5 January 1971
A pair of outlaws seeking amnesty from the Governor must stay incognito and out of trouble in a town while a friend pleads their case. The wait is complicated by a lovely bank manager and the arrival of members of their former gang.
21 January 1971
A wealthy art collector, McCreedy, hires the duo to procure a bust of Caesar that, unfortunately, the current owner doesn't want to part with. Of course he will want it back. But while we're waiting, let's see if McCreedy or Hannibal will out con the other at cards.
28 January 1971
Hannibal and the Kid have finally found good jobs in a town where they can really fit in. So why is everyone trying to convince them to get out of town? And more to the point; why are they being so polite about it? And why can't our heroes take some good advice just once?
4 February 1971
Desperate to leave a town where the sheriff knows them on sight, Hayes and Curry steal train tickets and board a sold-out train bound for Brimstone. They discover that the men they are impersonating are Bannerman detectives hired to destroy their old gang.
11 February 1971
Decoys, misdirections and deceptions are the order of the day as Hannibal and the Kid get a taste of the other side of the robbery business when they are hired to transport $50,000. To add to the confusion, throw in a very naive, idealistic young woman as a love interest and possible thief.
18 February 1971
Hannibal has finally met up with a nice girl he can take home to mother. She's refined and proper and, wait a minute, a money hungry gold digger! And wait another minute, Hannibal is working a horse racing con on her. Has Hannibal given up bank robbery for the confidence game? There has to be another story behind this story.
25 February 1971
A lovely lady hires Hannibal to help her find her husband who joined the Devil's Hole Gang to escape an errant murder change. At least that's her story, or rather one of her stories. Her supposed husband has a different story. Their relationship turns out to be not so loving and bullets fly, quite literally.
4 March 1971
The problem with being a notorious outlaw is everyone likes to pin every crime that crops up on you. That includes lying, embezzling, murdering bankers. Which is fine if you're trying to become an infamous legend but a problem if you're hoping for a pardon for your past crimes. So Heyes and Curry have to set things to right. And there's nothing like a diamond field to get a crooked banker into a even bigger mess so he has to confess to avoid a noose. Isn't greed a wonderful thing?
11 March 1971
More bullets than words fly in this episode (or at least it seems that way) when Heyes and Curry board a stagecoach and take a ride to a stop with six other passengers. The stage stop is surrounded by thugs who know Heyes and Curry's identity and want to kill them for the bounty money. When the stationmaster refuses, the outlaws start blazing away while the stationmaster tries to figure out ways to fight back.
18 March 1971
Two jobs; one dangerous the other, who knows. Two outlaws trying to make an honest living but in need of money. The Kid lost the coin toss, as usual, and is tagged to deliver a wagon load of high explosives to a mining operation. Hannibal gets the job of playing tour guide for a group of archaeologists looking for a long lost tribe of Indians with flaming red hair. Good luck with that. While The Kid faces every life threatening situation imaginable, Hannibal begins to realize that no one on the expedition is what they seem, except, for a change, the lovely, not-so-young lady. And someone has murder in mind. No wonder his job pays more, if only Hannibal can survive to collect it.
25 March 1971
Judy Carne, Pete Duel's "Love on a Rooftop" co-star, plays one of three Boston spinsters (two young adults and a late-middle-age chaperone; the other two women are buried in the "With" billing) supposedly taking a Wild West tour before returning home. Leslie O'Hara is secretly holding a letter, which Heyes saves from a bandit gang including bumbling Squint (Mills Watson, doing his first Glen Larson show and auditioning for "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo"). Leslie wants the letter back and is willing to pay $500 for it, sparking the boys' attention. Leslie springs the boys from jail, which gets a deputy sheriff's attention. Also on the trail is a mysterious, persnickety man from the Federal Government. It turns out everyone is on the trail of money from a bank robbery and the letter is a key. But when we say "everyone," we mean it ...
1 April 1971
"The A.B.C. Murders" for the Western crowd: a serial killer is picking off participants in a poker game one by one, including the attempted murders of Heyes and Curry, to conceal the real target, a man whose wife he covets.
