Henry Huckaby, a local farmer and fed up with a sore back and an empty belly leaves to seek his fortune in Dodge. After several failed ideas he hits on one that may make him rich but could also cost him his life.





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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Vic Perrin ...
Robert Fortier ...
Shell (as Larry Blake)
John Newman ...
James Nusser ...


Henry Huckaby, a local farmer and fed up with a sore back and an empty belly leaves to seek his fortune in Dodge. After several failed ideas he hits on one that may make him rich but could also cost him his life.

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Release Date:

25 April 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


It only took nine seasons, but in this episode, the first African-American finally appears in "Gunsmoke." Johnny Towers is, of course, a boxer. But in a time when black people were limited to the roles of maids and butlers, or night club singers, he is an army officer, seemingly treated with respect by his fellow soldiers, and ultimately, by everyone in Dodge. No reference is ever made to his color or anything controversial, but it is a landmark episode for this western series. See more »


In this episode, Matt stops a prize fight because "Prize fighting is illegal in Kansas." However, in "Big Tom," (season 5 episode 18), Matt actually participates in a prize fight because one of the fighters is too ill to fight. See more »

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User Reviews

Not the Best
14 October 2014 | by (Old West Texas) – See all my reviews

I think we are supposed to like Henry Huckabee (Vic Perrin) as a type of sympathetic character in this one. He feels like he's doing nothing with his life and decides to come to Dodge to see if he can make something out of himself. Maybe that's part of the problem; it's overdone this season. It happened once before in this season ("Caleb") and afterward ("Trip West"). This must be the season of "finding yourself." Of the three mentioned, this one is the worst.

I tried to like Vic, really I did. I knew I was supposed to, but he really got on my nerves as a whiny little man without any sense. If you read Perrin's filmography, you will find that he had an excellent career as a voice in many animated and non-animated features. He was even the voice of "Nomad" in the Star Trek episode. I congratulate him on being a great voice actor, but outside of remotely looking like "Laugh-in's" Henry Gibson, there is nothing interesting about him in real life.

Like "Caleb," he keeps thinking he's found something to do, but falls flat. He finally settles on something that might make him a lot of money, which in his small world, is "finding himself." Maybe I should give this episode more than for stars simply because it is a milestone episode. After having lots of Indians, Orientals, northern and southern Europeans, we see our first African-American in this episode. Not only that, but he is NOT a butler, slave (even former slave), singer, or dancer, but actually a soldier, and OFFICER, yet, from Fort Dodge. Oh, yes, he is a boxer, but he has other skills, too. No one in the entire episode looks down on him, makes fun of him, or even mentions his difference in skin tone, which by itself makes this an amazing episode from 1964, which, if I remember correctly, is when "Mississippi was burning." I wish more shows of the 60's could have done this -- featured a Black character as a human being, and just let him be one. Lieutenant Uhura will have the same opportunity in "Star Trek," but that's about it. For that alone, the episode deserves recognition.

Outside of that it was terribly boring (at least to me), but I won't forget it because of the above mentioned reason.

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