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Ranch owners fight each other over land, love, water rights, and who gets Cheyenne as a top hand.

Top Hand
Season 3, Episode 8
Air date Dec. 31, 1957
Episode guide
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Hired Gun
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The Last Comanchero

Episode Notes

  • Add episode trivia and notable guest stars in a bulleted list here

Real World References

  • Notice any? Add them here.

Continuity Nitpicks and Errors

  • In the scenes of Cheyenne riding through the countryside away from town, he's wearing the fringed, doeskin shirt and dark-colored pants. But when Barstow and the others ambush him on that same evening, he's wearing a thick-seamed, button-down shirt and light-colored pants.

Plot

Rancher Ben Gentry has bought up yet another ranch in his effort to take over the entire valley, but top hand Cheyenne Bodie has had enough of his bullying ways. Despite Gentry's bribes and threats, Bodie walks away from his job intending to leave the valley for good.

Tophand-marievisitshotelroom-cheyenne

Marie makes a surprise visit to Cheyenne's room.

While waiting for his dinner at a saloon in town, rancher George Lambert offers Cheyenne the top job on his ranch, but Cheyenne turns him down. No offer will entice him to stay in this dangerous situation. Shortly after, Cheyenne steps in to give Clay Connover a hand when he picks a fight with local creep Barstow. Despite the help, Clay isn't very thankful to Cheyenne for the save. However, Clay's older sister Marie is thankful and tells Cheyenne so when she visits his hotel room. She's a no-nonsense woman who is trying to succeed in a man's world, and as such she's used to acting and dressing like a man. She also offers Cheyenne the job of top hand at the Connover spread, but he turns her down. He's decided to leave immediately.

On the road out of town, Cheyenne is ambushed by Barstow and other men from the Lambert ranch. After beating him badly, they "dry gulch" him by tying him to his saddle and sending his horse running. In the morning,

Tophand-barstowambush-cheyenne

Barstow and his friends ambush Cheyenne on the trail.

a barely conscious Cheyenne is found by the Connovers and brought back to their ranch to recover.

Grateful for the save and angry at his enemies, Cheyenne agrees to be the Connover top hand. But before he starts work he visits the Lambert ranch to get some revenge. Cheyenne literally knocks the truth out of George Lambert. He didn't order his men to beat Cheyenne up. In fact, he fired Barstow and the others that morning when he found out about it. Cheyenne asks Lambert if he loves Marie, but he refuses to answer.

Armed with the information he needs, Cheyenne returns to the Connover ranch. At dinner Cheyenne lays all his cards on the table. He tells Marie that she needs to let Clay have more control over his inheritance, and that she should make up with Lambert to avoid a range war and save lives. Marie is not a fan of any of these ideas, but she doesn't have a chance to respond. Ben Gentry is outside and wants to chat. He offers to lease their ranch while letting the Connovers retain ownership. After Marie refuses, Gentry makes it known he plans to take over by any means necessary. Since he now has control over the area water source, he makes good on his threats and cuts off the water to the rest of the valley.
Tophand-mariegeorgeinlove-cheyenne

Marie finally warms up to Lambert's profession of love for her.

Ranchers and farmers including Lambert meet together at the Connover ranch to form a plan to fight Gentry's new threat. Marie surprises everyone when she makes an entrance looking beautiful in a dress and fancy hairstyle. With her new looks comes a new attitude as she defers to her younger brother. Clay takes center stage and directs the men to invade Gentry's ranch to destroy the dam. He's going on a solo mission to confront Gentry himself.

Cheyenne, Lambert and the men fight their way onto Gentry's property and fight a fierce battle for control of the dam. Cheyenne loads a spot on the dam with dynamite, sets the fuse and races for cover. The dam explodes and the water runs free again. After this victory, Clay and Gentry ride up to the opposing sides looking like they've been fighting each other. Gentry announces that Clay has persuaded him to come to a peaceful agreement and calls off the war.

Quotes

"Clay is just a kid. He needs a man to look after him. And uh..." [looks over shirtless Cheyenne] "...you seem to qualify."

- Marie Connover likes what she sees in Cheyenne's hotel room.


"I want you to work for me, Cheyenne."
"That's the best offer I've had all day. At least when you say it you smile."

- Marie Connover tries to hire the charming Cheyenne


"Up already, Cheyenne? How you feelin'?"
"Mean!"

- Joe is surprised to see a cranky Cheyenne out of bed already after he was attacked.


"I'm beginnin' to know what a bone feels like in the middle of a dog fight."

- Cheyenne doesn't like being fought over.


"You didn't have to pull me out. You coulda let me drown."
"That's the difference between us."

- Barstow and Cheyenne discuss the surprising outcome of their fight near the river dam.

Cheyenne Gallery

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