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Hoping to make a name for herself, a newspaper reporter forces her way into a volatile situation between the Army and the Sioux.

The Broken Pledge
Season 2, Episode 20
Air date June 4, 1957
Written by Louis Stevens, N.B. Stone, Jr.
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
Episode guide
Previous
Hard Bargain
Next
Incident at Indian Springs

Episode Notes

  • This is the last episode of season two.
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Real World References

  • This episode likely takes place in 1873, when George Armstrong Custer arrived in the Dakota Territory in command of the 7th Cavalry Regiment.
  • Besides mentioning Custer, this episode is full of mentions and foreshadowing of the Custer Massacre.

Errors and Continuity Nitpicks

  • Cooper shoots Yellow Cloud then somehow loses his gun after Cheyenne starts to fight Nagel.
  • As Kirby is running down a hill after her horse she shouts “Mr. Bodie!” but her lips don’t move.

Plot

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Cheyenne stands up to Nagel's mob.

Prospectors Nagel and Cooper ride into the town of Long Knife and declare their partner Logan was murdered at their mine. They claim Sioux indians killed him and they start recruiting a mob for revenge. When Sioux men led by Little Chief arrive in town with business to conduct, Nagel accuses them of the crime and the mob surrounds them. Army scout Cheyenne Bodie steps in the middle of the fray and demands proof of the crime. When the crowd gets ugly, Cheyenne forcibly disarms the prospectors, but not before one of the Sioux is shot and killed.

Witnessing this scuffle is Fay Kirby, a newspaper reporter from the east. Kirby is looking to make a name for herself by digging up and publishing exciting stories about life on the frontier. Trouble with indians is perfect fodder for her ambitions and she immediately pursues Nagel for an interview. Fueled by his one-sided account, she formulates a plan to dig deeper into the story.

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Sitting Bull and Cheyenne meet to discuss peace terms.

Local fort commander Colonel Preston is disturbed by the consequences sure to result from this killing. Desiring to keep the peace, he convinces Cheyenne to visit Sitting Bull with a message of apology. While on his way to the Sioux camp, Cheyenne finds Kirby in the wild chasing after her horse. Cheyenne has no choice but to bring the reporter along, noting that she probably can’t make it back on her own. He also doubts that their chance meeting in the wild is an accident. Kirby admits nothing.

While visiting with Sitting Bull, Cheyenne manages to calm the chief’s anger over the murder of one of his people, and he issues the Army’s promise that Little Chief will not be hunted for the killing of the prospector. He also influences Sitting Bull to grant Kirby an interview. Her stay with the Sioux is very productive and brings her into contact with Little Chief. The man tells his side of the recent killings and of aspects of the warrior culture of the Sioux. He agrees to bring her on a tour of Monument Rock, a site sacred to his people.

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Kirby tries to stop Nagel from firing at the Sioux.

Kirby manages to slip a note to one of the soldiers bringing the Army’s gifts of reconciliation to Sitting Bull. The note is to Nagel. She instructs the prospector to bring his men to Monument Rock if he wants to capture Little Chief alive.

At the site, Kirby is making a drawing of Little Chief and Sioux braves when Nagel and his men attack and kill one of Little Chief’s men. Kirby demands that Nagel stop, but the man shoves her out of his way. The short-lived fight is interrupted by a cavalry patrol. Little Chief is captured and the Army's promise to Sitting Bull is broken.

Suspecting a sinister motive behind these developments, Cheyenne uses some well-placed punches to get Nagel to confess he plotted with Kirby to trap Little Chief. Cheyenne confronts Kirby with this confession. She admits to working with Nagel and now she’s ashamed of how everything has fallen apart. Cheyenne angrily accuses her of starting a war just to advance her career and demands she issue a public apology. Kirby hates this idea knowing it would destroy her journalistic integrity and reputation.

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Kirby and Cheyenne look through her notes for clues to the truth about Logan's murder.

She opens her notes to Cheyenne and he sees details that can help expose Nagel. After a quick trip to the registrar's office, Cheyenne rides to the mine and accuses Nagel; he is the one who shot and killed Logan. Then he submitted paperwork to the office to claim the mine for himself and cheat Cooper out of his share. His plan exposed, Nagel shoots and wounds Cooper and takes Bodie’s gun. Before Nagel can fire again, Cheyenne puts out the only light in the room and uses the darkness to rush out the back door. Nagel takes the gold and rides off into the wild. Unarmed but determined, Cheyenne rides after him.

As he chases after the murdering prospector, Cheyenne puts his knowledge of indian ways to use. He assembles his own bow and arrow using a knife and supplies he finds along the trail. Riding ahead of Nagel, Cheyenne confronts him and uses his handmade weapons to put the murderer down.

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Cheyenne takes aim at Nagel with his bow.

Now that the true killer has been exposed, Colonel Preston is again trying to reconcile with Sitting Bull. He has a short time to do this since he’s been reassigned to ride with the 7th Cavalry, commanded by George Armstrong Custer. He invites Cheyenne along as a scout, but Cheyenne wants to visit Yellowstone country instead.

Cheyenne meets Kirby as she’s leaving the fort for her trip back east. She apologizes for her actions and promises to write the truth about her experience in the West. Cheyenne wishes her luck.

Quotes

"It wouldn't surprise me any to see all of your scalps hangin' on a Sioux lodge pole one of these days."

Cheyenne warns the townspeople of Long Knife where rash action will lead them.


"The handwriting is on the wall, Mr. Bodie. We members of the weaker sex are growing stronger. First, we adopt your clothes, then we take over your institutions, your privileges and your traditions."
"Looks like the men of this country have a real unhappy future ahead of them."

- Fay Kirby and Cheyenne discuss the battle of the sexes.


"To me the story comes first and how I get it doesn't matter."

- Fay Kirby, journalist


"Who knows the workings of a woman's mind...either white or red?"

- Little Chief weighs in on the sexism debate.


"The time is coming when we're going to have to teach these indians a lesson."
"Could work the other way around!"

- Gen. Custer exchanges words with Cheyenne


"All I wanted to do was help capture Little Chief! I was certain he was guilty! I...I wanted a story."
"Well you got one, a big one written in blood!"

- Kirby and Cheyenne argue about the outcome of her scheming.

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Purchase Cheyenne Season 2

Cheyenneseason2DVD150px
www.clintwalker.com or www.amazon.com

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