Cheyenne is deputized to look for six men who went missing in the area. He finds more than he bargained for when he meets the Durango family and their strong desire to marry off the youngest in their family -- Lottie.
The three Durango brothers bring home a drummer to spend the night and meet their younger sister Lottie. At 25 their mother thinks it is a disgrace she isn't married but none of the suitors they bring suit Lottie. Back in town the boys spend their time in the saloon where Homer is known as the champion of arm wresting besting all comers. Cheyenne enters the saloon after one of Homer's victories as they celebrate. Homer challenges him since Cheyenne has $30 to bet. To their surprise Cheyenne wins prompting Homer to want to beat up Cheyenne until the boys realize he might be the one for Lottie. They offer him lodging and meals which Cheyenne accepts. Lottie is instantly attracted to him putting into motion their plans for a wedding - without Cheyenne's consent. Unknown to them Cheyenne is a deputy looking for signs of six men who went missing in the area. His refusal to marry Lottie set in motion plans for him to become number seven as Cheyenne evades them in a comedy of errors. Written by
The sure way to a man's heart is through his . . . .
Two plot lines here and a series spin off sort of. The Durango brothers are trying to find a husband for their sister Lottie (Sally Kellerman, well before M.A.S.H.). But she is a bit particular and finds the "men" who brothers dragoon from the local saloon well below her standards. When she sees Cheyenne, she just about drools and she hasn't even seen him with his shirt off. However, Cheyenne has no desire to marry Lottie. He's actually looking for some men who have gone missing in the area. It doesn't take a genius to figure out the missing men are Lottie's previous "suitors." But are they captives or are they dead? The first clue saying no to Lottie is fatal is finding six hats in the barn; the second, six fresh graves. And who manages this group of murderers: Ma Hortense Durango (Ellen Corby, otherwise sweet old grandma of Waltons' fame).
Lottie insists no one kill Cheyenne but Ma figures he might have an accident. The first attempt is poison, the second to crush him under a falling hay bale, the third to arrange a mine accident, the fourth is an accidental shooting while fending off varmints, the fifth is an attempt to plant a rattlesnake in the wash basin. In the end Cheyenne captures the gang; and it appears Lottie may have found a new man after all.
Jack Elam was always a scene stealer and popular enough to be a guest on Cheyenne three times; and when he guested playing Deputy J. D. Smith, it was enough to encourage a spin off: The Dakotas. Ironically a show that was canceled for being too violent.
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