8 April 1971
On a journey to Mexico "to drive cattle north of the border" (their real motive isn't revealed until the end of the show), Heyes and Curry meet a Cajun French woman who was shanghaied by a sea captain and only barely managed to escape. They take her to the American woman who owns a casino in San Juan, then set about wooing both ladies -- Heyes faking it for the casino owner; Curry for real with the Frenchwoman, who's a talented singer.
15 April 1971
Traveling on a train with the owner of the railroad, Curry accidentally switches bags with the millionaire's secretary. After finding her unmentionables and a Bible (Heyes cracks that the Bible is proof the bags were switched), he also finds $5 million in jewelry. They visit Oscar Harlingen, the millionaire and return the jewels to him, with his thanks. Later, the Harlingen's son Allen (Severn Darden in a dual role; he appears to use a pseudonym for playing Allen) practices appraising the jewels. They look phony to him, so his exasperated father shows him how to evaluate gems. Oops. They really ARE phony. Oscar Harlingen wastes no time gathering up a posse to go after Heyes and Curry. What nobody except the secretary and her boyfriend -- the leader of the posse -- know is that she is the thief, having switched out the jewels earlier. The posse leader uncharitably hires two hit men to assassinate Heyes and Curry once he's found them, and split the jewels with the young woman. When one of the hit men recognizes Heyes and Curry, he refuses to go through with the murder contract and cold-cocks the other gunman. In the ensuing fracas, the posse leader is accidentally killed. The men track down the secretary (Marj Dusay), who claims Oscar Harlingen stole the jewels from her father when they were partners. It's not true. The price for the secretary to stay out of prison is to marry Allen Harlingen, who is sweet on her.
22 April 1971
Charlie O'Rourke, a friend of Heyes and Curry from their outlaw days, is about to be hanged for a robbery which resulted in several deaths. He recognizes Heyes and Curry from his jail-cell window and offers them a map to the gold bars he stole, wanting that to be his "legacy" to them. The boys decline, but others -- including Bannerman detective Harry Briscoe -- steal the map and head after the gold. In the interests of staying honest and turning the tables on Briscoe, an old foe who might be a friend, the boys start trailing the gold hunters.
16 September 1971
The second and last 90-minute episode (the third show filmed for the second season) finds Heyes visiting wealthy con artist Silky O'Sullivan at his San Francisco mansion -- only to find out that Kid Curry is on trial for murder in Colorado. Heyes rushes to the town and thinks he sees Curry in the dock -- until the real Curry cheerfully waves at him. The man on trial is an impostor; what's more, he never committed the murder he's accused of. Curry loves the idea of "dying" and going off the wanted list, but Heyes reminds him -- and the impostor -- that this will leave Heyes up a certain creek without a paddle. The impostor apologizes but won't back down. Just before the impostor is due to be hanged, Heyes shouts out that Curry's "grandmother" (Silky Sullivan in drag) is coming on the next train to say goodbye. The judge agrees to stay the execution, and soon enough "Grandma Curry" arrives. The disguise is enough to fool the not-too-bright sheriff's deputy in charge of the prisoner, but Heyes grabs for a gun and tries to force the issue. They manage to get the fake Curry out of jail and hide out, but now the whole town is looking for them -- as are members of their old Devil's Hole Gang, who have taken an interest in the affair.
23 September 1971
Three psychotic thugs -- a man and two women -- hold Curry hostage. The price for his safe return is for Heyes to go through a step-by-step instruction to the man of how to blow up a top-of-the-line bank safe without harming the money inside. Heyes suspects that the thugs will kill him and Curry afterwards anyway, and schemes to trick the group into letting him get the drop on them.
30 September 1971
7 October 1971
Roger Davis, playing alongside his old friend Peter Deuel for the last time (they often competed for roles during the 1960s) turns up as perpetually smiling Danny Bilson, a remarkably fast gun who impresses even Kid Curry. Danny, Curry and Heyes in turn all draw the attention of Seth, a miner who believes he can get at least $20,000 out of a New Mexico mine Seth has -- with the help of three young, strong men. All four agree and work the mine, which lives up to expectations. During a celebration drink-and-dance when they have reached the target figure, Danny plays drunk and waits for the other three to pass out -- then steals the gold and all the food and water. Heyes, Curry and Seth try to walk across the desert. Seth slips away during the night and lies down to die when he thinks he's far enough away -- but Heyes and an extremely angry Curry find his body anyway. Heyes and Curry make it to a creek, refresh themselves and start asking around every town in New Mexico for Danny. When they find him, he is now a wealthy saloon owner with all but $500 tied up in investments. To further make his point, Danny lets a young gunfighter challenges him and drops the young buck in his track. Curry decides to get Danny's goat so badly that Danny will try to back-shoot him, hoping against hope that Danny will miss and Curry can drill him before Danny can fire a second round. That's exactly what happens. This was the first time Ben Murphy (Curry) worked with Roger Davis, but five months after this show filmed in late July 1971, Davis came back permanently as the new Hannibal Heyes.
