Cheyenne throws in with two friends on their quest for gold and riches, but greed has a poisonous affect on the partnership.
Digging for gold
The three men work hard at their claim.
Duncan suspects Clancy of trying to steal gold from his stash.
Rebel mescaleros want guns and bullets from the prospectors.
Indians bring Clancy to Cheyenne after he's shot and left for dead by Duncan.
- Rod Taylor, star of The Birds, guest stars as Clancy.
- The plot, situations and dialogue for this episode are lifted from the 1948 movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, starring Humphrey Bogart.
- This is the first time Clint Walker appears shirtless in the series.
- This episode is retold in comic book format in Cheyenne Comic Number 3.
Real World References
- The Argonauts were men from Greek mythology searching for the Golden Fleece.
- Cheyenne tells Clancy he lived with indians for eight years. While this is true, later episodes will flesh out Cheyenne's childhood as being raised by indians since he was an infant.
PlotCheyenne Bodie runs into two men, Duncan and Clancy, who were to meet a friend named Lou Cramer in the north country in a search for gold. Cramer turns up dead and, since he's the only one who knew the location of the claim, the two men aren't sure where they're going. Clancy describes the terrain near the claim and Cheyenne recognizes it as Blackfoot Creek. The men offer him one-third of the gold if he guides them there and joins them in the mining work. He hesitantly agrees. Once they find the location, the men build a flume to divert the creek, dig a mining shaft and work the claim. They find plenty of gold, potentially tens of thousands of dollars worth for each of them, and celebrate their early success. In the evening as they're splitting the gold between them, Clancy and Duncan argue and trade harsh words. Paranoia is growing between the two men, leading them to accuse each other of stealing and plotting the other's downfall.
Later, Clancy spots a group of indians coming toward the claim and Cheyenne identifies them as renegade Mescaleros. Duncan accuses Cheyenne of signaling the indians, but Bodie blows him off. The three of them dig in for an attack. After trading bullets, the indians take their horses and are chased away by an Army patrol.After this dangerous encounter, Cheyenne proposes that they take what gold they've already found and leave with their lives. The men agree, load up three burros and head back to civilization. Along the trail one evening, their camp is visited by a group of indians. They want the men to come with them and help a sick women in their camp. Cheyenne agrees to go with and asks his partners to take care of his share until he can meet up with them.
Come daylight, Duncan and Clancy continue on and soon they're bickering along the way. That night, Duncan plots to take Cheyenne's share since he's not around to claim it. Clancy refuses to let him and Duncan demands they part ways. Duncan's paranoia reaches a fever pitch and he shoots Clancy. The next morning, Duncan decides to hide Clancy's body but it has disappeared. He takes off with all three burros. Meanwhile, Clancy is found still breathing by the same indians who Cheyenne is currently with. They bring him to their camp and Cheyenne nurses him back to health. The pair head out after their treacherous partner.Duncan is having a tough time crossing the desert in a wind storm. He stops at a water hole and is ambushed by the Mescaleros. They kill him and rip open all the gold bags searching for weapons and bullets. Finding none they take off. The precious gold dust scatters into the wind. Cheyenne and Clancy ride up and discover Duncan's fate. Cheyenne laughs at the absurd end to their gold endeavor. They decide to part ways: Cheyenne is back on his original path heading to the north and Clancy decides to visit Cramer's widow.
"Gold can play some funny tricks on men. I've seen it."
- - Cheyenne sums up the entire plot of this episode in 11 words.
"I've been fiddle-footed all my life. Guess that comes from living with indians for eight years when I was a kid. 'Cept that that don't seem right some how. I figure there's a place for every man where he can kinda settle down and feel like he's come home...if he can only find it. "
- - Cheyenne describes himself.
"You mean give her some of our gold?"
"We've had all the luck. He didn't have any. Seems to me it wouldn't hurt if we shared ours."
"You sound like a preacher."
"Now what's wrong with that?"
- - Duncan and Clancy spar over the idea of giving a share of gold to Cramer's widow.
"Livin' around white men, sometimes indians look real good to me." - Cheyenne lets Duncan know he's disgusted with him.