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A slippery criminal causes trouble for Marshal Bodie, as do the townspeople, the criminal's son and a young man who wants him dead.

The Last Comanchero
Season 3, Episode 9
Air date Jan. 4, 1958
Written by Sam Rolfe, Jackson Cole
Directed by Douglas Heyes
Episode guide
Previous
Top Hand
Next
The Gamble

Episode Notes

  • Edd "Kookie" Byrnes guest stars in this episode.
  • As an excuse not to protect Larkin from getting lynched, the sheriff claims he's leaving to chase after the Pocatello Kid, a character from the season two episode Born Bad.

Real World References

  • This episode could have happened in 1875, which was when the U.S. Army truly did hunt down, arrest and kill the last of the comancheros.
  • In the opening narration, Cheyenne mentions the Medicine Lodge Treaty, which was signed in 1867.

Continuity Nitpicks and Errors

  • Add them here

Plot

Comanche are raiding unchecked through the West, fueled by guns and liquor supplied to them by bandits called comancheros. Marshal Cheyenne Bodie and Deputy Mal Wheeler are hunting the last comancheros led by a crafty and fast-talking bandit named Rafe Larkin. They come across a tragic scene: the bodies of a man and woman lying in the ashes of a home burned by the Comanche. After a quick prayer for the dead, Cheyenne and Wheeler ride on.

Lastcomanchero-maltothedoc-cheyenne

Cheyenne brings his deputy to the doc after he's shot in the chest.

In the mountains, they come across a cautious but friendly man who claims to be a prospector. Cheyenne sees through his lies, but not in time to prevent an ambush. Men hidden in the rocks start shooting and Wheeler is hit. Cheyenne holds off the rest and takes the prospector captive. He admits what Cheyenne suspected: that he is Rafe Larkin.

Cheyenne leaves Wheeler in the care of the nearest town doctor and locks up the comanchero. The town is dangerously electrified now that Larkin is in their jail. They want to lynch him for the murder of the family killed in the fire. The sheriff leaves town on the flimsy excuse to chase after another outlaw, leaving Cheyenne to defend the jail alone.

When a crowd gathers outside, Bodie gives them a promise he will use deadly force to uphold the law. The townspeople aren't swayed until young Benji Danton stands with Cheyenne and tells the rest to go home. They do, and Cheyenne asks the young man why he offered his help. Benji says he believes in justice.

Lastcomanchero-benjibetrays-cheyenne

Benji betrays Cheyenne for revenge.

With the circuit judge's arrival seven days away, Cheyenne needs help to guard Larkin. He swears Benji in as a deputy marshal, but his tenure as a lawman barely lasts 24 hours. When Bodie's back is turned the next morning, Benji holds him at gunpoint. Larkin has ruined Benji's life and he wants revenge. It was his parents who died in that recent fire and his fiancé Lois who is missing and presumed dead. But the comanchero has an ace up his sleeve: he has Lois at his camp. Benji knocks Cheyenne over the head with his gun butt and sets Larkin free on the promise that he will bring the young man to his love.

Cheyenne recovers and pursues them, tipped off to the location of the comanchero camp by the town photographer. Larkin's son Sheb sent the man into town with a photograph of Lois held at gunpoint and a message: he'll trade the girl for his father. On the trail Bodie comes across a dazed and embarrassed Benji. Larkin hit him from behind and escaped. Cheyenne intends to beat Larkin to the comanchero camp and Benji begs Cheyenne to let him come along. Cheyenne reluctantly gives Benji a second chance.

Lastcomanchero-picturesale-cheyenne

Sheb looks over a photo of his father in jail, sold by the town photographer.

They ride into the camp and find Lois roughed up but alive. Cheyenne offers the trade, but Larkin steps into view; he arrived at the camp just before they did. Left with nothing to barter, Cheyenne tries a bluff. He tells Larkin to keep his three hostages alive to barter with the posse that is right behind them. Fooled by the bluff, Larkin waits to see if Cheyenne is right. After three hours and no sign of pursuers, Larkin orders Sheb to kill them.

Thinking quickly, Cheyenne grabs a can of magnesium flash powder left behind by the photographer and tosses it into the fire. The violent flash blinds their guards. Cheyenne and Benji overpower the men, grab their guns and shoot Sheb. Larkin mourns over the loss of his last son and surrenders to Cheyenne. The last of the comancheros is brought to justice.

Quotes

Lastcomanchero-takelarkinspicture-cheyenne

A photographer prepares to take Larkin's picture.

"Go on, Cheyenne, git..." [coughs] "...Can’t stand the sight of big, strong men weepin’."
- Shot in the chest, Wheeler tells a concerned Cheyenne to leave him to the doctor's care.


"Mr. Bodie, would you move in just a little closer to Mr. Larkin, please?"
"Heh, come on Bodie. I ain’t got much of a face an’ you sorta handsome up my picture somewhat."

- The photographer and Larkin try to get Cheyenne to take a picture with his prisoner.


"Sure, you may take one of us. One of the four will get you and then that comanchero."
"You’re not worryin’ about which one of ya I’m gonna get?"

- When townspeople surround the jail to lynch Larkin, Marshal Cheyenne trades threats with them.


"Guess I won't know no peace as long as you're alive either, Bodie."
"I guess not."
"Well, since I'm a man who loves peace I guess I'll just have to shoot you both."

- Rafe Larkin tells Cheyenne he's too peaceful to let him live.

Purchase Cheyenne Season 3

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www.clintwalker.com or www.amazon.com

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