14 October 1971
Desperate to escape an unusually persistent and smart group of trackers, Heyes and Curry take up with a family and their two tomboyish daughters. The father goes to get supplies while the mother frets about the girls not growing up to be ladies. Which is true: the girls embarrass Curry with their rifle-shooting prowess (he bets them on his pistol prowess and comes out ahead). When the posse DOES capture Heyes and Curry, rifle shots from the girls scare them off. Heyes and Curry soon learn the girls and their mother will go to trial for springing notorious fugitives, and the mother (who didn't know about Heyes and Curry or what the girls did) will take the brunt of the rap. The boys scheme to get the family out of jail. Glen Larson created a new character on "McCloud" after meeting Sidney Clute on the set of this episode, where Clute plays a prosecutor; Clute would play Det. Simms or variations on him for the rest of his life, including a three-year run as La Guardia on "Cagney and Lacey" until his death.
21 October 1971
Sarah Henderson ran out on her husband and hooked up with Jim Stokely, a charming drifter. Mr. Henderson wants her back, and has hired Smith and Jones to retrieve her. The boys quickly make friends with Stokely, which both helps and hinders them as they try to persuade Sarah that her alcoholic husband has sobered up and is the man she used to love. Sarah decides to give her husband a second chance, and all seems well -- for one night. Then somebody blows Mr. Henderson's head off with a shotgun. Stokely is the obvious suspect -- too obvious for Heyes and Curry to stomach, having been convinced that the man is no killer. So who did do it? With help with a friendly local sheriff who doesn't recognize them, the boys spread the word that they've stolen the murder weapon and plan to have it tested for fingerprints -- hoping the killer will go after the gun. Features a great final shootout (although both the killer and the sheriff seem to fire when their guns should be empty). Ken Lynch's role as another sheriff helped land him the part of Sgt. Grover on "McCloud" the next season.
28 October 1971
4 November 1971
A Seinfeldesque "show about nothing" begins with plenty as Heyes, Curry, a doctor, an undertaker and a cowboy see an old man stagger and fall in the street. It takes all of them to lift him because he's carrying more than his weight in gold dust. Thinking he's dying, the old man lets his benefactors work the mine. They all make out like bandits -- until the old man shows up very much alive and orders them off his property, though he'll let them keep what they've taken so far. Heyes and Curry prepare to leave with their cache, only to find out someone else has literally made out like a bandit and stolen it. Then a snowstorm buries the cabin. The old man grudgingly lets the group stay there for the winter (fortunately, he has enough supplies for five extra people). Eager to find out who stole their gold, the boys start a poker game with the other three men. When the doctor, a bad poker player, gives hints that he may be the thief, the boys introduce a variant called "Montana Red Dog," where the doctor keeps betting big on the next card being turned over. Despite the prospector's warning that "Montana Red Dog is a game for suckers," the doctor eventually loses all his chips. But that doesn't conclusively prove that he's the thief, and Curry catches pneumonia in the meantime. Heyes nurses him with the doctor's stethoscope, and thinks of a new use for the device in the meantime. But will that stop the thief?
11 November 1971
In the second half of what later became the TV movie "The Gun and the Nun" (shown on CBS Late Night in the late 1970s and possibly syndicated), Harry Briscoe is on the track of Sister Isabel, née Molly, who used to work as a "typewriter" (the name applies to the job as well as the instrument during these early years) in a Kansas City bank. That is, until she allegedly embezzled $30,000 from the cash reserve and took off. Since Molly is Irish Catholic, it was a simple matter for her to join two other sisters looking to establish a mission, posing as having been assigned to them by another convent. Harry isn't fooled by the disguise, but he is also greedy and want to swipe the money and head for Mexico. "Sister Isabel" evades the boys for a while posing as a saloon girl, but Harry eventually catches her and robs her. Our heroes, realizing Harry can be a real friend to them if he's caught and given a lesson on going straight to avoid being shipped to prison, go after him.
