Mal Gates, a traveler, stops by a river to get a drink -- and a rattler chomps onto his face. His screams and his gunshots at the escaping snake are heard by Ed Carstairs, coming to the same watering hole from a different direction. But Carstairs is in no charitable mood. He's wanted in another town for killing a sheriff during a poker game, and justice in that town is notoriously corrupt (Matt later asks two sheriff's deputies snidely: "Was the town boss shot in the hip? Well, isn't that where he keeps the sheriff, isn't it ... in his hip pocket?"). So Carstairs tries to finish what the snake started by kicking Gates unconscious and switching identity papers with him. The ruse seems to work, but shortly after Carstairs arrives in Dodge he spots Gates being dragged unconscious on a litter behind Matt's horse -- Matt, making his rounds, also heard the commotion and found Gates still alive. Carstairs sneaks into Doc Adams' office and tries to smother Gates in his sleep, but jerks the ... Written by
Did You Know?
Festus (Ken Curtis
) doesn't appear in this episode, with no explanation given. When sometime deputy Thad Greenwood is beaten up late in the episode, Matt deputizes Sam the bartender to help catch the villains. Thus Glenn Strange
gets higher-than-usual billing for this episode. See more