Cheyenne befriends two young siblings whose brother may have murdered his business partner.
The Rafferty kids aren't very hospitable to visitors.
Doc Pardee comes after an unarmed man.
Clay Rafferty is tried for the murder of Whitey Caine.
Cheyenne shows how Clay Rafferty could have overbranded some horses.
|Season 2, Episode 16|
|Air date||April 9, 1957|
|Written by||Dean Riesner|
|Directed by||Thomas Carr|
Decision at Gunsight
- Cinema on the small screen: Some of the dialog, characters and situations in this episode were lifted from the 1938 movie Angels with Dirty Faces starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart.
- In a nice bit of continuity, Cheyenne injures his right arm in the fire in the beginning of the episode, and is shown favoring that arm in scenes after.
- Ed "Kookie" Burns guest stars as Clay Rafferty.
Errors and Continuity Nitpicks
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Real World References
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After his horse goes lame, Cheyenne Bodie stops at a humble homestead calling for help, but he gets bullets sent his way instead. Not one to back away from a fight, he steals his way into the shack and disarms the shooter -- just a boy, Tad Rafferty. His sister Kat sneaks behind Cheyenne and holds him at gunpoint. The pair's older brother Clay rushes inside with a posse right on his heels for a stagecoach robbery he just committed. Clay shoots it out against the lawmen. When a lamp is shot to pieces and a fire starts, Cheyenne uses the distraction to punch Clay out and pull the three children outside to safety.
Clay is jailed in the nearby town of Agate while local vet Herman Tulliver patches Cheyenne up. The tall cowboy tells the town sheriff he's looking for his missing business partner, Whitey Caine who was helping Cheyenne manage a remuda of pintos. The sheriff points him to the local preacher, Reverend Thackery, who tells Cheyenne he recently performed a funeral for a man matching Whitey's description. Now certain Whitey is dead, Cheyenne commits to bringing his killer to justice.Cheyenne returns to the Rafferty homestead to find his horse and check up on the children. Tad is taking care of the animal in the barn next to the smoldering remains of their home. While they work on the horse together, Bodie notices a branding iron that Tad hurriedly hides away. Cheyenne encourages the unsupervised kids to move to Agate. Tad refuses, but Kat is a little smitten with the tall cowboy and gets Tad to change his mind.
At the sheriff's office, Deputy Morgan meets with Clay and their conversation reveals that Morgan was the boy's partner in the stagecoach robbery. The sheriff doesn't have much of a case against Clay, but that could change if Bodie keeps digging into Whitey's disappearance. Morgan has hired a gunslinger from Roswell named Doc Pardee to put an end to Cheyenne's investigation.
In the Tulliver Livery Stable stable, Tulliver offers Cheyenne an old revolver until the cowboy can buy a gun of his own. Tad scoffs at Cheyenne's slow practice draw. Taking up Tad's challenge, Cheyenne draws at full speed and hits a tin can three times before Tad can blink. As the boy retreats into the stable with his brother's saddle, Cheyenne notices the saddle has the name "Whitey" written on it. Later, Cheyenne finds a pinto tied in front of the saloon bearing an altered brand. The owner tells Cheyenne he bought the horse from a young man named Rafferty. Evidence is piling up against Clay.That night, Cheyenne attends Thackery's church supper and tries to make the night a special one for the lonely Kat. When Doc Pardee walks in, Morgan points out Cheyenne as his target. Pardee stirs up trouble by forcing Kat to dance with him. When Cheyenne intervenes, Morgan tells Pardee to wait for another time. After the social, the gunslinger follows Cheyenne and Tad and confronts him. Unarmed, Cheyenne spooks Pardee's horse and jumps into a dark alley. As Pardee pursues him, Tad manages to slip Cheyenne a rifle. He sets up a diversion to confuse the gunslinger then shoots Pardee dead.
At Clay's trial the next day, the young man defiantly faces his accusers as Tad and Kat watch from the audience. Both children are shocked when Cheyenne takes the stand and offers damning evidence against their brother using the branding iron Tad had hidden. The jury delivers a guilty verdict and the judge sentences Clay to hang.Tad is impressed with his brother's nonchalance facing a hangman's rope, but Cheyenne is worried that the boy's future hangs in the balance. He begs Clay not to make a defiant show on the gallows for the sake of his younger brother. Clay refuses to give up his last chance to thumb his nose at authority. As he's led to the gallows, Clay makes a brave show for the crowd while Tad and Kat watch. But on his first step up he falters, then miserably begs for his life. Cheyenne takes the sobbing children away as Clay's punishment is carried out.
Seeing his brother's fear has scared Tad straight. He's on the stagecoach headed to veterinary school with Cheyenne as a traveling companion. They wave goodbye to Kat and head down the trail.
"I got me a job."
"You mean, lookin' for your partner?"
"Nope. Lookin' for the fella that killed him."
"Glad I ain't that fella."
- - Cheyenne and Herman Tulliver discuss the future.
"You talk big, cowboy. I'm real scared."
"Time to get scared's when I stop talkin'."
- - Hired gunslinger Doc Pardee tries to goad Cheyenne into a fight at the church social.
"You got no call to draw on me. I'm not wearing a gun."
"I didn't dress you, friend."
- - Cheyenne faces Doc Pardee unarmed.