18 November 1971
Clementine Hale, a friend of our heroes since they grew up together in Kansas, meets the boys in Denver and shows them a group photograph they all posed for not too long ago. The photo is invaluable to lawmen who want to arrest Heyes and Curry, and Clementine waves it at the boys in an attempt to get them to go along with her larcenous scheme. Years earlier, banker Winford Fletcher had stolen $50,000 from the bank where Clementine's father worked, then framed HIM for the theft and sent him up the river. The boys ride into Fletcher's home town and pose as land grabbers, convincing Fletcher to buy up all the land he can get hold of and paying through the nose. This episode was meant to introduce Clementine and Diamond Jim as regular characters, but he didn't appear again and she did only one more show (Sally Field had many other commitments at this point).
2 December 1971
Heyes and Curry are among seven people ambushed by outlaws and held hostage in a way station. The leader of the gang, knowing Heyes are Curry are in touch with Sheriff Lom Trevors, politely outlines his plan to assassinate the sheriff when he comes looking for our heroes, in revenge for the death of his brother by Lom (actually, one of his deputies). The gang is prepared to wait a day and a night for Lom, forcing the group to do the same and try to think of ways to warn Lom before he gets bushwhacked. The mercurial leader (Neville Brand) is the biggest threat. The American flag outside the way station plays a key part in the plot.
9 December 1971
Ex-slave Joe Sims has a cheerful demeanor that masks intensive hatred for the white racists who have dogged him all his life. He has an uncanny ability to track down Heyes and Curry wherever they go and trap them, planning to turn them in for the reward money and methodically ignoring their pleas that they have reformed. After witnessing some of Sims' confrontations with vicious whites, Heyes and Curry are sympathetic to his plight and try to help him, but Sims won't let them go.
16 December 1971
Blackjack Jenny, an honest middle-aged card dealer, meets our boys in New Mexico and asks them to keep a lookout for her son, who wrote her from the town saying he had a big score of some kind. When the letters stopped, she suspected the big score involved something illegal and that something bad happened to him. Both scenarios are true: the son and a partner, posing as Heyes and Curry, were tricked by a bank executive into posing as Heyes and Curry. When the executive (the banker's son-in-law) was able to figure out the combination to the safe, he then murdered them both. The executive has a girlfriend on the side, a restaurant waitress, whom Heyes and Curry try to charm into getting information on the impostors. Ends with a rather chilling description of vigilante justice as the only solution.
30 December 1971
It will take a Miracle at Santa Marta for Curry to escape a firing squad after a wealthy visitor to a Mexican resort town is murdered. The miracle comes from Heyes visiting and discovering an early case of identity theft, in which two women claim to be the same Kentucky socialite who left home many years ago. The victim recognized the impostor and was killed for it ... but which woman is the impostor?
6 January 1972
Heyes and Curry, unable to find work because of an economic depression, accept a rancher's offer of pay plus a fat bonus if they can help herd cattle to a Colorado town. Soon, one of the cattle-drive hands picks a fight with Curry, which ends in a no-decision despite the beating Curry takes. The next morning, the trail boss finds the hand stabbed to death with a stiletto knife. Curry doesn't own one and neither does anyone else on the drive, but because of the fight he's the main suspect. When a second murder in the same fashion occurs when Curry is chained to a wagon wheel for the night, Curry is set loose, but the team is getting extremely edgy because of the murders and because the rancher and the hands lose everything if they don't make the town by the deadline of the title. Curry thinks the two murder victims recognized him from a holdup and maybe confided in their killer, but who might that be? When the cook utters an ill-chosen remark about the rancher's wife (who's traveling with the group and congratulated Curry on holding his own in the fight, a third stiletto murder occurs. The boys must confide in the cook, who then figures out who the murderer is and swears revenge. Curiously, Walter Brennan did this episode as trail cook Gantry in BETWEEN his stints as con artist Silky O'Sullivan that season. Dick Cavett plays the sheriff of Tenstrike, the destination town, in a cameo designed to cross-promote his show and this one, both drawing marginal ratings.
