes it into Security only to receive a menacing welcome from Loza and his men. Cheyenne and Tuk shrug off his threats and attend Carl's wedding to Mrs. Norris. But before Carl can enjoy his wedding night, Loza's men kidnap him. When Loza threatens the lives of his new wife and child, Carl reveals Tuk's plans to use decoy wagons to throw off any pursuers.

The delivery trek continues but Tower's new wife and son are along for the ride. Knowing that Loza kill all of them, Tower tries to warn Cheyenne but a rock slide forces them to rush ahead. Tuk accuses Tower of tipping Loza off and demands he return to Security. Cheyenne and Tuk finish the delivery to Tuk's men, then ride back to find out what happened to Tower.

They find Tower in jail supposedly for his own protection. Loza says the people of the town found out Tower was court martialed for surrendering and cowardice during the war. As loyal ex-Confederates, they want to lynch him. Loza offers to set Tower free if Tuk returns the mining equipment. No deal.
Roadto3graves-lozadies-cheyenne

The tyrant Loza meets his ironic end.

Cheyenne stages a jail break but in the middle Tower is knifed by Loza's henchman. As he tries to aid him, Cheyenne finds documents on Tower that reveal two things: he was exonerated for the charge of cowardice, and that he killed his new wife's husband in order to save the rest of the soldiers under his command. Cheyenne and Alice confront the angry crowd to show them the documents. The truth, and Tuk's well-placed gunmen, convince them to disperse. Loza is still bent on keeping control and commands they be gunned down. Tuk and crew start shooting. Cheyenne follows Loza into his home and the tyrant is gunned down in his own parlor.

Free to mine the gold and start his orphanage, Tuk says goodbye to Cheyenne as the big cowboy rides off to his next adventure.

Quotes

"We're peace lovin' men. We don't like violence. We're willin' to shoot every tom jack one of ya to prove it."

- Tuk threatens Loza's men peaceful-like


"It's said the success of a tyrant can only be measured by the size of the hole it takes to bury him in."

- Cheyenne waxes poetic on Loza's demise.