At the beginning of the episode we have four Mexican men, led by Blas (John Saxon), and they are panning for gold. In comes some cowboys and wrecks their camp and John Saxon now believes that the only way for them to make money, in the land of opportunity, is to take it from the rich.
Later it just so happens that Little Joe comes riding past. The Mexicans lasso him and will hold him for ransom. Then Saxon rides up to the Ponderosa and demands gold for the return of Ben's son. But when some guys in Virginia City find out about the ransom and gold, they take it upon themselves to ride out and rescue the gold-- but Little Joe is not really in their plans. So now poor Little Joe is not only held by the poor Mexicans, he is not in the plan for the gang that came to get the gold.
The story then takes one of those 'political statement' turns where the poor Mexican really did not do that much wrong. They were just playing with little Joe. This was a far cry from when they told Ben that would cut off his fingers and ears if the ransom was not paid. Even with this sad twist to the plot, the story was well written and kept the attention of viewers to the very end.
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