13 January 1972
The title object and the story around it occupies less than a quarter of this episode's screen time. At the beginning, Big Mac MacCreedy hires Smith and Jones to steal it -- again -- from the neighboring Arminderez ranch. Heyes refuses, but agrees to teach one of MacCreedy's men how to do it instead. Heyes and Curry also agree to escort the bust the last half of the way to an auction house, where Big Mac will get rid of it once and for all. While waiting at the assigned spot in a small town, Heyes and Curry confront a town bully -- and keep backing down, to the surprise of an alcoholic ex-clergyman who had completely lost his faith in humanity. But the bully keeps pushing his edge, and Curry starts losing his temper. After this plot thread is concluded (at the end of Act Four) the tag shows the ultimate fate of the bust.
20 January 1972
While playing cards on a train with banker Chester Powers, our heroes are recognized by another banker, Winford Fletcher (the villain of "Dreadful Sorry, Clementine," which had aired nine weeks earlier). Fletcher pulls a gun on the group and says that they cost him a great deal of money to get out of trouble (apparently, he bought his way out of prison time on top of being swindled for $50,000). Powers bluffs Fletcher with a hidden "gun" and Fletcher backs down. That gives Powers an idea. He has speculated with and lost all the securities and bonds in his bank. The cash is still there, but there will be a run on the bank if word of his other losses gets out. So he robs the bank himself and ... you got it ... pins it on Heyes and Curry, giving them a chunk of the money to buy their silence. The boys pretend to accept, but scheme to pit Powers and Fletcher -- who have reached a secret deal to jointly testify against Heyes and Curry -- against each other. They take their share of the stolen money and give it to Fletcher in return for his testimony that they DIDN'T rob the bank when it was knocked over a second time (which is exactly what they do). Now to get Powers and Fletcher, along with U.S. Treasury agents, into the fray with one another ...
27 January 1972
Heyes and Curry are captured by a farm family and brought into Hadleyburg. The farmer wants the bounty money, but has a change of heart and helps them escape. That puts the farmer and his wife into very hot water and make Heyes and Curry very ashamed. Help comes from detective Harry Briscoe, who's investigating a crooked gambling house in another town. Heyes goes to the house and plays blackjack, notices a marked deck at the start of the card game, and gets it replaced with an unmarked deck. He counts the cards in the old sharpie's trick and only making big bets when the deck is near the bottom and he can tell what he's likely to get on the last few hands. Briscoe watches incognito as Heyes wins $32,000. After realizing that Heyes is counting cards, the casino manager orders regular shuffles of the deck, at which time Heyes stops playing and reveals a collection of marked decks that the casino has hidden. Briscoe steps forward and busts the casino owner and dealer. With the money, Heyes and Curry go on a spending spree all over Hadleyburg, making so many civic improvements to the town that it's impossible to field a jury that hasn't been touched by their generosity (smooth lawyer Adam West helps out as well). When Briscoe is called to the stand, he testifies that Heyes and Curry came by the money honestly and are doing all this just to be nice. The judge does not direct an acquittal, rather, the farmer and his wife are pronounced "not guilty" by the jury.
