Mexican rebels rescue Cheyenne from French troops, but he has to stand against their brutal leader and his plans to assassinate a rival.
Maria and Cheyenne seek out the prison to rescue Manuel.
French troops want a look inside the crates Cheyenne is transporting.
Cheyenne bursts in on Cardenas after the failed assassination.
Cardenas' soldiers celebrate their recent victory with a loud party.
|Season 4, Episode 3|
|Air date||Oct. 12, 1959|
Trial By Conscience
- The opening narration describes this episode taking place in 1867.
- According to a memo included with a script used by producer Art Silver, the script for this episode required changes noted by the Continuity Acceptance Dept., an organ of the studio that was meant to uphold decency, public relations and advertiser interests.
- This episode has an alternate title, The Rebel.
Real World References
- Benito Juárez was president of Mexico from 1858-1872.
Continuity Nitpicks and Errors
- Scenes used to depict the attack on Guadalupe are also used in the episode Border Affair.
While transporting a passenger and crates of sewing machines across the border to Mexico, Cheyenne Bodie runs into French soldiers. Breaking open a crate, they discover not sewing machines but a printing press headed for rebel lines. The French captain beats Cheyenne viciously, orders him shot and takes his passenger Pat Brady prisoner. Just then, a large force of rebels appears on the horizon and the French retreat.Cheyenne wakes in the camp of the Mexican rebels under the command of General Luis Cardenas. Cheyenne and Cardenas had an antagonistic relationship back in Texas when the Bodie was a US marshal and Luis was a criminal.
Cardenas tries to recruit Cheyenne to the rebel cause with flowery language about freedom and liberation. Cheyenne doesn’t want any part of Cardenas’ rebellion against the French. He wants to find Brady and get back to Texas. What Bodie doesn’t know is that he has landed in the middle of a power struggle between Cardenas and rebel leaders Maria Rivera and the incarcerated Manuel Lagrone. They remain loyal to Mexican president Benito Juarez while Cardenas has nefarious advancement plans of his own.
With prompting from Cheyenne and Maria, the general plans an attack on Guadalupe prison where Brady and Manuel are supposedly being held. The city is taken and the prison liberated. Manuel is released from his cell into Maria’s arms, but there is no sign of Brady. Cheyenne is forced to stay with the rebels to keep up the search. At the evening victory celebration, Cheyenne gets a taste of Cardenas’ sense of justice. He and his drunken judges hold a joke of a trial, convict both French and Mexican prisoners, and order their immediate executions.
The next day, Cheyenne is brought by Maria to a meeting with Manuel, where they reveal to him that Brady is an agent bringing proof that Cardenas is siphoning away U.S. money meant to help the rebel cause. Assuming Brady has been killed, they ask Cheyenne to use his friendship with Luis to get evidence that he's stealing the money. Cheyenne refuses since there is no proof to back up their accusations. He just wants to find Brady and get back across the border.
Shortly after Cheyenne and Maria depart, Cardenas and his men arrive at Manuel’s home. They discover he is reporting to Juarez on Cardenas’ questionable activities, including looting to line his own pockets and his drumhead courts that deliver merciless justice. Cardenas arrests Manuel on a charge of treason and schedules him to be executed. He then sends Manuel's message by pigeon inviting Juarez to a secret meeting. Cardenas puts a plan in motion to have the president assassinated and then he can take over all Mexico.
Unaware of all this, Cheyenne confronts Cardenas directly about Brady’s fate. The general claims that Brady was shot as he tried to escape. Bodie expresses his disgust of Cardenas’ greed at the expense of Mexico’s future. The general’s ambition makes him immune to such sentiment. He has Cheyenne arrested.
In the prison, Maria distracts the guards, Cheyenne overpowers them and the pair escape. Cheyenne hurriedly rides for the inn at Venada to appeal to Juarez to pardon Manuel’s death sentence. When he arrives at the inn, Bodie discovers the assassination plot, forces his way into Juarez’s room and stops him from lighting the fireplace, which was filled with gunpowder earlier by Cardenas’ agent.
Meanwhile, Cardenas and his men are drinking at the local cantina. They hear an explosion and start to celebrate what they believe is the death of Juarez. Moments later, Cheyenne bursts into the room with the president himself. Juarez condemns his general’s actions and orders him to stand trial in the same merciless courts to which he sent his enemies. Cardenas rushes outside to escape this fate and is gunned down. His attempt to seize power ends in his violent death.
"Last time I saw you, you were emptying banks. What’s in this revolution for you?"
- - Cheyenne suspects Cardenas is motivated by more than patriotism.
"It was your own Presidente Monroe who said that America must be free from the rule of foreign masters. If a stranger rules one foot of American soil, is he not a threat to every American?"
"Frankly, I hadn't given it much thought."
"Strange, coming from a man whose heritage is based on freedom and revolution."
"I didn’t say I didn’t agree with you."
- - Cardenas and Cheyenne talk politics.
"Do you remember the time I carried off a whole cantina? You followed me by a trail of empty bottles."
- - Cardenas remembers the good old days in Texas when Marshal Bodie was chasing him.
"You told me once that I confused sentiment with justice. I wouldn't want to make that same mistake again."
- - Cheyenne refuses to help Cardenas after his treachery is exposed.