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Cheyenne gets caught in a range war between his unscrupulous cattle boss and a strong-willed businesswoman.

The Mutton Puncher
Season 3, Episode 3
Air date Oct. 22, 1957
Written by Wells Root
Directed by Franklin Adreon
Episode guide
Previous
The Conspirators
Next
Border Affair

Episode Notes

  • The scene in the beginning of this episode of Cheyenne rounding up cattle is reused from the season two episode The Dark Rider.
  • Actress Marie Windsor guest stars as Thora Flagg.

Errors and Continuity Nitpicks

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Real World References

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Plot

Ben Creed’s cattle drive crew are in a hotel saloon getting rowdy. Creed heads upstairs and meets with his foreman, Cheyenne Bodie, who is packing up his gear. Creed asks him to join the celebration downstairs, but Cheyenne declines. He’s leaving Creed’s employ because the man’s business practices are lower than a snake’s belly. Cheyenne suspects the two of them are headed for a showdown and he wants to leave before it happens.

Thoraandcheyennechat-muttonpuncher

Thora admires Cheyenne's physique.

As Cheyenne collects his horse from the stable, a masked man pistol whips him from behind and tries to rob him, all under Creed’s direction! Creed conveniently comes to Cheyenne’s rescue and brings him back to the hotel. A doctor declares he’ll survive. Fooled by Creed’s ruse, Cheyenne feels beholden to him and stays on as his foreman.

The next day, Cheyenne, Creed and his crew are back at work driving cattle. A pack of strays get away and runs down a wagon crossing the trail. Cheyenne rides up and helps pull out a cranky Thora Flagg from under the wagon. The female spitfire berates Cheyenne and Creed for being no-good dirty cow men with no concern for anyone.

Creed orders Cheyenne to help Thora get running. When Cheyenne lifts her tipped wagon by himself, Thora is impressed with the cowboy’s brawn. She asks him to join her outfit as foreman, but he declines. She finagles Cheyenne into going back to town with her to find Creed. While there, Thora tries to convince Creed to let her 2,000 head of stock cross his land to the railhead at Coffin Creek. Creed says Thora’s stock can cross his land for a price per head. At a poker game that evening, Thora wins enough of Creed’s money to pay his fee. Creed isn’t willing to concede to a woman and bets Bodie’s contract in the next game. Thora wins that, too. Cheyenne is now her foreman!

Muttonpuncher-thorastopsstampede-cheyenne

Thora and her shepherds try to stop Creed from killing her flock.

Thora and Cheyenne spend the next day on the trail to reach her camp in the hills. When he rides out to examine her stock he gets a nasty surprise; she’s herding 2,000 head of sheep, not cattle. Cheyenne is furious at being tricked and tells Thora if she wasn’t a woman he’d give her a good licking. He’s no “mutton puncher.” She offers him a way out of her employ; if he wins a game of draw poker against her he can leave. Thora forgets that Cheyenne spent all of the previous evening watching her play poker and he knows she’s playing with a marked deck. He wins his freedom and rides off.

In Coffin Creek, Creed is planning to stampede cattle through Thora's camp to scatter her sheep into a canyon and kill them en masse. He wants to make an example of her to other sheepherders. Cheyenne refuses to take part in something that could cost human lives. As he makes camp outside of town, Creed’s men attack him and toss his unconscious body into a ravine. One of Thora’s sheep dogs leads her men to him and, after Cheyenne recovers, he warns her about the stampede. Thora turns control of her men over to Bodie and when the stampede comes Cheyenne leads them in turning the herd back on Creed. The plan works and Cheyenne captures Creed trying to escape. He drops the man in Thora’s lap then rides off. The pair shares a bowl of Thora’s squirrel stew next to the campfire that night and a romance develops.

Muttonpuncher-creedandwages-cheyenne

Ben Creed preps to pay his men their wages.

Days later, Bodie finds Thora in the saloon alone and drowning her sorrows in liquor. She confesses that she loves Creed, but he won’t marry her. He’s intent on getting revenge on Cheyenne for the stampede. Thora begs him not to kill Creed and steals his revolver, but Cheyenne borrows another weapon and heads out. Thora finds Creed, warns him about Cheyenne and runs off to distract him from shooting her beau.

When the shooting starts, Cheyenne yells to Creed that Thora’s been caught in the crossfire and shot. He warns Creed to marry Thora quick before she dies or the town will lynch him as a woman-killer. The preacher comes to her side and the couple are wed just as Thora’s 2,000 sheep start filling the streets on the way to the railhead. Thora leaps up for joy at the sight of her animals and Creed realizes her mortal gunshot wound was a ruse to trick him into matrimony. They end the adventure with a kiss.

Quotes

"You're the biggest snake a man ever saw in this country without the help of whiskey, but I like ya."

- Cheyenne tells his boss Ben Creed what he thinks of him.


“It took a couple a tons a beef to tip that over and you flipped it back just like that. Muy hombre, ain’t cha cowboy?"
“You’re kind of a lot of woman yourself, ma’am, if you don’t mind my sayin' so."

- Thora Flagg and Cheyenne admire each other after he lifts her wagon right side up by himself.


"That's what I like about being a woman. Short of stealing stock you can break all the rules without getting shot at."

- Thora Flagg


"You schemin', connivin', double-tongued female. If you was a man I'd kick them pants clear across the canyon...with you in 'em!"

- Cheyenne is not happy that Thora fooled him into thinking her sheep were cattle.

Purchase Cheyenne Season 3

Cheyenneseason3DVD150px
www.clintwalker.com or www.amazon.com

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