3 February 1972
On a lazy Sunday afternoon, Curry and Heyes (now played by Roger Davis) relax in a gully when a satchel of money literally lands in their laps, thrown from a passing carriage. Heyes opens it and finds $200,000 -- every bill of it a bad counterfeit. Heyes thinks it over for a few seconds and then comes up with a brilliant plan. After shaving off his mustache (Roger Davis had one in real life; after the first day of filming, Universal executives told Davis the mustache looked "sinister" and Roy Huggins wrote the comment into a scene where Heyes shaves), Joshua Smith goes to a bank and asks to put the satchel in a safety-deposit box for the time being. He and Thaddeus Jones are wealthy land buyers, he says, and he wants people to know he has enough money to buy his way into anything. That includes a famous weekly poker game where all the big ranchers join once a week. The banker spreads the word, and Smith is quickly invited to the game, where he soon wins $35,000. But that's when two members of the Devil's Hole Gang (Kyle McMurtry and a masked, non-speaking extra filling in as Wheat Carlson) raid the game and clear the table. That's bad enough, but the banker has also looked inside the safe deposit box and found the money. He threatens to denounce Smith and Jones to the ranchers, and meanwhile the local sheriff has picked up on the name "Wheat" and is looking for the other members of the Devil's Hole Gang, which of course include Heyes and Curry. Our heroes' only chance is for Curry to ride ninety to nothing to Devil's Hole and get the other ranchers' share -- which also equals $200,000 -- back while leaving them the amount Heyes won before the robbery. Then Heyes opens the banker's safe, takes out the counterfeit money and replaces it with the real stuff, which a U.S. Treasury agent verifies. As soon as the Treasury agent leaves, Heyes rushes the $200,000 back to the poker table (minus a $100 bill he dropped and stuck in his pocket), sticks the bad money in the Treasury agent's satchel, and hightails it with Curry to a freight train just before the sheriff figures things out. About two-thirds of this episode was re-shot over four and a half days of filming to replace Pete Deuel's scenes (Davis had to exactly mimic him); a few new scenes include the opening titles and a still picture of Smith and Jones getting off a stagecoach.
10 February 1972
To stop the MacCreedy-Armindariz feud from coming to a rope's end, Heyes and Curry ride to the aid of their former employer Patrick "Big Mac" MacCreedy, who is accused of murdering the foreman of his across-the-Rio-Grande neighbor Armindariz's ranch. In fact, MacCreedy only witnessed the shooting and has no idea who the killer is (viewers don't either; the killer is never revealed). While hurrying to help the dying man, MacCreedy saw a neer-do-well drifter (Neville Brand) swipe the man's rifle and take off with it. Heyes and Curry find that the drifter has gone to Tombstone, Arizona -- home to Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, who both play major roles in the story. They acquire a warrant for the drifter's arrest as a material witness, but it's not an extradition warrant. Thus they need to lure or trick the drifter back to Texas. To do so, they ask a lady friend named Georgette Sinclair who is what would later be called a nightclub singer, meeting her in Tombstone and letting her "woo" the drifter while they watch and play poker. The idea is to get the drifter to fall in love with the singer, agree to go to Colorado with her -- stopping for half a minute in Texas along the way.
17 February 1972
Heyes is cheated at poker by big, obnoxious Wheelwright. Georgette Sinclair, in the second of three appearances, is hired to help Heyes carry out the title phrase, which Heyes utters while leaving. "Wheelwrong" also cheats George and gives her a literal horselaugh when she tries to bewitch him with a string of pearls. The group goes to Silky O'Sullivan, who lent them the necklace to begin with, and after enduring his rage talk him into lending them money to "ransom" the necklace.
24 February 1972
Mia Bronson, a con artist, has used her ill-gotten money to take over an entire town. Among her victims is newspaper publisher Goerge Austin: she stole all of his advertisers and forced him to sell her the paper for $10,000, half its value. Two of her other victims are Heyes and Curry, whom she cheats with marked decks of cards and has beaten up for complaining. Austin and his daughter find them and nurse them back to health. While recuperating, Heyes and Curry talk to Austin and find out he has been experimenting with the developing chemicals used in photography. He has developed a chemical printing process that will exactly duplicate an image, except that like a photographic negative it is in reverse. The boys come up with a plan. After cleaning up so Mia won't recognize them, they go into town and pass themselves off as counterfeiters who have hired Austin to do their printing for them. They show off two $1000 bills, one real and the other a duplicate. Mia demands more proof, and Austin obliges by duplicating one of Mia's bills. Now if she will just give him twenty more ...
2 March 1972
The hunt for a lost diamond. The diamond belongs to anyone who possesses it after midnight on July 4, which is when the show starts. Georgette Sinclair also turns up to help in the hunt, but extensive renovations to the hotel make all her efforts (and those of the boys) futile, until Georgette gets extra info and Heyes uses a con game to make sure the diamond stays with them.
