After he shoots a gold prospector in self-defense, Cheyenne tries to help him and his pretty wife escape from crooks and indians.
Cheyenne carries the wounded Morgan back to his homestead.
Morgan tells his wife that Cheyenne is the one who shot him.
Jeannie and Cheyenne argue over the destruction of her husband's sluice box.
Cheyenne has to face a Sioux warrior in a fight to the death.
|Season 2, Episode 12|
|Air date||Feb. 12, 1957|
|Written by||Berne Giler|
|Directed by||Joe Kane|
Test of Courage
- James Garner guest stars in this episode as the gunrunner Willis Peak.
- Angie Dickinson guest stars in this episode as Jeannie.
Errors and Continuity Nitpicks
- In this episode, Cheyenne tells Jeannie that he lived with the Cheyenne tribe until he was 12 years old. This conflicts the narrative of his past shared in West of the River when it was said he lived with the tribe until he was 18.
- When Bodie, Morgan and Jeannie leave the river bank in the canoe, a man can be seen in the reeds pushing them from shore.
Real World References
- Notice any? Add them here.
Pursued by Sioux indians, Army scout Cheyenne Bodie gallops through wooded country. He abandons his horse to escape his pursuers and stumbles upon a gold claim. A prospector named Morgan hears him coming through the brush and starts shooting. Cheyenne shoots back to defend himself and wounds Morgan severely. Finding him still alive, Cheyenne carries him to his homestead where his wife Jeannie rushes out to meet them.Cheyenne and Jeannie patch him up, but Morgan isn’t out of the woods yet. Barely conscious, he tells Jeannie that Cheyenne shot him. Assuming he isn’t welcome anymore, Bodie heads for the door. Jeannie sees that he's wounded and tired and welcomes him to stay. Cheyenne does stay on to help around the homestead as he feels responsible for the couple's misfortunes. Jeannie appreciates his help and attention more than a married woman should.
After he's rested, Cheyenne returns to Morgan's sluiceway and decides to destroy it. He fears that the Sioux will discover the setup and kill everyone to keep a gold rush from pushing them from the land.
When he returns from a deer hunt later, Bodie finds three men sitting around Jeannie's kitchen table. Cheyenne recognizes them as condemned criminals escaped from Fort Delgado, but he plays dumb so as not to rouse their suspicion. Willis Peak, the leader of the group, imposes upon Jeannie’s hospitality for a meal and a place to sleep. Peak comments about Cheyenne’s sleeping quarters in the house, which Cheyenne asserts is an innocent arrangement. When the men leave, Cheyenne and Jeannie almost turn that innocent arrangement into something more, but he pushes her away just before they kiss. He wants to, but he refuses take advantage of her husband’s condition.Peak and his men find gold in the creek and confirm their suspicions that Morgan has a gold stockpile on the property. Cheyenne confronts them, commands that they leave immediately and forces them back to the house at gunpoint. As they approach, Jeannie distracts Cheyenne and he is overcome by the three men.
Peak is viciously beating on Cheyenne when Jeannie throws herself between them and offers gold in exchange for Bodie's life. Peak and the men take the gold and ride off. Cheyenne decides to take Jeannie and Morgan down the river and starts repairing Morgan's canoe. He's concerned that a Sioux attack could come at any time. Jeannie expresses her fears to him and they embrace.Their tender scene is disrupted by the appearance of a Sioux warrior. He is Chief Strong Bow and informs them the treaty between the Sioux and the government is broken. Cheyenne tells Strong Bow he will not achieve any honor by killing a sick man and a woman. He asks the chief to let the couple leave peaceably, and trade his life for theirs if necessary. Strong Bow sees things Cheyenne's way and agrees that they can leave.
The trio start down the river. At night, they are nearly overtaken by a group of Sioux. They have captured Peak’s compatriot Ed Grimes and Cheyenne sees that he’s been tortured. Knowing that the secret of the gold is likely out, Cheyenne decides they must continue on. That morning they land and Cheyenne goes into the bush to scout. Morgan finally wakes and feels better now that his fever is broken.
Before they can get back on the river, the Sioux led by Strong Bow’s second in command, find them and take them prisoner. He intends to torture Cheyenne, but the cowboy challenges the man to a fight. Sioux braves tie the men together at the wrist with knives in each hand. Cheyenne overpowers his adversary but refuses to kill him.The fight stops when Strong Bow arrives and accuses Cheyenne of lying to him about the gold. Bodie claims that he and the couple were leaving the area just as he said they would, empty-handed. Strong Bow laments that a gold rush will destroy the land and force his people from their home. Resigned to this sad future, the chief allows Cheyenne and the others to leave once again.
Back in the canoe, the trio doesn’t get far when Peak finds them and fires a shot over their heads from the bank. He demands at gunpoint that they land and that Cheyenne get out into the water. He plans to shot the cowboy in the back and take the canoe. Morgan sneaks a revolver out from his bag and shoots Peak dead. After hearing Strong Bow’s prediction for the future, Morgan tells Cheyenne to toss the gold away in the river. He and Jeannie will make a new start without it. Cheyenne tosses the saddlebag into deep water and they continue on their trek back to civilization.
"You look like a man who is earning his supper."
"It's an old habit of mine."
- - Willis Peak and Cheyenne have competing work ethics.
"He struggled all his life and never had anything. That's why the gold meant so much to him."
"He had you. That oughta be enough for any man."
- - Jeannie and Cheyenne
"We are proud people and we will fight for every foot of land that is ours. But soon pony soldiers come...men who dig...new villages. Our animals will be slaughtered. Forests left dry and bare. A mighty nation will go to sleep and never awake."
- - Chief Strong Bow predicts a sad end for his people.