16 September 1972
While evading a posse, the boys run into their old friend, Harry Briscoe (J.D. Cannon in his last appearance on this show), who's been fired by the Bannerman Detective Agency and is now a derelict. They sympathize with him and convince him to use his old credentials to fool the smart sheriff and his dumb deputy by "arresting" them before the posse does. The sheriff lets Briscoe go with Heyes and Curry, but sends the deputy along on the stagecoach to Wyoming. Now to fool the deputy, which is fairly easily done, and to fool the sheriff a second time, which is much harder. Fortunately, they happen upon a pair of bank-robbing killers whom only Briscoe recognizes, and he uses trickery to catch them and get back into the Bannerman Agency's good graces. The ending of this show, as the boys ride through the Utah countryside and chat, was recycled for all subsequent episodes (the boys are filmed in long shot and their dialog was changed for each show). This show and parts of several others were subsequently syndicated under the title "The Long Chase," shown as a TV-movie separate from the series episodes.
23 September 1972
The boys are bushwhacked while accompanying Phil Archer and his wife through the desert.
30 September 1972
Patrick "Big Mac" MacCreedy is tired of years of feuding with the neighboring Amandariz family, whose land abuts his own and is occasionally shaped by the Rio Grande. So he hires Heyes and Curry to try to negotiate a settlement. They put on their game faces and have their hats in hand as they visit the Armaendariz mansion, and get the expected rebuff. But there is a new player in the game -- Armandariz's spinster sister, who is even less friendly than he but who has a deeply religious streak. Heyes and Curry play on that, telling her that MacCreedy is a Catholic widower and piling on the soft soap (some of which is actually true). Carlotta, the sister, decides to investigate MacCreedy herself. There may be a way out of the feud after all. This was the writing debut of Juanita Bartlett for Roy Huggins, who brought her over to "The Rockford Files" a couple of years later; he soon left but she stayed for the whole run and worked extensively with Huggins protégé' Stephen J. Cannell before starting her own company as a producer.
7 October 1972
Season 3, Episode 5: Bushwack!21 October 1972
The first of five episodes to deal with the real-life Wyoming Stockgrower's Association (which led to the Johnson County War of 1892 and inspired the film "Heaven's Gate," which changed many details of the story): two gunmen try to bushwhack Smith and Jones for being in league with "cattle rustlers" -- which in WSGA parlance, applied to anybody who owned fewer than 300 cattle. A small cattle rancher, who has tangled with the gunmen in the past, comes up behind them, surprises them and shoots them down in their tracks. He claims self-defense, but knows people will call it murder (which it is), so asks Smith and Jones to escort him, his wife, his partner and his cattle to Montana where he will be reasonably safe. WSGA "detectives" send out an armed party dedicated to killing the whole lot. When Heyes and the gunman are both critically wounded, Curry goes berserk and blasts away at them until they turn tail. Heyes survives (his comment about being shot in the head later became a tagline for "The Rockford Files"), but the killer dies -- and Curry figures out the truth. Now everyone has a moral dilemma.
28 October 1972
This show could also be called "Alias Frank Canton." An outlaw the boys rode with in Texas got into a little too much hot water, hightailed it north, changed his name and passed himself off as a lawman. As such, he became sheriff of Johnson County and chief enforcer for the Wyoming Stock Growers' Association. "Canton" is willing to tolerate Smith and Jones for a while as long as they don't call him by his real name -- which they have an annoying habit of doing. In "Heaven's Gate," Canton has an even larger role (in fact, he's an association member who hires all the killers) -- and is killed at the end by Jim Averill; in this episode, a title card over a freeze-frame shows that he outlived the Johnson County War by forty years, went back to Texas, begged a pardon from a new governor and became a high-ranking Oklahoma state executive.
4 November 1972
The disappearance of a young heir to a fortune appears to be a kidnapping for ransom orchestrated by Kid Curry as Thaddeus Jones. At least that's what the heir would like to think. In fact he himself is the kidnapper and Curry is his hostage. The kidnapper has his eye on an eligible bachelorette, whom he plans to woo with the ransom money once it gets out of escrow and is paid. Heyes, who comes into town separately, doesn't know all the details but puts together enough to realize Curry is likely to be murdered and his body dumped in a stream until it rots once the ten days are up. So Heyes decides to woo the eligible bachelorette on his own. He meets up with Doc Holliday, whom he knows from a poker game (Holliday was a great winner at faro but not much of a poker player; Heyes had won $20,000 from him in the earlier game, only to have Wyatt Earp force him to lose it back). Heyes points out the young woman and explains that he wants to court her. He's already swiped a book of poetry and memorized it to appeal to her intellectual instincts; now he wants to prove he's a man of means. So, he proposes that he and Holliday play poker together under the woman's eye. Heyes will "win" Holliday's stash (then give it back immediately once they leave the room) and impress the woman with his money. Holliday surprisingly agrees and the plan goes off. But Heyes must still try to track the woman and her treacherous boyfriend to the hideout where Curry is being held hostage.
25 November 1972
Had series finales been a staple in 1972, this would have been it. Heyes and Curry get a telegram from Wyoming sheriff Lom Trevors that the Governor has at long last given them amnesty, and rush to meet the sheriff (Western veteran John Russell takes over from Mike Road, who had played the role in the first two seasons and still voiced it in the opening credits). But the day the amnesty came through is also the day the Governor was removed from office (as a territorial governor, he was appointed by the President -- when the Executive Mansion was occupied by a President of a different party, in this case Grover Cleveland, he appointed one of his own party men to the post). The new Governor, George W. Baxter, is a friend of Trevors and agrees to keep the amnesty on the table, and maybe approve it if the boys will track down his missing daughter. Our heroes succeed, but return to find that Baxter has been removed from office ("Seems he fenced in some Federal land"). Trevors doesn't know the new Governor, Charles Midnight. The last words of the episode are a replay of the words spoken in the pilot (and in the opening credits) about the boys keeping their nose clean until the Governor figures they deserve amnesty. A printed crawl over the last shot records the tumultuous history of the Wyoming Territory governors during the period in question (although buffs will spot several flaws: Governor Midnight's name wasn't Charles -- Roy Huggins may have confused him with famous rancher Charles Goodnight; and the period where the gubernatorial merry-go-round took place was in the infamously deadly-cold and stormy winter of 1886-1887 rather than the summer where filming took place).
2 December 1972
Sorrell "Boss Hogg" Booke has the title role, as a mining-company executive who went from Arizona to Old Mexico to try to settle miners' grievances over unpaid wages, only to be taken hostage in his own right by the miners, who hope to use him as a bargaining chip. A mine supervisor has a particular interest in getting Zulick back to Arizona, but won't explain why. It turns out that Zulick is a lot more valuable than anyone suspected, for reasons that are hidden until nearly the last minute. Another surprise comes when the mine detective turns Heyes and Curry over to the sheriff and then refuses the reward on them in Wyoming, allowing the sheriff to set them free, because he is convinced his debt of gratitude is too great. Ironically, "Bonanza" was also floundering in the ratings in a new time slot against a Norman Lear situation comedy ("All and the Family" was "ASJ"'s nemesis; "Maude" was trouncing "Bonanza"); the two shows would end production and then leave the air less than a week apart.
Season 3, Episode 10: McGuffin9 December 1972
While riding from one town to the next the boys answer a man's cry for help and find themselves involved with treasury department agents, counterfeiters, and stolen plates. There's also the matter of a woman who may be the man's daughter or a counterfeiter herself.
16 December 1972
The last episode to be filmed ("Only Three to a Bed," airing four weeks later, was left over from the Utah trip at the beginning of the season) again delves into "Heaven's Gate" territory, albeit less obviously than other episodes. Members of the Wyoming Stock Growers' Association have lynched two small ranchers they accused of rustling. Sheriff Lom Trevors hires the boys to get the two surviving witnesses out of Wyoming and into Nebraska. The WSGA sends a sheriff after them with extradition warrants as material witnesses, and offers them a fat bribe if they promise to perjure themselves and say they didn't see the accused killers. The lynching was based on the 1889 hangings of Jim Averill and Ella "Cattle Kate" Watson, whom Michael Cimino would resurrect as the leads of "Heaven's Gate" -- set three years later.
13 January 1973
The boys hire on to cut out horses, break them and get them to market before a Big Daddy rancher nearby can claim all the mavericks running the range as his own. In a role reversal of sorts for our heroes, Heyes strikes out miserably talking the talk and playing the cards with a beautiful brunette, while Curry finds a kinship with a very young, very beautiful young blonde lady who is traveling with her very protective older brother.
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